On Being Brown and Other Reflections | Shruti Saxena

I was never ‘brown’ until I left my country. I was always wheatish, possibly right from the moment I showed signs of not having inherited my mother’s complexion. I have rarely heard the word ‘brown’ used in India, ‘wheatish’ is our choice. Go and read the advertisements in the matrimonial section of any major newspaper if you don’t believe me. You see, ‘wheatish’ can be cured with a combination of store-bought bleach and sunscreen, a homemade cocktail of lemon and cucumber juice and myriad other concoctions whose main ingredient is hope and a longing for fair skin. The kind that dazzles and allows you to see veins, blood, bones. It is this very longing that led me to use the famous Fair and Lovely skin cream on my scarred knees in school. The faces of women on television transformed from the darkest color on the shade card to the lightest one, so why shouldn’t my knees? For them, changing their face was life-transforming; for me it would have been my knees. Continue reading “On Being Brown and Other Reflections | Shruti Saxena”