31.5.11

Hello Beautiful

The stretch marks on my belly are erase-proof, my sagging breasts defy any attempts at upliftment and the daily-emerging wrinkles on my face make me really, really consider botox. I don’t believe I just mentioned “sagging” and “my breasts” in the same sentence. But you see, that’s what has happened. I am mother to an 11-month-old baby girl and since having my daughter, my whole concept of ‘beautiful’ has done a volte-face. It’s not about me anymore, not about what I consider beautiful. What then will I teach her about beauty?

Rekha in and as Umrao Jaan
Beauty is fair skin?

My earliest awareness of ‘beautiful’ was that I wasn’t it. I was six-years-old, maybe younger, and I still remember the incident clearly. It was summer school holidays and we were at my grandmother’s. Bollywood actress Rekha was everybody’s favourite then; her movie Umrao Jaan, the talk of town. My aunties decided to play dress-up or rather decided to make my cousin sister and me play dress up. Their decision was unanimous: Since I was darker, I’d play the male while my cousin who was fairer – and prettier – would play Umrao Jaan. Quite ironic since the same Rekha – being toasted as the epitome of Indian beauty – had earlier been rejected by the Hindi film industry for her ‘dark’ skin.


Rang ta koto kalo” (Her complexion is so dark) is something I’ve been told all my life. As I grew older, the list of Why She Is Not Beautiful included being short (I am five feet), generous puppy fat (which hasn’t been shed and since I’m older, is it now bitch-fat?) and lustrous pelt. Sorry, did I say pelt? I meant body hair and really bushy eyebrows. It covered my arms and legs. The hair that is, not the eyebrows.


And then there was my mother. She was (and remains) one of the most beautiful women I’ve known. She was everything I was not. She was taller, had maintained her figure despite two caesarians and she was very, very fair skinned. Like all little girls, I adored my mother (still do). I wanted to be like her – and despite the many tubes of Fair & Lovely – was constantly reminded I didn’t match up. “Maa-er kichchu paaye ni” was another common refrain. It’s Bengali for “Hasn’t got anything of her mother’s”.


It didn’t help matters that I was very non-girly. Not quite a tom-boy but very nearly there. I was precocious, talked a lot (a LOT) and had a very loud laugh. I used to copy my father; I’ve always loved his laugh. But a loud laugh in a girl was not considered feminine, not beautiful. “Don’t laugh like a rickshaw-wallah” was often the admonishment. Of course I failed miserably.


The teen years were worse. My father was in the army and we changed cities every two/three years. My teen years – from 12-17 years – were spent in the Lands of the Fair. We lived in Delhi, Kalimpong and Amritsar respectively, where despite the many cultural differences between the three cities, fair skin was considered premium in all.


It was also the age when most girls start acting grown up, you know, getting their eyebrows done, trying a different hair-style, deciding on the clothes they like to wear. My parents were protective, Papa more so than Mamma. Now that I am a mother, I totally empathise with why my parents didn’t want their little girl to be sexualized too early. In other words, why their little girl remained with un-waxed limbs, bushy eyebrows and a hairy upper lip till she was 17. It was very good strategy for maintaining little girl-ness but very bad for a teenage girl’s self-esteem in terms of the beauty index.


Beauty is brazen?


Much as I was aware that I wasn’t beautiful in the way the world (India) saw it, I did not lack in confidence. In fact I took it to other extremes. I did well at school, did better at extra-curricular activities – from dancing, debating to declamations – and was often made the class monitor, became the school Head Girl in grade 10 and the Prefect for Discipline in grade 11 (ha, ha). I wasn’t beautiful and you might not want to flirt with me but boy, you didn’t mess with me either.


