The little baby was wrapped snugly and laid next to her mother, who looked at the miracle and smiled, marveling the beautiful big almond eyes and dark curly mop of hair making the baby look so cute and just perfect. She slowly counted the fingers and toes, looked at the ears and lips; just checking and touching and trying to realize that it was not a dream.
Her wish and dream of the past year and so many years before had come true, her wish had been granted and a perfect, beautiful baby was in her arms. Her baby was as perfect as she had imagined and beautiful as God’s creation.
She remembered the lines that had haunted her through the past nine months of her pregnancy, the moment her mother-in-law (MIL) had come to know that she was expecting a child; her words had been mean and rude. She always tried to put up a brave face, replying to her that how and who the baby turned out to be was beyond her control but it fell to deaf ears.Every day her MIL would say, “If it is a girl then she must be beautiful or else she should not be born!”
Isn’t beauty in the eyes of the beholder? How can one aspect of beauty apply to everyone? She shuddered to think what her MIL would say now as she snuggled her beautiful baby closer.
Her baby was a girl and her MIL was late in coming to see the baby; she wondered if all was well at home? She hesitated as she thought if the birth of a girl had something to do with her MIL being late. She smiled back at to her sister and absentmindedly replied to her silly questions.
Suddenly there were loud noises outside her room and then her MIL was standing beside her bed smiling and looking at the baby. She replied to all the greetings and congratulations from everyone in the room; suddenly everyone was quite as they realized what her MIL had said, “Why is the girl so dark? You did not take good care of yourself that she is so dusky but you are fair skinned?”
Tears sprung up in her eyes but before she could reply, her feisty younger sister replied, “Have you seen your son, Aunty?? If he and most of your family is so dark how can you have a fair child? My sister gave birth to her, she did not paint her!!”
Her mother immediately quietened her sister and began apologizing but she could see her MIL was miffed as she handed the baby back to her mother. Soon everyone had left and she looked at her little baby girl, her husband had called her ‘Pari’ and each time she looked at her she felt she was looking at an angel/ pari indeed.
How did the colour matter, how did it change the beauty of her baby if she was more towards honey than milk? She had never faced such a taunt in her own life but she did not know how to face it for her child? With tears in her eyes and her heart breaking she looked up to her husband who smiled back and replied as if reading her mind, “She is just perfect, don’t worry about a thing. She has my looks and our brains, she will always be perfect.”
She smiled back assured that her daughter would want for nothing. As if Pari understood she cooed her approval.