We like to believe that one should have the freedom to be comfortable in one’s own skin.
In an ideal world – colour, faith, creed, genitalia would be irrelevant.
However, the world is anything but ideal.
This begs the question – How do we do it in such a whitewashed world?
The team of The Indian Artist decided to string together a couple of real narratives and experiences in a minimalistic form, to expose how #UNfair and insidious, discrimination, on the basis of the colour of the skin, is.
Here are some excerpts:
Back in 2004, I was backstage with the makeup man and his assistant.
He looked at me, and turned towards the lady who had just painted my lips : “Or mukhe arektu foundation lagiye tarpor makeup koro. Ondhokar toh dekhai jachhena.” (Apply more foundation on her face before putting makeup. You can’t even see her in the dark.)
That was the last time I stayed backstage for makeup.
“Do you have gold jewellery?”
“What about this?”
She thought the silver looked like poison against her tanned skin.
My mother instructed me to avoid clothes which didn’t complement and compliment by dusky complexion.
I gritted my teeth.
I brought a bright yellow kurta, the next morning.
The film emulsions stocks were primitive.
Her brown face looked strange on print. She was replaced with a more suitable model.
The stocks were changed when a furniture company complained.
Apparently, they couldn’t advertise their brown sofas on print.
“…Specify the age and height, educational and work requirements too. He shouldn’t be a divorcee. Tall, fair groom needed.”
Curled brown fingers put the receiver down.