I was brought up in a remote village of Bengal. My life was almost ruined just because my complexion. Everybody found entertainment in bullying me. My private tutor wrote ‘Kalindi’ as my name over my books and made my school life hell. All my classmate also started to call me ‘Kalindi’, ‘Kali’, ’Jay Ma kali boarding’; and my original name got replaced by these racist nick name. I was all alone in my childhood; no one played with me. My parents never protested against these psychological tortures, they thought that I deserve it. I don’t know what my fault is if my skin colour is not fair! Relatives and guests who came to our house sometimes commented that if only I had a fair complexion, I would have been a good looking girl.

One of my neighbours said to my mother, ‘You are so lucky that no one notices your daughter because of her complexion, but I have to smear black ash to prevent her from getting kidnapped.’ Some of my relatives also became anxious about amount of dowry they will have to give to my in-laws in future. They said to my parents that they should save a big amount for my groom; otherwise no one will marry me. My husband, however, never took anything from my parents. After my wedding I got to know that I was selected because no one agreed to marry my husband as he was working in a private firm in Gujarat; which is far away from Bengal. My grandmother-in-law told my husband, ‘Accept this girl; her parents agreed to give away their daughter because she is black.’

Red is my favourite colour, Black too; but I never got a dress of either colour. All my dresses are either white or light blue colour. Once my paternal aunt gave me a red frock and everyone start teasing me until I broke down.

When I was expecting my first child, I used to pray to god everyday for a fair skinned child. An erudite mother like me should not think like this but my mind was scared that  if my child born with black complexion he/she will also have to go through things that I faced.

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