at the age of 8 or 9, i didn’t think much of the colour of the skin that was mine. growing up in Bombay, it wasn’t uncommon to be that ‘brown’ but yet i blamed you for society’s unkindness.
i’m sorry i listened. i’m sorry i listened to every single person who told me my brown was ugly. i’m sorry i was naive and believed everything that people said. i thought if i changed you and wished you were lighter than the world around me would be kinder. little did i know that you were not to be blamed for the world’s cruelty.
i’m sorry i listened when my relatives said to use fairness creams and hide from the sun. i’m sorry i stopped wearing bright colours and tried to suffocate you with long sleeves. i’m sorry i used filters and tried to lighten you in pictures because i thought that if i looked more like the others, they would love me more. that wasn’t you, that was society’s conservative persuasion that my brown was not beautiful.
i’m sorry i held you accountable for the years of bullying in school and instead of standing up for you, i joked about disappearing in the dark and conformed to every single joke they made about my melanin.
i’m sorry i believed the boy who told me i was pretty for a dark girl, because i hated you, it felt good to hear somebody else say those words.
i only realise now that my brown is beautiful. you are beautiful. and beautiful not because you are brown but because you are a part of me. you are me. it took me a while but i now realise that my friends love me with or without the extra melanin on my skin. they love you because of the way you glisten under the sunlight and because of the way the red on my lips stands out. it’s all because of you. they love you because of the way every colour on the spectrum compliments you. it took me years to say this but i love you. i’m sorry for the years of hatred but i’ve made it, i’m here now and you are everything to me. you are my biggest golden prize and i will cherish you for everything that you are.
you are not my greatest weakness, you are my greatest strength.
thank you for waiting for me.