The schoolgirl bossiness was replaced by sarcasm in (young) adult years. I was abrasive, aggressive, a go-getter and I behaved as if I didn’t give a damn about who/what was beautiful. In fact I actively fought against the prescribed definitions. I didn’t wear make-up, didn’t wear any jewellery (except ear rings) and refused to wear anything remotely frock-y (read girly). I had learned that the only way to stop people from noticing I was not beautiful was to make them notice something else. Like wearing only torn jeans and knotted shirts for two years. Taking up smoking. Getting a tattoo. Riding a motorcycle. Becoming irreverent towards everyone and everything. Rebelling, revelling.


It worked for a while, the war against beautiful. I was a journalist by then and caustic writing – perhaps sometimes good writing – got me jobs in quite a few places. I was being noticed, beautiful or not. The pen was mightier than the make-up brush.


There was the down side. The outer confidence was a façade for massive self-consciousness. I was still dark, short and plump. I had big breasts but then everyone knew that boys look at breasts without looking at the person. “My face is above my neck” was one of my favourite catch-phrases in my 20s. I loved my breasts for the feminity they finally accorded me; I hated them for creating more self-doubt: Only boob, no beauty?


I fell for the wrong men because somewhere I was grateful for any attention, anyone’s attention. I hardly made friends because I was too busy proving a point: There’s more to me than the breasts, or the beauty, or whatever you think I don’t have. I was at constant war with everything.


Beauty is banal


Till one day I was exactly how I’d visualized myself at 13.

Chitrangada Singh
Other than special appearances at Bollywood awards functions, Rekha had been forgotten. Instead a bevy of new beauties were being toasted to. The Indian concept of beautiful was undergoing a seismic shift – or so the magazines insisted – and dark/dusky was suddenly the it thing. Bollywood apparently was reflecting what was happening in society. The latest it girls? The sultry Chitrangada Singh, the hot Malaika Arora, the sumptuous Nandita Das, the lissome Bipasha Basu and the delectable (and talented) Konkona Sen Sharma. All of them dark complexioned. Rang ta koto kalo.


I weighed barely 37 kilos. I discovered my cheekbones, my waist, a nearly-flat stomach. And a whole lot of male attention. I was still not beautiful but I was considered really good looking. It came at a very dear price.


I had looked for love in the wrong place, again. There was mental and emotional abuse. I was constantly compared to the man’s former girlfriend, who was – you guessed it – fair-skinned and beautiful. Even the man’s mother told me, “Oh he loved X because she was beautiful you know”. I was told I wasn’t feminine enough. I believed it. I was told my loud laugh with the wink made me look “like a pirate” and that “I looked ugly”. I stopped laughing. And then I was physically abused. It didn’t look beautiful.


My heart was broken, my spirit shattered. It didn’t matter that I looked good. I didn’t give a damn. I lost any hope of being in love, of having anyone love me. Not the body, not the breasts, not the writing, not the face, me.


Beauty is...


I would perhaps have been lost forever… but for that someone who found me. He said he found me very beautiful, I rolled my eyes at him. He persisted. He said he wanted to love me, I tried pushing him away. He persisted. He said he wanted to be with me for who I was, I nearly died laughing. He persisted. Thank god for persistent men. I came away with him to Melbourne, Australia and now have a baby with him, my beautiful little girl.


She is considered dark by Australian standards but she is very fair by Indian ones. The nurse who records her growth has declared she will be “taller than her mother”. She is adored by all four of her grandparents. Her father lives and breathes for her. Strangers in the supermarket say she has “the most beautiful smile” and her Nanna insists she has “stunning good looks.” Even my mother is certain her skin is “softer than yours ever was”. One of my friends, a Kiwi with a similar-aged daughter says, “She’s so prutty”. In short, my daughter, even as a baby, is everything I never was.


What then will I teach her about beauty?


Is it in the skin colour? Is it about how tall you are? Or how fat? Or talented? Is it defined by what magazines sell you? Or what television tells you? Does it depend on who loves you or how many? Is it your actions? How many friends you have? How many Facebook likes or Twitter followers?


