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Fair, Lovely, and Shattered

Updated: Mar 13

here in Hindustan

beauty is not measured

by resilience

here dark-skinned damsels

brew mixtures of lemon

and curd

and yearn for a milky glow

a bleached, bloodless fairness

that a handsome groom

searches for

layer after layer

remedy after remedy

they look at their lighter counterparts

and say

strip me of this melanin

and grace me with the pallid whiteness

that graces your own skin

here in Hindustan

we associate caste with color

where we have this loathsome

inherent hunger

for acceptance

from a society that screamed

colonizer, colonizer

here in Hindustan

we exist in a pretentious irony

where we worship the mighty Kali

goddess of strength

raven-black hair

lions and serpents at her feet

her divine inky complexion