Friday, July 18, 2014


Karuppu-than-enakku-pudhicha-colouru  ( Black is my favourite colour*)

It was never a woman thing. Atleast  in the time and place that she grew up.  
She never imagined she could do it.  Worst of all she never thought she would need to do it. 

It was a do or die situation.  She had lost her job.  Her job in the city which was well  connected  by public transport.  With the meltdown of the financial markets she knew the jobs in the city were hard to come by.  She applied to every job that came her way. She applied to everything far and near. It was when the interview calls came that she felt handicapped.

Handicapped,  by lack of her driving skills.  That is when she resolved to learn driving.  Driving lessons did not come cheap.  She scraped through her savings to pay for the driving lessons in the hope that she would land a job somewhere.  It was  not just about the desperation to get a job. 

In her sense of the world, learning to being able to drive signified independence, freedom and limitless opportunities. 

She struggled with her driving lessons. After her hourly driving lessons, she would sit by the river or go on long walks to watch the cars whizz past her on the motorway. She would dream of driving one of them.  She would dream of whizzing past the motorways  in great speed while her jet black hair would blow in the wind, while her heart would soar to great heights and experience the pinnacle of joy  and freedom  that driving would give her.

But for now she was content watching the cars drive past her.  
It was a dark cloudy afternoon . The clouds looming past were grey turning to darker shades of black.   She pulled over her black leather jacket  for  warmth and walked along the pedestrian. 
It was a dream she vowed to fulfil.

A drive,  a long drive all by herself at dizzying speed over the motor way in her car. It would be a  black Volkswagon polo.
Why Volkswagon ... why black ... ?
There are some questions for which there are really no answers.

She saw the disappointment in her mother-in-laws eyes.  Not just because it was a baby girl, because they were doomed since the baby was black. 
Dark skinned would have been a fair and politically correct word to describe the colour of the baby’s skin. But a society where fair and lovely sells like hot cakes and where fair skin comes at a premium, you are either white or black. There are no shades of brown .  

She resolved to raise her baby without ever having to feel ashamed about being dark skinned. 
She resolved to raise the apple of her eye feeling confident, beautiful and  proud to be black.

Thus saying she bestowed a round big and black ‘pottu’ to ward off the evil eye.   
Just  in case.


It was not exactly love at first sight for her. They grew up in the same neighbourhood.  Their families knew each other. She had seen him as a boy , as a lanky teenager and as a young adult struggling to make a mark for himself.  As a young girl, she had many admirers and he was just one of them.  She never really thought much about him.

However, it all happened when he came home on a month long leave, he landed at the bus stop with his military green hold all luggage and his green commando uniform.
She did not recognize him .  But she fell in love.

Years later, when they were on their honeymoon she confessed that it was love at first sight .
She fell in love with the thick black moustache and the man that had landed with his luggage in military green uniform whom she had failed to recognize.     

It was love at first sight for him.
He adored her waist long thick black hair. He would secretly follow her on his bike everyday when she returned home from school.  Years later, when they were on their honeymoon he confessed that it was love at first sight.  Literally love at first sight, because he had not even looked at her face. It was her thick black waist long hair from the behind that he had fallen in love with.  

It was her crowning glory. Her identity. It defined her sense of feminity and pride in all those years that she was growing up.   Thick and black –  the long hair that fell down well below her waist. 
The hustle  and bustle of urban life, soaps, shampoos and conditioners, motherhood and sickness.  Her tresses withstood all the stresses and strains of life that would normally take a toll on other lesser mortals.
 That was until the Dreaded  ‘C’ took the toll on her. 
That day when she looked at the mirror after the chemotherapy sessions,  it sent shivers of chill down her spine. It shook her sense of self esteem, her identity, her feminity and killed her desire to live any further. 

He tried to console her, by trying to convince her that the opportunity to live was a bigger boon compared to what she had lost. But she was inconsolable.  She knew her soul had no more wish to live in that body.    
It was her last wish. She asked him to put a wig with waist long – jet black hair before she was put to rest.  She did not want to go to the grave looking pale and bald.  

It was the day on which she was dressed up to be the bride, to marry the man with the jet balck moustache that she loved.  
She said a silent prayer thanking that black skinned charmer, who was her favourite god.

It was the day she took delivery of that black volkswagon Polo and revved  the engine of her first car, just before her dream came true, 
she said a silent prayer thanking that black skinned charmer, who was her favourite god.

It was the day her contractions increased in frequency and she was being readied to get to the birthing suite.  She said a silent prayer to give her strength to that black skinned charmer , who was her favourite god.

It was the day after her chemotherapy session when she spent the night crying after looking at herself in the mirror.   
She prayed desperately to end it all soon enough to that black skinned charmer, who was her favourite god.

That black skinned charmer ,  Lord Krishna was her favourite god.

They were all black.
Five black things that she was proud of, cherished, loved,  desired, and prayed to.   

Her jet black thick long hair that fell down well below her waist, she was proud of.   
Her black Volkswagon polo that gave her, her  freedom and mobility , she cherished the most.  
Her dark skinned black princess, the apple of her eye, whom she loved the most. 
Her strength, her pillar, her lover and her soul mate  - the man with the black moustache for whom she had fallen head over heels in love with.
Her black skinned charmer – the lord Krishna to whom she prayed.

All that which made her happy, sad, doubtful , thankful, fearful and grateful.

It was all Black and indeed beautiful


P.S : * The title for this post has been inspired by the lyrics of the Tamil song 'Karuppu-than-enakku-pudicha-coloru' sung by Anuradha Sriram.

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at
Blog about 5 black things that you desire and why. Come on, let’s give it to Black!
This post is a part of <a href="" title="WhatTheBlack" target="_blank">#WhatTheBlack</a> activity at <a href="" title="" target="_blank"></a>


  1. Anonymous10:31 PM

    I could never find such an explanation to Black anywhere and to that great song of Anuradha Sirram. It's fantastic. Do you mind if I share it in Anuradha Madams timeline?

  2. Johan. My pleasure. please feel free.


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