Very honestly – and even though this might be anti-climatic – I don’t know the exact definition I will give her. However, I am very sure of what I will not tell her. I will never compare her to another. Never tell her she needs to lose/gain weight or be someone she’s not. She can laugh as loudly as she wants to. I will never ask her to behave in a certain manner or wear her hair in a certain way. Or, hang on… Having said that last bit, she cannot colour her hair purple or wear mascara till she’s at least 20.



PS: Oh well. This post is an entry for an Indian blogging contest – the Yahoo Dove Real Beauty Contest – hosted by blogging platform Indiblogger. For practical tips on beauty, you might want to visit this page hosted by Yahoo: Real Beauty . And if at all you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you wouldn’t mind voting for me at this link.

81 comments:

siggysparkle said...

Love it. I often wonder the same things because by any definition I have never been considered 'beautiful' and even now that pushed-down inferiority complex still manages to relentlessly rise its head.

I want a daughter to be everything I'm not but I struggle to think how I could ever tell her to do that when I'm not even sure of who I am and what beauty means to me?

Will vote too :) and btw have started blogging again - new blog, new name - still sorta in transition but it'll do for now :)

http://siggysparkle.wordpress.com

Sree said...

do i have to sign up to vote? I 'liked' it there. Hope it counts.

:( now i feel stupid. here the story is bit different. Mama gets warning from the doctor that baby is in the bordeline of overweight at her age and then mama tells baby, you need to stop those cookies and get healthy.And baby tells mama, I'm beautiful just the way i am, you too!

JB said...

@ Sree: Yes, without signing the vote doesn't matter. :) And don't feel stupid, you are talking about M's weight for health-reasons. How about increasing play-time or increasing physical activity instead of decreasing food? and she's so young right now...puppy fat usually falls off. OR that's what they told me!!!

@ Siggy: Thanks for writing that. At times I think I am the only one who has doubts about looks because everyone else seems so comfortable in their skin. I saw the other blog, miss the music from the previous one though.

Raza said...

It'll sound rather bookish but it is apparent from your story also that
"Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder" and i think its makes a lot of sense!!

night into day said...

I loved the post...its the same situation here too.. so completely identify with stretch marks and still struggling to loose the extra kilos. But the end result is so worth it...MIa looks a superstar...love the one with her showing the finger...hehe..teach em young...

I want to vote but gota sign in???

JB said...

@ Raza: Irritating as it is, it's at times. Though I do feel sometimes beauty lies in the acceptance of the one beheld!

@ Night: Heh thanks, she is a superstar. And yes, unfortunately they make you sign in. Dont have to if its too much of a bother, I know you wanted to! ;)

siggysparkle said...

Do you?? I actually miss that too...I might bring it back but perhaps not on auto-play so that it doesn't embarrass everyone who turns up there!

It's hard to start up again...I feel like I have changed so much from the person I was before and now my 'voice' as such is....boring lol

annastales said...

i tried to vote but seems you have to sign-in.
anyway loved your post. it's amazing how some things matter so much more once you have a daughter. i find myself feeling so much more strongly on feminist issues because i don't want my daughter to ever feel she is inferior to anyone on this planet.

JB said...

@ Siggy: Boring?! Girl, hold on to that word till you have a baby, THEN you shall truly be it....like me. Sometimes I think I should get mega drunk just to see if any of the old/single days/rebelling days excitement comes back. But then ever since the baby, I just dont manage to get beyond a single glass of wine. And you call yourself boring. Hah.

JB said...

@ Anna's mom: Dont worry about the voting; it ends on Jun 5th and think I'm too late for that anyway. Thanks for trying though. :) Funny you should say that, I find myself reacting strongly to a whole lot of issues solely on the premise that I dont want Mia facing those. :P Here's to our daughters! YAY!

Ritu said...

Oh my god! I love your post, I love your attitude! This post is, in my opinion, real beauty

The Bride said...

Really liked your post so voted. I seem to have become a member of indiblogger just to vote for other people's posts.

