Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Melanin Story

She counted the tower of small change. One final time. Every bit, trying to make sure, her handful of math knowledge using the fingers doesn't go wrong. Her lips mumbling all the while to serve as an accomplice. Cuteness prevailed. Finally came the last trinket adding the long awaiting smile on her gleaming face. She had saved enough to procure the magical potion. Gathering all in a small handkerchief, the 10 year old ran out of the tarpaulin shack. Muddy puddles aside and a jump over the sewage drain later, she was on her way to happiness. A few huffs. A few puffs. There she stood, in front of the general provision store. She recollected the moment she saw the ad on that rickety TV. The round faced owner returned a suspicious glance at a dark child in tattered clothes holding a funny round piece of cloth. 'What?', he thundered. She bravely marched ahead and handed the pouch of change. 'One Fair and Lovely, please.'

At the same time, Jason and Philip felt the tyres below them hit the tarmac. They were in Mumbai, the Slumdog city. A city they had heard so much about - very much like home, New York. For Jason, this was a big moment. Two months of internship and he was already flying with his superhuman boss to new places to handle new clients. His hard work was surely paying off, but his admiration and respect for Philip had been growing consistently; so much so that he considered Philip to be his mentor and a father-figure. Philip adjusted his suit and tie. Extracted his LV briefcase from the cabin. A few moments and they find themself at the immigration security counter. A simple smile at Jason and an intense security check for Philip later, they arrive out of the terminal, in the grimy heat. Suddenly came a huge barrage of men rushing towards them. Taximen. Tuk-tukmen. Or automen as they refer locally. All after them. No, wait. After Jason, who was shrugging them off. The show has just begun for the black Philip.

The duo reach Film City soon. John Abraham was shooting for an ad film there. Get two tones lighter and be confident. Get Garnier. A cool crore for just a few hours of work. Later that night, he thanked his racist stars that he was born gora. He also thanks all the bigoted Indians for their obsession for 'Fair and Handsome'.

Next to the 'Fair and Handsome' ad in today's Times reads an interesting article. The Indian community in Sydney labels the Australian people as inherently racist. Street protests are earmarked for the day. Reports suggest that this has been triggered after a series of muggings and robberies (3 in all) which featured Indians as victims. However, the police have confirmed that they have no concrete evidence that race was a factor in those incidents.

Leaving aside the newspaper, the mother expectantly waited for her son. The time read 7pm and 'they' should be here soon. The able son and his to-be bride. The bride that she had never seen. An MBA from IIM and working in a top notch MNC with a seven figure pay. Now why would this woman say to the same able-bodied son an hour after: 'Beta, but she is not sundar, she is kali...'

A commercial in the middle of the 7pm show: Two men, one with light skin and the other with dark skin stand on a balcony overlooking a neighbourhood. The dark skinned guy turns to his friend and says, 'I am unlucky because of my face'. His light skinned friend replies, 'No, because of your color. Take this'. He hands a whitening cream. Soon, the darker skinned actor is shown several shades lighter and he gets the girl he always wanted.

Maybe, you are watching that commercial and are about to begin a game of chess. So why not start with a black move?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Rohan said...

i like it...
well written...

10:27 AM  

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