Wanted fair brides
For Indian sons.

Matrimonial ads aplenty
In the English media
Underlying an
Identical search for
Porcelain-faced brides
Across the developing nation

Or, near white
Valorized by a brown culture.

We are worshippers of only one colour
One race---the white.

Dark is forbidden
It is not a pigment
For the nation
But a mindset deeply entrenched
In old ideologies of race and hegemony.
Are not our gods depicted as the dark-coloured?
Is not dusk beautiful?
Is not dusky woman, a beauty?
Time we changed our paradigms
Our narratives
Perceptions about skin.

They are all Madrasis!
In the north of India
Everyone from the South
Is that strange creature!

All tonal varieties
Regional variations
Subsumed under this category.
What a shame!
India and her diversity
All defined by one catch-all term only.
A caricature doing no justice.

The colonial masters called us the Coolies
We are no better.
We call our brothers and sisters by such names/terms
And ridicule them
Claiming our superiority
Colour defines us---so do our looks.
Is not an enchanting rainbow made of varied colours?

The Chinks.
The Northeast.
Everyone from that distant part is a Chinaman for us.
A foreigner
Anybody not like us
Of dusky/yellow colour
Is always a suspect
Like the Africans in Delhi neighbourhoods

Except the white man
Whom we worship like a minor deity.

Should not we resist?
This kind of racism?
Sometimes subtle, sometimes open.
Beneath the skin, is it not the same blood coursing through
A Shylock or Merchant of Venice?
Human origins traced back to an African Eve.
What an irony!
What a contradiction!
Beneath the different tonal patterns
Same heart beats.
We are all one family---
The earth Family.
Permission: I hereby give the site editors to publish my three poems for their upcoming anthology on racism.
Country: India
Place: Mumbai
June 9, 2016

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