I identify because my sister was darker-skinned and I was the "fair" one. People were always making mean comments comparing us. My sister and I are very protective of each other so I spent half a large part of my life trying to acquire a tan in solidarity. Finally, I realised that I don't like the sun much. But I am very senstive about the skin colour topic because of my sis. I have shocked the Chinese facial ladies here in Hong Kong by saying I don't want teh "whitening treatment". The look on their faces is priceless.

JB said...

@ Ritu: Why you are very kind! Thanks for reading and hope to see you around.

JB said...

@ Bride: LOL yeah I know that feeling. Funny you mentioned China, I had a similar experience when travelling through Vietnam in 2009. I ran out of moisturiser and no matter what store I tried -- chemist to a local beauty shop -- they insisted on ALWAYS giving me a whitening cream instead of a simple lotion that I wanted. It's an Asian thing I think the whole fair-is-beautiful.

Espèra said...

I relate to this post in so many ways that I don't really want to write about my personal insecurities on a public platform :P

So this is all I will say. And also, this comes as a surprise because I find you look rather gorgeous in your photographs (such as the blogger profile one).

JB said...

@ Espera: But that's the point na. You think I look it, I don't think so. And that picture is eons old, taken during the 37 kilo days. In fact it was taken by Partner, on our first ever holiday together. You see that grin in the picture? That's my first smiling picture after ages of not smiling. Also, I always angle my face so that the nose ring side shows in pics, I think my nose looks fat from the other side. ;)

JB said...

Oh hang on. I checked, it's the non-nose ring side in this pic. Must be because those days I had cheekbones, now I am back to having jelly.

Hemal Shah said...

Wow! an amazing reference to beauty. no one else could explain the pain than the one who went trough.

Beauty is not what looks, but one feels.. and am a believer of that though process...

SUB said...

loved this post...it is amazing...

JB said...

@ Hemal: Thanks, also for the review on indi.

@ Sub: Thanks.

indianhomemaker said...

Loved this post.

andy said...

Great post. Will make my daughter read it. Liked your comment about head being above the neck. Reminds me of what a lady colleague remarked ages back when we were discussing another lady colleague. As we grow older we realize that we love another person (friends, relatives, colleagues) for some indescribable quality or trait that exists in our minds or thier minds. External beauty can attract others to initiate contact but to sustain inner beauty is needed.

lifeunderthesky said...

A wonderful post!Three cheers to you:)

JB said...

@IndianHomemaker: Thankyou. I really liked your blog. You talk about things that make so much sense.

@ Andy: Thankyou, that's very sweet of you.

@Life under sky: Thanks, cheers to you too!

Deeps said...

One of the best posts I've read in a long while. Absolutely loved your take on beauty and felt a lump in my throat.

Wishing you all the best for the contest.

Jane Canaway said...

Ay, it's a mad, cruel world we live in. There is a lot to be said for not fitting the classic definition of 'beautiful' - like being taken seriously for your brain and not befriended purely for those intoxicated by looks alone - but sadly most women don't understand the benefits until a lot of the hurt is already done.
Thank the goddess for smart women like you, JB - you ARE beautiful, you WRITE beautifully and, if she is lucky, your daughter will be half the woman you are.

jane x

Sree said...

they have not approved me yet, to vote :/

Bikramjit said...

Hi someone left a link to you post on my blog and asked me to read ..

so came here.. lovely post .. all the best for the competition..

Beauty for me is in the eyes of the beholder ..
plus as long as One is happy does it matter who thinks what of them and how ..

Bikram's

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hello beautiful !

someone left me a link to your post .. and am glad he/she did !

You know what ... i always felt that i was so not good looking ... in school , guys flocked around my best friends .. i was way too tall .. taller than most guys in class and had far too sharp cheekbones and well, and being from a different state made sure my communication skills in the language of the state i grew up in were very bad ... you can imagine my self esteem in school ... strangely, this fostered my reading and painting skills (it seems!!) ... and college and subsequent work showed me that i was attractive to men .. but yes, like you said, it came with a price

soooooper blog !

