I opened the door, and Ma entered the house in a furious mood. She sat on the sofa and started saying “How can she?”, “How can she say that about my daughter?” Is she blind? I had no clue of what had happened and looking at her mood, I didn’t even dare to ask.
I took my sister around the corner, who happened to be the live witness of the incident and asked her about what happened that evening? And here is the narration:
Mom went to meet her friend (It was one of those days when I was done with the final papers of my graduation and expecting results). So, my mom’s friend asked, “when is she planning to get me married?”
[This is a classic question especially in a small town. If you have completed your higher education, then your ultimate goal in life should be to “Get Married”. And trust me, more than your family it’s the neighborhood who will be more worried about this, as if they are the ones who are going to sponsor your wedding or it’s them who is providing you food and shelter. Also, they will be having this very wrong notion that now the girl will start eyeing the guys in the vicinity (trust me, they won’t even qualify to be a driver to someone). Anyways, they will all take it upon themselves and start recommending a probable match for you. This is all cover-up. The real story is that they are interested in knowing if you are having an affair or are planning to elope with someone so that they can cook it like a snack and serve with their evening tea in their respective houses.]
Back to my mom’s discussion, she replied that my daughter wants to pursue her MBA and we are supporting her decision. Her friend replied, “But, your daughter is not fair and hence, you should start looking for a prospective groom so that by the time she completes her education, she will be having someone to get married to. According to my mom’s friend, it would take me about 2 years to find the right match (where she also included the multiple rejections on behalf of my skin color, so thoughtful). This is what made my mother furious, according to whom, I was fair and extremely beautiful (Trust me, you are the most beautiful only in your mother’s eyes. Every mother thinks so, can’t help it!)
Years passed and I am happily married, without a single rejection in my life. Few years back, I went to visit my parents and bumped into my mom’s friend while shopping. I was surprised to see her. She suffered from Leukoderma and had turned white. She was trying to hide behind her husband. My father pulled her and introduced her to my husband saying that “Meet my beautiful sister-in-law”. She responded back in a very sad tone. “I am beautiful no more”. And then my father said, “Look through my eyes, you are as beautiful as ever (and I am so glad that my father said that)”. Such is the irony of life, today she was the fairest of all and she didn’t like it.
l guess both of us learnt something that day 1. Color of the skin doesn’t matter, what matters is your behavior and 2. Sometimes, you say things which are influenced and not truly intended.
My father always admired her for the support and kindness she extended to our family in the later years and thought she is not around, my parents still remember her fondly. The way we treat our near and dear ones during tough times, is what makes the relationships strong. There should always be a place for forgiveness and gratitude in everyone’s life!
P.S: Please note that this post is not influenced by any current events playing in media.