Afterthought [NaPoWriMo Day 11]

I picked up the phone again, and put it down. The thoughts in my head run wild, and I blame myself for thinking too much, feeling too much, not shutting you out, like you seem to do so easily.

I’ve been waiting and wondering for a while now, because it’s too hard to let things go. But it’s just as hard to hold on. As much as I wanted to make you a part of my life, I’ve learnt to be happy by myself.

So I put the phone down, just to see how much of an afterthought I am. To see if you think about me, without needing a nudge, though this may very well be one. I put my phone down, and walk away.


The night on the rooftop

The night today, is as dark as can be
Not a sound to be heard
Not a shadow to be seen

Just silence, as we sit on the rooftop
And you draw back into your shell
A shell, that wouldn’t be
If you could see what I see
Oh, the world is a cruel place
But you, you make it beautiful
Magic, that’s what you are
A scintillating spark of madness

Your eyes paint a world, that knows no pain
And your voice, a symphony of words
In your heart, you hold a light
That the dark fears to touch
And that snaggle toothed smile
That smile of yours, stops time

So break that shell, step out now
As life grabs you by the hand
And plummets you down
Brush it off, and face the climb
And in your stride, take it all
Just one step at a time

And in your palms, you will hold
Your dreams, that were too big
As you rise, and stumble and fall
And brush it off and start again

In silence
We sit on the rooftop
And in silence I wait
As you break down your walls

The night today, is beautiful as can be
Not a sound to be heard
Not a shadow to be seen

The Retreat

Once again
You retreat into
The walls you put up
To keep people out
Or is it to keep
Yourself in?

Once again
I see the light
Dwindle in your eyes
As your face
Turns to stone

The more I try
To break your walls
The more
You push me away

So I retreat
Away from your walls
Waiting, hopeful
That once again
The light will return
That this won’t be the time
You lock yourself up

Brown Beauty

We make up a nation of people obsessed with fairness. In 2012, reportedly 233 tonnes of skin-lightening products were bought in India. And the number seems to be on the rise. Being fair is equated to being beautiful. We all do it, even if we do it unknowingly.
We do it as parents, when we comment on how dark someone is in front of our kids. We do it when we tell little kids they’re becoming darker, and laugh at the horrified face they make. They learn from us. We do it as friends when we tell each other how much we’ve tanned, and start spilling out a list of easy home remedies for skin-lightening. We do it when we compliment people on how fair they look. We do it when we make faces at dark skinned people wearing a shade that doesn’t complement their skin tone. We do it when we ask our sons to find a fair-skinned wife. We do it when we don’t shame advertisements that tell us we can only get a good job, or get married if we’re fair. We do it every day.

This is 2015. We have made progress in a lot of fields, this not being one of them. Not long ago, only girls used to bear the brunt of this uncanny obsession. But now, we have gender equality at its best, with the earlier ‘tall dark and handsome’ image being overshadowed by lightening creams for men. And we have ‘progressed’ towards a time when being called dusky, is seen as an insult.


I’m going to modify one of my favorite quotes by J.K. Rowling, because it is just as apt here.

“Is ‘dark’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘dark’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

If you’re reading this post, stop telling your kids how fair someone is. Stop putting up matrimonial advertisements looking for a ‘fair’ bride. Stop responding to such advertisements.

If you’re reading this post, stop discussing how dark-skinned someone is. Stop saying how you dream of getting married to a ‘fair, good-looking guy’. Stop telling your friends what they can use to get a fairer skin. Tell them they don’t need to.

If you’re out there, reading this post, just know that you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, brown, black, or even blue (how can I leave out Smurfette?); You are PERFECT, and never let anyone tell you otherwise. Your skin color is not indicative of how smart, kind, generous and pretty you are. Don’t be blinded by silly advertisements. Don’t ever feel you’re not beautiful enough, because you are. You are more than enough. You don’t need a product to look pretty. Wear your confidence. Wear a smile. Be comfortable in your own skin.