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

hey ... how do i vote for u ? I am not on FB, and am not a member of indiblogger...

JB said...

@ Sree: Apparently the readers' choice is based on Facebook likes. So if you go on the site, you'd see an "f" next to the post...click on it! :) you are a sweety Sree

JB said...

@ Bikram: Hey thanks for reading. I've come to pretty much the same conclusion. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, particularly when you look in the mirror.

@ Deepa: Thankyouuuuu.;) Funny how the grass is always greener over the septic tank eh? You had cheekbones and height and didn't fit, I was the other case and from the responses here, in my inbox and on facebook, there are a whole lot of us non-beautifuls out there. Let's see it as non-conformists, what say? Thanks for reading.

JB said...

Dear Jane, thankyou for your words. Firstly, sorry about not being able to join you and E the other day. Cellphone died, was up on the farm and facebook refusing to load lead to all sorts of confusion; will definitely make it up. And SO want to see you soon. And perhaps being half of me will be good enough, especially if it might mean she'll have half my obstinacy and temper! :) Do let me know when it's good for you, perhaps we can have coffee somewhere and you can tell me about R's India trip?

JB said...

@ Deepa: Oh sorry, you've got to be on either. But if it's too much of a fuss, don't bother. :)

confusedyuppie said...

just loved this! i am on the other side, being extremely fair, but believe me we will always find someting to hate in ourselves. i was fat and shy and i envied girls like u in school-tomboyish and popular. and nw i know that even u had a tough time. im glad things worked out for us and i hope we can do the same for or daughters. btw, my daughter is everything im not- dark, strong and a tomboy! go figure!

Enchanta said...

I love what you write, especially the boldness and frankness!

You've earned yourself a follower!

Neeraj Kumar said...

as open as the word open itself and as lovely as the word lovely itself.

A beautiful attempt to define the essance of realy beauty.

Best of luck for the contest.

Espèra said...

"But that's the point na. You think I look it, I don't think so."

But don't you think that your opinion of yourself gets influenced by the opinions of other people? The way Partner can make you *feel* beautiful the way no one else can, because in his opinion you are beautiful.

JB said...

@ Confused yuppy: Funny name there; thanks for reading. And that's the joke isn't it: We envy the other and spend so much time agonising. Yes, I am glad too that are heads are working the right way and hopefully our daughters will be stronger. While my li'l one is physically very different from me, the biggest difference and the one I am happiest about is how different our temperaments are: She is WAY more chilled out than me. I am loving it and learning from her.

@ Enchanta: Thanks for the words and thanks for the following mate.

@ Neeraj: Thank-you, don't know about the competition, many well-written, poignant pieces there. But I am glad the competition got me writing this.

@ Espera: True, confidence in the way you look -- or want to look -- grows when you get appreciated. However, you do reach a stage -- I know I have -- where the most important person you need to please is yourself. I don't mean "dress up for yourself", I think that's a lot of bull. I like dressing up and I like it even more when Partner says I look good. However, I've got to please me first.

For instance, you're going for a party and you wear this dress/jeans/ what you think makes you look really good. Now whether or not someone says you are looking good in that particular outfit, you will be on a high because you THINK you are looking good. On the other hand, you could wear the latest must-have outfit while going out but if you think you are not looking good in it, no matter how many people say you look fabulous, somewhere you will doubt it.

Like just this evening, I wore this new lipstick I bought. Partner HATES lipstick and promptly said, "You look better without it." I said I wanted to wear it, he said "Look I am being honest, you look better without it." I thanked him for his opinion but told him I was not taking it off and I didn't. I know Partner loves me and I love it when he likes something I wear or says I am beautiful. However, I was pretty certain the lipstick looked good on me -- it perhaps looked hideous, who knows? -- but the point is, what I thought about how I looked mattered most.

