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Sun, phirang, tan

Oh lord, I don’t despise the sun but it has been getting so hot these past few days that I feel my brain is somewhere and my body elsewhere. The Australian sun really burns the skin and at times like these I wish I had a carton of Fair & Lovely. Some people are literally comfortable in their skin but I am an Indian at heart when it comes to colour. I love white. But that of course does not really justify or fully explain why I married a phirang.

Two years ago, when we were in Bali on a yoga retreat, I was part of an all-white group of 16 yogis for whom the sun and tan were part of the lovely experience. I loved the retreat and the yogis, we formed a bond but every time we went for outdoor activities I chose to be a bit different from the rest covering myself with a sarong head to toe. When they asked me why I did that, I replied, “I don’t want to go browner”.  I would get compliments such as, “Oh you have such a lovely skin,” something I get quite often from the man but shameful as it sounds, I am still trying to acknowledge the colour of my skin. Because red nail polishes don’t look good on them, because yellow colour makes me look hideous and it is all beauty related, as you can see. Self-obsession? Possibly.

Growing up in India and spending time with all my relatives in the village during holidays I would often get a “oh she is dark but she is cute,” a compliment in consolation! The concept of beauty in my community is fair skin and long hair. Any girl who has both is an ultimate marvel even if her brains are dead. But of course I would be exaggerating if I were to say I think a lot about the colour of my skin. In fact, it is coming to Australia that has sort of made me appreciate the colour of my skin because everyone seems to love brown and I am not so common (wink, wink). And they say Australians are racists!!

Well, I am in a way happy that we are enjoying the last days of the sun as autumn comes calling and winter will soon be here! YAY! Has anyone ever rejoiced at the sound of winter? I do, I love the snug of winter while some of my friends will miss skinny dipping! 

Somebody glancing over my laptop just remarked: "Hmm did you marry a phirang? Is that who I am?" Yes, my best phirang.


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