|Happy Lohri people. This is what I wore for Lohri this year. Lohri is predominantly a Punjabi festival that celebrates Winter solstice.
Credits: Roopsa 😛
I am tired. I am exhausted. Dressed in a maroon Kurta and Alibaba pants I enter my uncle’s place after a grueling train ride from Goa to Bhubaneswar. I give my aunts a hug and the first thing they say to me, “Look how dark you’ve become Anu!” Okay now this isn’t just repetitive but more importantly irritating. Everybody at my uncle’s place is just obsessed with a perfect white skin tone and for the past few years every time I enter the house, I’ve been listening to the same shit time and again. I really don’t like it. As far as I remember I’ve been brown all my life, and I do agree that I’ve gotten a lot more tanned in the last few years after I moved to Delhi, but it doesn’t bother me and I hate the fact that it unknowingly bothers me every time I listen to the same critique time and again. And then someone said to me, “You’re wearing a salwar? Girls wear salwar, not men!”. “Oh no! That’s a lungi“, said my maternal grandma. Anyways I like my skin color and I love my ‘Alibabas’. And that is all that matters. 😛
“Black must never be worn at weddings”, said my mother to me once. From “We’re not buying black furniture or a black car,” to “India being the fourth largest exporter of black money”, we’ve certainly come a long way right? Is black the new white?
My love for the color pink is unconditional. But till 2012 I had been super-scared accepting that. I remember telling all my friends how much I hated the color, and to a lot extent had made myself believe that. Now when I think of it, it’s sorta funny. It’s just a color! Why would I be scared of my love for a color? Maybe because when I took a pink pencil case to my boards, everybody went, “Like seriously! Was that the only color you got? Be a man.” Based on trust-worthy resources that include only my confused mind, it can be concluded that this collective prejudice and dislike for the color pink among boys is instilled from a very young age. Boys like blue, girls like pink. Men must never sit with their legs crossed. Men don’t dance. They don’t cry. Have you ever seen a mum buy pink Barbies for her son? It’ll happen someday though. Or maybe it has already happened somewhere in some part of the world. Well it happened with Jazz. Jazz is a transgender teen with the most amazing set of parents who allowed her to choose her gender rather than imposing one. Such parents, much respect!
I’ve finally entered the fourth semester of engineering. And sitting through one of the lectures that I hardly listen to, I was reminded of the Java refresher module that we had to do as a compulsory course last semester. I didn’t even have the setup installed. Our professor came to me and asked me what I knew of the previous programming languages I had done. I knew shit. So I said shit and he got upset. He was pretty patient I must say. “You really don’t know much about computer science, do you? You need to work this out for your better”, and he moved on to the next student in doubt. I did have the most difficult time going for my JEE coaching classes back in 2011. I felt sad, discouraged, hopeless, hapless and every adjective one could come across to describe everything sad. It was bad. Sitting through four hours of nothingness trapped in a dingy cell full of aspiring engineers and bright minds, cursing myself for not being half as intelligent as they were. Sometimes, well I guess more often than not, I didn’t even know what to ask. Currently I don’t know what is it that I should be asking as a doubt. Like you need to know something to ask something worth asking! That was when I had done only an year of engineering. Two and a half years to go now. How on earth am I supposed to do this? We’ll see. At least this isn’t as bad as those saddening gray walls of my coaching center. That’s how I keep myself going.