Black and White

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It’s usually in sixth grade that our English and History books start mentioning the word ‘nigger’. I admit, before I knew what it meant, and that it was another stupid scheme the world once followed, I had wanted to name my dog that. Too bad that word was horribly inappropriate for a golden Labrador in the twenty-first century.

Anyway, slowly I understood how it was just another round of craziness, and the fact that there were so many movements and they seemed so complete, that felt better. Good that the worst was over by the time I could read about it. I still see the dying aftereffects, but as I said, dying.

I have been reading literature and case studies since, of related crimes, related events, and specially those incidents of discrimination that dotted religion. Religion I find, seeps into every single insane issue, though I don’t say religion itself is insane.

Today, I am posting a poem I found some time back, and how it makes one laugh on no laughing matter. A thing as simple as this, as ironical even, and yet so vulgar.

Dear white fella

When I born, I black

When I grow up, I black

When I go in sun, I black

When I cold, I black

When scared, I black

When I sick, I black

And when I die, I still black

You white fella

When you born, you pink

When you grow up, you white

When you go in sun, you red

When you cold, you blue

When you scared, you yellow

When you sick, you green

And when you die, you grey

    And you have the cheek to call ME coloured???

 

So… we have all gone totally mushy on the new born baby, with our shoo shweeettts and baby-voices. We love their scent, their pink-ness. But the man’s got a point. The black kids don’t act like rainbows! Why the hell are they coloured? And I won’t even begin with what that implies to the white race- are they transparent or something that they make coloured seem like shame? I wonder what racists will have to say about me then. I was born white, turned red the next day and since then, have been nothing short of wheatish. And now, as in today, I can show you three different skin shades on my arm. I can really drive racists crazy! They’ll have to make a whole new class for me!

Just what do they find so appealing in that tone of colour? If I was retaliating, I would have called it pale. Where’s the pride? But what I don’t get is how one skin colour can say they’re the ‘normal’ ones and that darker shades are defiled? I don’t know… I would prefer the darker ones… Don’t have to mess with sunscreens.

Exactly my point. You got to take care of sunburns, of rashes, of all sorts of pigment problems showing on your skin! In one picture you’re tanned, in one you’re Snow White. Where’s the normal-ness in that?

I particularly love this part. So, when people are cold, they often go pale, and the skin gets pulled taut. So with black people, it would look like a heroic face… see, dark skin in the middle of white expanses will only glow, certainly much better than white faces that look like they came right out of icebergs. I don’t have anything against black or white people. It’s just that the white, I realised, must look so different so often!

Now how do you describe that? 🙂 Even at my skin colour, being ill is a pain. The nose goes red and the rest of me is yellow! Perfect time to imagine alien deformations! I only wonder what happens to everyone else in times of severe ailments, the ones that drain the blood from the face.

I love that picture. I also love the fact that that’s not really the truth because I could never sympathise with ill people then! How could you stop laughing? That’s like Martians crossed with ugly weeds!

At the time of death, I know no one cares about skin tone. Yet I have heard of those places where they ready the body and I suspect they do powder the person. For me, when the casket (is that what’s it called?) is brought before the burial ceremony, the person, in his suit and polished face, looks more living than ever. I must be setting off more people by the minute. I have seen the smartest of people believe in this racial set up like it’s a gospel truth, and have stained many relationships by showing them I don’t agree. But when I see a dead body in a casket, I actually don’t see black or white (or grey according to the poem), I see calm and readiness. I don’t know yet for what, but it’s like the peace before the ultimate event. I guess they do call passing out from this world the ultimate passing. I wonder if there are colour-coded channels for that.

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13 thoughts on “Black and White

    Starstone said:
    October 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Oh well, speaking as a white person, I can honestly say, I’m always pale… I don’t tan, and I don’t burn in the sun, I always look transparant and completly able to blend in with the white walls around me…. 😛
    As for the whole normal thing, I guess its mostly a matter of where you come from… simply because in contries where the sun hardly ever shines, people grow pale… so in Denmark where I come from, it is normal to be white, and pale and crawl out from under the rock where we hide most of the days, when the sun peaks out once in a while, only to get burned…
    I don’t know if that was how the human race was intended 😉
    anyway, I always found it annoying when people started the whole rasist discution, because Denmark is a very rasist land, sadly, and I always feel rather dirty on behalf of my skin and my country… I am not proud to be white, it just so happened that i was born that way…

      Ruchika responded:
      October 11, 2012 at 5:41 AM

      First of all, the length of that cmnt is so heartwarming!!! 😀 So I understand what u had to say abt ur skin… and the situation in Denmark. During arranged marriages around me, the skin colour of the groom and sply the bride. i think all of us deal with this, at our own levels. i get a frown everyDAY, from my mom, not because im not exceptionally fair, but bcoz i am HORRIBLY uneven toned. And u know what, laughing matter, combine that with all the things i say agaisnt racism, and my frends call me ambassador of the skin tones. Like, what does that mean? 🙂

        Starstone said:
        October 11, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        hehe I think it would be kind of cool to be unevenly toned, not just able to hide against a white wall 😉
        I got to ask, arranged marriages? is that custom in India? At the risk of sounding ignorant… 😉

          Ruchika responded:
          October 12, 2012 at 4:39 AM

          Ignorant? You? Pah! yeah, they used to be very normal but thankfully all that started changing yrs ago… still living in the aftereffects though.

            Starstone said:
            October 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

            oh I couldn’t imagine that…. having to marry someone I couldn’t choose myself….

              Ruchika responded:
              October 13, 2012 at 6:44 AM

              That’s why we are changing Veronica. 😀

                Starstone said:
                October 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

                well, I don’t know what to say, other than good luck with it 🙂

    thirdoracle said:
    October 11, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    A work of art. You’re a flipping genius… Michael Angelo with a pen…or rather with a qwertic (if that’s what they’re called) keyboard

      Ruchika responded:
      October 11, 2012 at 5:41 AM

      😀 Thankee! Coming from YOU, gasp!

    Zakk Sangkima said:
    October 11, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    lol thanks for making me laugh yet again Ruchika.

      Ruchika responded:
      October 11, 2012 at 5:42 AM

      My pleasure Zakk, totally. I liek that I could laugh and make others laugh on such a big issue. 🙂

    bhavika said:
    October 11, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    really nice !

      Ruchika responded:
      October 12, 2012 at 4:38 AM

      🙂 thank you

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