She watched the television set as if her life depended on it—unblinking, hypnotised with the digital image and its myriad colours. It was the Miss Universe Contest 2019. There were so many contestants out there, from different parts of the world who had a darker skin tone than hers, but they looked so confident in their skin (quite literally). And there she was, being bullied every day by her college friends just because she was a brown girl in a brown country (for God’s sake!) She’d like to believe it was the post colonial hangover but 71 years was a good amount of time to get over this fascination with the white skin. She was watching the world taking on racial discrimination and busting it by hosting such platforms, just when it was interjected by an Indian advert. The irony was that the product on display was a fair and lovely cream.
Great! This was just what she wanted to see when she had all of these thoughts scrambling through her mind. She switched off the TV and decided, she had to get over this herself. And who wanted to think about depressing shit like this anyway. So she got out of bed as she stepped out for dinner with her friends. They decided to go the new Asian place down the road. And so she did. A dab of a matte lipstick and some gorgeous earrings to go with her little black dress. As she walked through the mall and into the restaurant, a few heads turned. Was she missing something?—she thought, wondering if her dress was ok or if she was looking funny. She generally never got this kind of attention. Just then, she felt like someone was watching her. Slightly nervous, she turned around to find a man with a camera following her. “What is happening? What do you want?” The man smiled jovially and said, “About time you noticed. We are looking for the Bombay Times Fresh Face of the Year. And you seem like the right candidate. Would you like to participate? The winner gets a chance to enter Miss India 2019.”
Her jaw dropped. But her heart exploded with a happiness she had never felt before. After some amount of formalities, she made her way to dinner, where her friends were still waiting for her. But there was something she noticed. Almost every table in the restaurant had a plate of the blue rice sushi. So she decided to call for the same. Sharpening her chopsticks skills, she bit into one of sushi rolls, with the softness of the roll, the rush of flavour with the ginger and the toasted sesame seeds and caviar topping it all. She wasn’t feeling the blues anymore, she was tasting them. And for the first time, they tasted so darn good.