Bhai wo red wali achchi hai.
oye! teri bhabhi hai.
Tu rakh le, mujhe to lal wali hi chahiye
They held each other’s hand tightly and started walking fast. The fear accelerated the speed of their breath and feet. In no time they were knocking the gate of their abode. Even after reaching home they could not get hold of their breath, they were so scared. They looked at each other, saw the bitter truth of life in each other’s eyes and decided to keep mum else they would be sentenced to prison, they would not be allowed to study further. Such is the irony of being a woman. They realized that being a girl is a taboo and dictionary is also biased when it comes to gender. Freedom is one word which is not in dictionary of the weaker section. The identity of being a woman is she is devoid of freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of roaming around, freedom of everything.
In the night, behind the closed doors, raised curtains the two were alone in their own room but with somebody.
>>>>> Palak’s Room
The look-alike image of Palak(the girl in red) smiling, remembering the morning incident. This mirror image was completely different from the Palak whom we met in morning. She was scared, nervous but this Palak is Narcissist. She loves being chased, she loves being teased for her beauty. She loves her skin, the bare skin. Such incidents use to give boost to her vanity. She was all smiles away from the fear.
But in the same room there was another image of Palak who was sitting and brooding over the fact that she is beautiful. All such incidents have questioned her existence, her inner self. She has always been treated like an object, a beautiful toy. When she was a child everybody use to caress her for she was beautiful but in between there were few touch which were unbearable, painful but nobody was able to see the pain of being beautiful and fair.
>>>>> Abhilasha’s Room
In the adjacent room, Abhilasha applied cream on her face and covered the mirror by the kroshiya cover she has woven. She looked at the dark skin of her hands.By these hands only, she had woven so many beautiful dresses, covers of kroshiya ,all the suits and saris in which Palak bagged admiration were stitched and embroided by her. She worked for hours in kitchen to cook some of the best delicacies relished by the family so much. On any occasion she was appointed as in charge of the kitchen. All that she did that was to cover up for the color of the skin. But she never found that love and admiration for herself that was there for Palak. When she was a child nobody loved her but her mother. She always wished for that kind of ….. But today she felt so insulted even those stupid jhuggi wala’s also rejected her. She wanted to break the mirror. She wanted to ask what is her fault if her color is not fair. She wanted to ask is skin color most important thing in the world. Oh! The agony of being rejected. She ached for such acceptance; she wished for such teasing, she wished for a beautiful face.
One part of Abhilasha was unquenchable. She desired for the praise, for something that could satisfy her …. Of being a woman.But there was another part of Abhilasha who was thanking God for making her dark skinned. Her ugly face has saved her from being teased by those jhuggi wala gunda’s. She does not have to go through such humiliations.
**********************************************Few Years later ***********
She was sitting in a bright sari, with lots of makeup.. The weight of makeup has pressed her identity. A couple of set of eyes were staring at her. Adjacent to her was sitting a man who was the hero of that gathering. She looked at him from the side and felt some itching in her eyes as her dream of a prince charming just shattered. But she still thanked God for he said yes coz in the past few years rejections has piled up so much that even her mother started hating her .She was so afraid and scared and was ready to marry anybody who would say yes. She was accepted this time but was wondering why he said yes. She looked at him properly while exchanging rings and then knew the reason…..
He also knew the agony of being rejected,
coz he was bald headed,
He too wished for a beautiful bride,
But he just said yes and sighed.
They got married and love existed between them which was called “Marital Love”. They were bound to be together because of this type of Love. They both were supposed to be in love, ignoring the truth, the reason of their acceptance. They were supposed to take care of each other. Gradually the no option thing converted into attachment. But a glitch was always there, like “aankhon mein kirkiri”.
Palak and Abhilasha met at a family function and both were accompanied by their mirror images. Abhilasha’s look-alike liked Palak’s husband very much. His eyes were so mesmerizing and chanting. She had always dreamt of a husband like him. In fact he was contacted first through a matrimony site for Abhilasha only, but the beauty of Palak, hid all her talents. While one image of Abhilasha yearned for husband like Palak’s, the other side filled her with guilt, how could she even think like that,Palak is her sister and she should not think like this for her sister’s husband.
While Palak was sitting in a corner adorned with heavy jewellery which has taken from her her freedom. Coz she was beautiful, she wasn’t allowed to talk to anybody. Her husband always doubted her character whenever she talked with somebody. She was just fed up of being beautiful. She wished to be ugly so that she can freely roam all around without any fear.
Abhilasha looked for posters of children to be pasted on wall. Somebody told her, just look at beautiful pictures of children and you will give birth to a beautiful child. Every morning religiously throughout the day, she stared at the posters and wished for her child to be beautiful. She had lots of Nariyal during the pregnancy days so that her child may have a white color. She wanted big eyes, small tiny little nose followed by pink colored lips. She often recited poem to the little girl residing in her womb, Curly hair, very fair, lovely lips, and teeth within.
Abhilasha loves her 7 year daughter. She is not AT ALL beautiful, but her life. Her innocent love for Abhilasha has made her forget all her miseries, pain of her shattered dreams. Palak and Abhilasha were sitting together and watching their daughters playing together like they used to.
Their daughters were playing with Barbie. Then suddenly they both came running towards them and Abhilasha’s daughter asked her,
Mamma, Can you buy me a red dress like this, will it look good on me, coz my color is not fair. Mamma Barbie is so beautiful; I wish I could be…
Abhilasha could not breathe for a second. All the images of past just ran like a movie in front of her eyes. Palak and Abhilasha both looked at each other and understood the pain of each other and this time they decided otherwise and not to keep mum today.
They hugged their daughter’s tightly, planted a kiss on forehead and told them…………
Give importance to the inner beauty,
Just held your head high,
With all your heart, just do your duty.
Coz that will give you wings to fly,