Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Of Mice and Men...

Thank you BlogAdda, for featuring my post here.

While watching a little mouse scurrying along the walls of my room the other night, a thought occurred to me. And it kept me awake and thinking for a considerable amount of time. Is there really any difference between mice and men in the real sense? Well, keeping aside the obvious example of the “rat race” that our lives have become in this fiercely competitive world. I see some more similarities here.

One might surely have noticed fleetingly during some random or weird thought process, that we usually only find grey (or dark-haired) mice in our country. One can see them playing around every household, street, garbage bin. But in most of the western countries one will find little pearly white mice running around the corners of every building (that has mice, obviously). Doesn’t the difference strike a chord? Aren’t we Indians, the so called “brown people”, very much like the dark mice, while the westerners, the “white men”, much like those white mice? The color difference surely maintains constancy across the oceans, as well in mice as in men. There, lies my point. If, despite the stark difference in color, the two species of mice both pose the same problems to all the people around the world, why then are the people with differing skin colors treated so differently?
Why are some people treated with contempt, while others with sheer awe? Surely if such impeccable equality can be maintained by nature in its judgment, it could at least be maintained by us amongst ourselves, the human beings, who practically consider ourselves the rightful owners of the earth and the nature.

In the same vein, I asked a younger cousin of mine if she’d ever like to have a mouse as a pet. Her eyes lit up and she quickly replied, “I would love to, but only if it is a white one!” Therein lays my other point. We Indians ourselves are partially to blame for the prejudice done against us globally on the basis of skin color. Every mother in India wants a “fair-skinned” husband for her daughter. Dark girls are still considered curses on the family in many parts of rural and urban India. A friend of mine, Tamil by birth, recently expressed a wish to have a 1.5 lac melanin treatment done in order to become “fair”. I’d like to ask all these people, if we maintain such false prejudices amongst our own fellow countrymen, how can we expect any outsider to even consider granting us the respect we deserve? Talking about rural areas - given the low literacy, superstitions and beliefs - one can still try to understand the cause of the prevalence of such prejudices. But the saying “practice before you preach” seems to fall on deaf ears even among the members of our “educated” gentry, when it comes to such matters. And then they talk about inequality and racial discrimination on the global stage. Talk about hypocrisy, someone.

What more, the fair westerners are going in for tanning these days. They lay on the beaches, nude, all day, just to achieve that perfect “tan”. It has become a fashion statement of late. Dark complexion is as “in” for them as fairness has always been for us.

I wonder when we, the people of the world and not just Indians, are going to realize the importance of being who we are, the way we are, and letting ourselves known by our work and achievements rather than our place of birth or color. We need to learn, all of us do. Learn to respect ourselves for all that we are. And to respect the others for who they are, in order to be respected ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Hats off to you for bringing up a controversial topic in such a nice way.. :)
One of my relatives have white mice as pets. When I asked him why he did not have any gray mice, he said they don't feel good.. No one wants to lift them with hands. I agree that people should repect others for being what they are as a person rather than for their color, caste and religion.
And as I said earlier, I am the first one again!! :)

AzzArun said...

Amazing post. :)
I just don't understand that if nature doesn't discriminates between us, why do we divide ourselves on the basis of color/place of birth. Is it the mistake of a human being if he is born in a particular region?
By the way, white mice are found all over the world whereas gray mice are generally found in the subcontinent only.

Mahima said...

Thank you so much. :)
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, it just randomly came into my mind and took up all my mind space for a long time. I just had to write it down. I'm glad you agree with my thoughts. And yes, this time round, there was someone else vying for that "first comment" position besides you. But you won. Hats off to YOU. :) :D

Mahima said...

Thank you. :)
I had doubts about exactly where these two species of mice are found. I knew grey ones are to be found all over the subcontinent. But ultimately, I was writing about the contrast between the west and India, so I generalized it to the two only. :)
And well, you know what I wish to point out here, regarding something you swore to me last night. ;) XD

AzzArun said...

I know. When I commented, I thought I was the first one. Alas, I wasn't. :-/
But there is always a next time. :D

Dude, get a life. Commenting at 7 in the morning. Is that the first thing you do after waking up? :P

Mahima said...

I so love competition. Especially is it's between two people regarding something pertaining to me. :D *feeeel*

And seriously, Anonymous is as dedicated a follower of my blog as no one could ever be. ME likey. :D

Cloud Nine said...

Great post. I wish all Indians could go color blind, so much is their fair skin fantasy;) Brown or white, what matters is the heart ultimatley, not the complexion. Loved the post!

Anonymous said...

I do have a life. It's just that my style of living it is different from yours. :)

Thanks.. :D
Did you change your id/name? I'll call you Angel anyways. :)

Anonymous.. ;)

Mahima said...

@Cloud Nine - Thank you so much! :)
You made good wish. How nice it would be if no one could distinguish between dark and light, brown and white...*wishful thinking at the extreme*

I actually used to write under the pseudonym Angel, but people started coming up to me and asking if I had written these posts, or who Angel was. So I just found it convenient to update my real name on my blog. But I'd love it if you continue calling me Angel. :)

Angel ;)

Prateek said...

We unanimously voiced against the racism attacks on Indian in Australia but never considered the skin colour discrimination done in Indian society.

The Unwise Prevails Over The Wise

Anonymous said...

That's people's job. To raise questions. On your efforts, credibility and sometimes even your existence.. :P
They always keep on asking who is "Anonymous". But it didn't matter, it still doesn't and never will. So I think instead of going for a name change just because of some questions from the crowd, you should have gone ahead with "Angel" only. :)

Mahima said...

@Prateek - Quite right. Good point!

@Anonymous - Well, the reason for the change was not exactly people's questions but my own free will. I just found it better if my blog now came to be known as MY blog in the true sense. :)

vhjamdar said...

Good point, well portrayed !!
Keep it up :)

Mahima said...

Thank you! :)

Akash said...

Haha loved it. From mice to hypocrisy, you turned the tide from natural to artificial.

Awesome post :D It deserved award :D


Mahima said...

Thank you so much Akash. Glad you liked it. ^_^