And I think that's the case with most people who are "comfortable" with themselves. After a while you realise that as long as you're happy with the outcome and think you look like a superstar, it doesn't matter what others think. Because, 1) no one is going to come up and say you look bad and 2) if someone says you're looking good, it's a bonus.

Now you've made me write another mini-post on this topic...am I making any sense at all?

Espèra said...

When I wrote my last comment, I considered this angle too.

But if I am wearing something in which I think I look really gorgeous and someone comes up to me and says, "You know, you look better when you wear xyz. You should wear those more often", my confidence in my appearance takes a blow. I think - "I can't see myself all the time, but they can. Maybe they are right."
The next thing I will think of will be - "Why don't they think I look equally good/better in THIS?"

It works best if you think you look good with something, and others think so too. :)

Prerna Jain said...

Excellent post!! Simply loved ur writing and the thought process....very heart rendering post....thumbs up! have voted for it! :)

Swati said...

Amazing flow, girl!! The beauty is reflected in your loveliness of your words. You have sketched the life of not just a single girl but many many others... kudos!!!

JB said...

@ Prerna: Thanks for your words and your vote.

@ Swati: Thank-you, it is a bit shocking how similar most of our lives have been, give or take some differences.

neeraj said...

Finally a story! The contest and indiblogger has been inundated with preachy, holier-than-thou posts, and it is refreshing to see such a heartfelt, honest, well written, and even at times saucy narrative. :)

Nice post, girl. I have a feeling the judges are going to love your post.

Maun Vision said...

really a very well deserved win, superb post.
congrats

calicoaster said...

Heartiest Congratulations!! :) :) :)

alivealways said...

your daughter is one lucky girl, I can tell you that.
wonderful post, you were open and I heard upright, great write.

Farila said...

I had not been here earlier and had missed out a wonderful blog post. Congratulations for winning the contest. Give a loving hug to your daughter from me.

Chaitanya said...

great post JB... loved it ! Deserving win ! A definition of beauty, if you might like, is happiness or atleast the pursuit of it... physically attractive or not - everyone has their fight...

Keep blogging. All the best!

RpT@ said...

congrats for the winning the contest..and really you deserve the prize..i have no words to tell you how much i liked your post.and at this point of my life when society rejects me for not being fair skinned,showing me again and again that i do not deserve being loved,your post has shown me light..and i cant show you my smile after two weeks of depression after some people insulted indirectly for not being beautiful.thanks to your post..and your "puchki" is really pretty.:)

Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli said...

i must confess i saw the length of the post and wondered if i shd read it at this hour (10.30 pm and i still hv to cook!) and then i read and loved the post as i went para after para... i loved the way u have written it, cud relate to it at many places. am glad i read something nice before the end of the day!

congratulations!!! well deserved!!!

panchalibolchi said...

Congratulations !!
Well deserved :)

tarunima said...

lovely post:))
followed you:)

Subs said...

Congratulations :) I am very glad that you won, otherwise, I wouldn't have come across such a beautiful post. Loved every word of it.

A Lot Like Fashion said...

I'm so glad I read your post, even if it is coz you won! :) Needless to say, pen is mightier than most other things! :) You're truly beautiful!
XX

Hemal Shah said...

Congratulations JB!! :) :)

Nidhi said...

Many congratulations.. Well deserved... Amazing confidence .. so well described events... simply Loved your post ... !!

Chintan said...

Such a well deserved victory. God bless. <3

pushpee said...

the trauma of being labelled as dark-skinned and reminded at each opportunity can finally come to an end.
congratulations.. for the well-deserved post
:)

Abha Midha said...

Hearty congratulations on winning the first prize!

Gyanban said...

Couldn't agree more - way to go, you just might have touched a millions hearts.

Kiran / കിരണ്‍ said...

