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Conscious Beauty - Part 1

In this very first episode of conscious beauty, we will be sharing you the story of ‘Anita’ and how she discovered her true interpretation of beauty.

Hi, My name is Anita and I am originally from Guntur district of Telangana (erstwhile Andhra Pradesh).  My parents came to Mumbai when I was not even born. My father had a job over here in of the vintage, private bank. I was born and raised here and I proudly call myself a typical Mumbai girl. I can feel this city in my blood and breath. Growing under the shadow of

While growing up, I had many bitter and sweet memories. However, two such memories which I recount had greatly influenced my growing up years and later life. Both the incidents, which I will narrate, took me by surprise. And both shaped my life in such a dramatic yet balanced way.

Let me first start with the very first vivid memory of school when I was in 9th grade where my best friend ‘Suchitra’ and I were going back to our home from school. Our school and our homes were in a distance of five kilometres and we used to go by strolling and checking out some hot guys in the vicinity. It was lot of fun for both of us. We used to chuckle down the path, smile at some guys, used to relish ice creams all along the 20 minutes of walking distance.

Now one day as usual when we were moving towards our respective homes from our school. Just when we crossed the footpath and we begin strolling to our destination. A women of about 40 or 45 years of age walked past us and then suddenly as soon as she glanced at me, she stopped for a bit and started walking towards us. I sensed that she is coming towards us. However, I didn’t mind we both were engrossed in our own world.

The second moment she was in front of us, I was startled, Suchitra not so much. At first we thought maybe she is asking for some directions, or maybe she want to know our school. But too my surprise, she said such kind of words to pointing towards me which forced my senses  to be closed for a minute or two, I was just looking at her in an utter disbelief and shock of my life, totally dumbstruck. She said “Beta, why you roam around like this in summers, well knowing that your skin texture is coal black? Why you want to punish yourself by doing this? Your friend (Suchitra) skin is still fine but you? Why don’t your parents stop you from doing all this, why don’t your parents arrange a vehicle or give you some money so that you could travel by auto. You know, every boy will reject you for marriage by terming you UGLY.” Then she walked past away nodding her head in disbelief. Suchitra and me were staring at each other with ours jaws dropped to the floor, trying to comprehend what the hell did happened with us.

 The moment I stepped into my home, I straight went to my bathroom without changing my clothes. I just cried, cried and cried for hours. The incident traumatized me to my core. That women word echoed in my mind day in and day out. A sense of inferiority complex developed overnight. You might be thinking I overreacted a bit, but trust me an overjoyed, fairly popular school girl enjoying her daily routine being subjected to criticism by someone who she doesn’t even know. A random stranger lambasting you for something you don’t even cared till now and especially no fault of yours is something which I can’t explain in words. Her words broke me down for few years until I met someone who just changed my perception of beauty.

Fast forward, I got enrolled in renowned College thanks to my academia. And although I have moved on with my life after that incident, I became a much closed person. Not exactly like an introvert, but I was scared while talking to new people. And needless to say, my dating life sucked. In my subconscious mind I was always fighting a battle where my attrition to skin is causing myself to be more discreet and dispel to opposite gender.

One day entangled in my own thoughts, I was sitting in café alone. Listening to music with my earphones on and drafting an assignment for my college, in my laptop. Suddenly a handsome, tall, blue eyed guy entered the café. By appearance only, anyone can easily sense that he is a foreigner after all you don’t see blue eyed guys walking around in streets of Mumbai.

Anyway, I don’t know what happened to me but I shamelessly started noticing him. I still don’t know what came to my mind. But I wouldn’t stop myself from checking this guy, he made me spell bound. I wanted to be more discreet so that he is not able to notice me. But he off course caught me off guard. He saw me, smiled to me and waved at me. Now, I smiled back. But I was ashamed, I was telling myself” what have you done Anita, now he will find you creepy”. I packed up my stuff and walked out of that cafe door. Phew!!! Chickened out sometimes is the best thing you can do in these above conditions.

 As soon as I started walking towards the auto stand, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Well, to my surprise the same cafe guy. He introduced himself to me very politely, his name was John and he was from South Africa.  I was taken aback. I wanted to clarify him that whatever happened inside the cafe was just my raging hormones.

However, before saying anything he blurted out to me “You are so cute, I really liked your smile, why did you leave the cafe so early?” My heart skipped a beat, I mean it’s not like I didn’t liked what he said. But my previous experiences with some strangers were just not good. I gave myself a moment or two and then I told him thank you. Again just when I thought of moving out of this awkwardness. He stopped me and said “Could you mind going out with me?”

Well initially I was skeptical but when he persisted I gave my nod. We went out for couple of dates together. John was incredibly person and what he told me something about me really changed my perspective about myself.  He said that back at the cafe when he first felt he was being noticed by me. He was so much enthralled by me that he made up his mind that he will approach me anyhow. He further added, you’re cocoa like skin color and your brightening teeth plus your audacious behavior added much to your personality.

John transformed me from a person who despised her color to someone who proudly wears it on her sleeves. He completely changed my perspective of beauty. People say, beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.  But beauty also lies in the openness to accept and become comfortable with yourself and your personality. Your worth doesn’t lies in color of your skin. It is your confidence and your authenticity which matters in a long run.

You know, the unpredictability of life makes it so interesting. Two strangers came in life and both changed it in a different way. First one dented my self esteem and the second one lifted it to zenith.

Thanks for reading.

 

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