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Margaret

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My mother dresses me in a traditional churidhar, the color of the vibrant sun; she says it contrasts nicely with my dark skin. After that, she smothers my face with Fair and Lovely cream and thousands upon thousands of gallons of white powder; she says this will make my skin fairer. Then she places a simple red bindi on my forehead. When my aged mother with dark skin and a harsh face stands back to observe the finished look, the dawn of a smile cracks on her face and she tells me what a smart, beautiful ladki I am. Since she was finished torturing me, I tell her that I want to play in the park outside of our prosaic home, but her only response is to glare at me and tell me not to ruin my pretty dress because aunties and uncles will be coming over later. And so I put on my brown leather sandals and stroll casually outside.

As I sit by myself on one of the red rubber swings, a gori girl comes up to me and asks if she can have a turn. She introduces herself as Margaret just as I get off the swing. Her name sounds sweet, like a flower. Margaret has skin as some of my favorite dolls and her hair falls down her back in long chocolate tresses. Her hair is not in a braid like the way I have to wear mine. Margaret is dressed in a plain pink t-shirt with white shorts and sneakers. She dresses and looks so different from me, but I decide that I do not care. Margaret is pretty and now she can be my friend. I smile at her while she begins to swing. She asks me what my name is and I quietly respond that my name is Shreedevi. Margaret looks at me funny but smiles nonetheless. We decide then that we would be best friends forever. I am pushing her on the swing when I hear the shrill voice of my mother. She is calling my name in an angry tone. Slowly and cautiously, I walk towards her and tell Margaret that I will be back soon.

When I get closer to my mother, I see that she is not angry but downright furious, but I cannot understand what I had done wrong. I was only playing with my new friend. As soon as I reach the back porch, my mother grabs me by the hair and proceeds to slaps me hard across the face. Tears brim my eyes. What did I do wrong? She starts shouting in a voice that booms in my ears. She tells me that I am a good-for-nothing, unappreciative daughter. I plead and ask her what I did wrong. She then regards me with a stark expression and tells me that I was playing with a gori child. She says gori so distastefully that more tears fill my eyes. I ask her why I cannot be friends with Margaret. Her only response is that she is a filthy gori and I am not allowed to talk to her. Her words shatter my heart into a million pieces. Margaret is my new friend and I am not allowed to speak with her? This is not fair. I tell my mother so and she responds with another slap. She calls me a paagal, stupid ladki. She tells me that I should go say Margaret goodbye. Tears now overflow, pouring down my face, ruining all my make-up. My mother then tells me that from now on I will not be allowed to go outside anymore. Slowly, I trudge back to Margaret. With each step closer I get to the red rubber swing, my heart becomes heavier. I do not want to tell Margaret goodbye. I cannot understand why I cannot play with a gori girl. She may look and dress differently but she is still a girl, like me. When I get to the swing, Margaret looks up at me, smiles and sunshine. I shake my head slowly and turn my back to her, tears still spilling over the curves of my cheeks. I tell her I cannot be friends with her anymore because she is a gori.





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rdivya92 said...
Jun. 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm
This is awesome, im so happy for you <3333
 
fanofluvsummergirl said...
Jun. 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm
This IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! you have a REAL talent for writing!!!!!
 
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