Her Dark Skin....Was Only a Shade or two off from Mine

August 30, 2011
By gshahh BRONZE, Cranford, New Jersey
gshahh BRONZE, Cranford, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music"

My eyes first wondered on her long braided hair, which fell over her shoulder and down to her hip. Her face was round, but through the chiffon palu of her faded sari I could see her bare stomach between the blouse, and the pleats of the sari which were neatly tucked into the petticoat. Her down turned eyes that had large crow’s feet on the sides were beautiful; however her expression left traces of a collection tears from her past. I stood forty feet from her. I was holding my digital camera and coach wristlet in my hand, the one which I begged my mother to get me. The women stood by some trash while her children furiously searched through the piles for whatever they could find. The children wore baggy clothes that were dirty and worn out. This family was born into this way of life and accepted it, while people either passed by or watched. This is exactly what I did, I stood there and watched. What I was watching was just another part of her life, what I was watching was regular to her but new to me. Even though I didn’t know specifically what this women and her family went through, I knew that she was born and trapped into the moil of poverty with no way out. As I looked closer I could see her moth moving, but I was unsure whether a voice was coming out, because people were not hearing the prayers she was saying, and the ones who did hear stood there and watched. When I looked closer I noticed her dark skin, that was furrowed by her age, was only a shade or two off from mine, and I noted that the gold bangle, and silver anklets she wore were like the ones I would wear on Navratri, which were the nine nights that worshipped the nine forms of Shakti. Her Sari draped over her shoulder and was pinned to her blouse, this was the same way my mother wore her sari. Even though these similarities where there, I stood there and watched her continue to mumble the prayers, which eventually persuaded me to believe that they were begs.

In the time I was here, I have seen almost all of it. I have seen the Taj Mahal. I have done all the shopping one could imagine. I have even stood here and seen this sight, maybe not this woman, but I have most definitely seen this before. As my eyes intruded on the women’s personal life, the women never one turned to see me standing there and watching. She keeps focus on the sky, and then quickly to whichever individual passed by her. Suddenly she turned to me. She knew my eyes were on her the whole time, and she let them. I then notice something else. Now that her eyes are met by mine, her prayers and her begging is speaking to me as well, and I hear something. “Come on now, we have to get going, beta.” It was my mom who interrupted the moment. I no longer was the one to stand there and watch, but I was now one to pass by her.

The author's comments:
The inspiration for "Standing There" came from the emotions I had after my family trip to India. When I came back from India I read the book "Interpreter of Maladies" in which I was really able to connect to with my trip, and eventually was able to but my feelings down on paper and try to create a similar experience to what I had for other people.

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