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'You are looking ugly!', screamed the four year old with a defiant look in her eyes. 'Look at me, I look great.' I was too stunned to react. I, an adult, was super stunned. I looked at my five year old daughter whose face looked as if she had been slapped. Her chirpy piggy tails drooped a bit. I saw her eyes glistening with sadness and anger. Of course the other child was comprehended by her mom and all I could blurt out was,'It's not a nice thing to say.' I went back to scanning my child's face....she was hurt no doubt. A bit ruffled. Her tiny weeny ego had taken a bruise. It takes time for any scar to heal. I hugged her and hoped she would be fine.
There is this thing about kids. They cry very easily and they get over even better. She had that bounce in her step and a song on her lips in the next five minutes and I was relieved. We adults burn a lot more on the inside. We refuse to forgive.We refuse to say the toughest word in the dictionary, 'SORRY'. We carry the burden of a grudge for long. We forget to remember no one is perfect...and neither are we. We all are made in a different mould, and that is how the word 'INDIVIDUAL' propped up which is used as and when convenient. Of course the adults have bigger battles to tackle. Battles their size. Battles we create and struggle with. When we fan our egos.
My daughter put on a brave battle and even though I was burning inside, I let her fight it out. It was not my turf. She would meet such people all her life. The world is one crazy place. It is better if our kids learn to put on the armor and shield their tiny hearts from such barbs. I told her that others opinion did not matter. You have to just walk away from such things and believe in yourself. Stay strong for all the wrong things and wrong people we bump into. I don't know what a five year old would have made of such long statements. But I was happy she bounced back. At night, when I kissed her goodnight, she turned to me and said, 'Ma, I don't like people who say you don't look nice.' I sighed at the worldly ways and thought this is where the cosmetic giants jump in. I was a prey to it too..in my growing up years. I told her that she was very OK to us and it really didn't matter if people passed such comments. You go ahead with what your heart tells you I said. Before I completed my boring dialogue, she had drifted off to a world of dreams and knights and princess.
I went back to sleep. But the scar was on my heart too. It was my daughter here. My flesh and blood. No matter how tough I looked in front of her, the shadows of the night heard my tears. All those childhood demons came back to me that night. Days when I was called a dark skinned girl. Much before the dusky beauties had taken the fashion industry by storm. Days when I was ridiculed for the oil on my head. My zero fashion sense. Called skinny by some whom I called friends. All those days when I sat glued to the television staring at the screen, and admiring the transition from being dusky to a beaming fair complexion. Days when I spent my pocket money buying all those creams and then tossing them away in the bin after a month of no result.
Then life took over. I forgot to look at the mirror. And now I don't care. Hope it is easier on her and she learns the tricks too. I remember a pic that said.....for once the princess slayed the dragon and saved the knight. Are the golden days here yet? Till then, fight on!
Image Credits: pinterest.com