Hearty congratulations... Honest to the core.. Loved this :)

debosmita said...

Today early morning I receive this link from a fellow blogger recommending that I must read this post. So I started the day with this post, squinting my eye to read it on my phone. I read it once more on my lappy and then quickly hopped over to read your 'About me'.

I can say just one thing - have never read a more honest post about oneself. I could not help but notice so many similarities with myself, despite a fundamental difference. I was also dark but skinny and tall for my age and I went through the same ordeal of being compared to fairer, prettier girls.
I salute your courage. You have found a fan in me :)

And your 'about me' left me with a feeling of 'wow, she is such an amazing woman'!

I have never seen a more well-deserved Indiblogger contest winner before. Congrats!

Let me now go and explore the rest of your blog.

Tina Basu said...

Congratulations JB... it was an awesome post... the only post which I had voted for...a very well deserved win!

Arti said...

Oh! I somehow missed a wonderful post! WOW, was my only reaction as I reached the end, your win is truly very well deserved, Congrats JB :)

Meanderer aka Shreya said...

Loved your post!!
Ironically reading it after you have won the contest! But indeed a masterpiece.
I could echo every iota of your feelings!
Hope your daughter sees the beauty in you and herself...
Happy mothering!

R-A-J said...

Simply beautiful JB... loved the flow, loved the humor, loved the post
:)

Yumna said...

V read your post before I did, and said that if I hadn't, what was I waiting for, because it was brilliant.

I agree. It is brilliant. It's very you. This is not to say that your other posts are not very you. This is to say I recognized some of our times together. And you wrote those times, as I remember them.

I have little to say about your voice, for to me it generally rings true - strong, clear, to the bone.

It is about your life that I want to say - I'm happy that you're happy.

Love always, YJHSJ, also Molu.

Mahesh Kalaal said...

congrats and your honest writing deserves more ....

Ranjan Jena said...

You are the best. Very few can express the truth for it requires lot of strength, and you are the One. Thanks for sharing your deep thoughts and leaving an option to decide what is the real beauty?

gayathri-vishwanathan said...

Very nice post, it deserved to win. I feel bad when parents search for fair girls. They don't even care to see how the girl is. I don't like such attitude.

suruchi said...

hi JB,
i had read this post earlier but could not comment for my own daughter howled just when i was almost done with what i had to say...

now this becomes the winning entry...and so so so glad that it is:-)
you write from the heart and it touches others:-)
congratulations and all the very best always:-)

Navneet said...

Amazing.. Good One..

By the way i guess i am not too late to congratulate you for the win.

Congratulations...!

Regards,
Navneet Singh Chauhan
www.navneetsinghchauhan.blogspot.com

Payal said...

I love you for writing this piece and you don't know what you've done to me today. You've given me hope for more than anything else. Keep writing!

Perception said...

Whoa great post, I mean had me thi nking a lot about my notion of beauty and that point about self conciousness, hate to admit touched a nerve somewhere..

amm said...

Congratulations JB. It was a beautiful post and definitely deserved 1st prize. I love your writing, honest, lyrical in parts, searing in others - good luck with that deadline!!! Athol-Mary

Cool Rider said...

What a well deserved win - an honest and brave account of your love/hate relationship with your own beauty. So happy to have found your blog.

आशीष said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bindu Juneja said...

Well written... appreciate the honesty with which you wrote this.

Shalini Chandak said...

Loved it......and can actually relate to it.
I am not fair. My mother is very fair and even my sister and brother were fair (now even they have turned wheatish?). I never was an object of affection for my mother(I am her first child) and many times I felt she really did not care for me.
Now I have found my life-a loving husband and son and am quite happy and I don't care anymore.

D Overanalyst said...

OMG,

I really would luv to talk to u...........

This post was ,,,,,,,,omg.........
m speechless

it was good reading going on, n suddenly serious....really brave.........
i wish i could be this brave!!!

http://doveranalyst.blogspot.in/

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