“Hey there, I am Manisha, a 22-year-old young lady who is born and brought up in Bangalore. Well, there’s a CORRECTION in this sentence. Hey, I am Manisha, a 22-year-old young lady born and brought up in Bangalore with dark skin.”
Here, we have Manisha’s story who shares her experience of living in a society where Dark Skinned human beings are considered an outcast.
The never ending racial discrimination continues even to this day. Can we stop and think for a moment about all those people who have wounded hearts because they don’t really fit into the “society’s expectations?” “Girl with a dark skin, pretty much the only identity I had.” Manisha connects the colour of her skin to her whole being. Well, does a person’s identity come down to their mere skin colour? Is that all that the society looks at? “I had a lot beneath and beyond my dark skin. An athlete, an artist, a dancer, an orator, a good personality, a loyal friend, a kind heart, a lovable fool. But I was just a dark skinned girl with no friends and only haters.” As children, the entire concept of black and white has been drilled into our heads. Can we just think of Manisha’s childhood? Was it pleasant? Or was she horrified with herself? “Kids never sat next to me nor shook my hands because they feared they would turn “black.” Teachers loved the white cute kids which means they hated the opposite, Me.”
What’s worse is when the bullying and the names start to crawl up slowly into the minds of those who feel worthless, not because of who they are, but because of what others think of them. “I got called “Black coffee, Crow, Blacky” etc.” With people who are hurt to such an extent, do you think they would possess something known as self- confidence? With all that Manisha went through, do you think she loved herself? Did she have the confidence to show who she truly was? “You’re probably thinking that this doesn’t seem like huge problems in life but let me tell you, to be an outcast as a child, having people look down upon you and shutting your talent and voice all inside of you, because people don’t even consider your existence, Boy! That is more than a problem.”
Manisha was never given an opportunity to show herself off. She was never given the opportunity to be a “normal kid.” “I always stood in the last row, sat in the last bench, danced in the last corner because I was not allowed to be the face of anything.”
However, Manisha decided to fight back. She realized that the answer to the problem that she was facing, was nothing more than to love herself. She understood that the society’s mentality, their expectations would go on forever and she was determined not to live bythose guidelines that made her resent herself. She stood up for who she truly was. Most importantly she says that one should believe in themselves. “People judge the book by its cover. If they can’t believe you can do it, you make them believe that you can do it. Also, Be Yourself! The one thing people discriminated against me with, was the one unique quality about me. I looked around and there was no one like me. Giving thanks to the creator is to give thanks to his unique creation. Thus, I was special and special things need to be cherished.”
Once Manisha, who was bullied, represented her college at a state level football game, received the title of the “best female dancer,” graduated from a renowned college, and became a model at the age of 18, empowering dark skinned women of all ages. Today, Manisha enjoys herself. She is content, blessed and appreciates all that life offers.
One negative comment can ruin a person, but a positive one can do wonders. Choose your words carefully. Be kind to yourself in this cruel world and remember, you are more than a conqueror!