For a Nation obsessed with ‘fair’ skin – where all celebrities, themselves dusky, with a beautiful Indian complexion – promote all these ‘fair’ and ‘lovely’ fairness creams for women and now men; how could we not have some funny grandma’s tips about producing ‘fair’ kids in this big, dark world.
Defying all the theories of genetics, here are some age-old tips that have been passed on through generations, that almost always ensure your child will be ‘as white as milk’, regardless of your and your partner’s complexion.
1. Drink Milk with Kesar in it every morning.
[Milk is itself so white, why pollute the colour to yellow with Kesar – shouldn’t we aim for directly blond kids???]
2. Before you even brush your teeth, eat a ‘rasgulla’ on empty stomach every morning.
[Shouldn’t all bengali women be fair then? Instead of their killer dusky complexion, big beautiful eyes and luscious locks – they would all be simply ‘white’!!]
3. Eat watermelons – as many and as often as you can.
[This one is the funniest – how on Earth could that have started. At least the above two are white food items you know. But strangely, one of my cousins, who have managed to produce a strikingly fair daughter for their rather dark complexions – do give full credit to watermelons]
4. Eat oranges and drink plenty of orange juice.
[Why haven’t the fairness creams yet started making creams with ‘orange’ extracts I wonder!! Kesar is already quite famous!]
5. Drink coconut water regularly.
[By that logic – South Indians would have never been any other shade except ‘pure white’]
6. Eat eggs that too in the second trimester.
[Aah!! All you strict vegetarians – you gals will miss out on this one! Sad!! Also, I don’t understand the insistence on the second trimester?]
7. Eat ghee.
[So we have graduated here – from milk to ghee – this might lead to you getting your essential fat intake, making the baby healthy – and so shining – but the fair part – I am still not sold on it!]
8. Hang a photograph of a fair baby in your bedroom.
[I’ll also hang a photograph of a mansion in my hall – so that my husband delivers that soon after I deliver the fair baby — No offence to all those ‘Secret’ followers… ]
On a serious note: ‘Garbh Sanskar’ believers and practitioners very strongly believe that they can mould all the features in the baby, including behaviour patterns and human qualities and intellect and talents and so on, while the foetus is growing in the womb. There is a science around it that they study while doing an Ayurveda course. And we, the negligent Indians, might wait for the West to promote it first and export it back to us (Just like what happened to ‘Yoga’ – while we ignored it, the West made it the latest movement). Yet, I am still not sure Garbh Sanskar is so much about fair skin – it must be about healthy, glowing skin!! Who knows? What if we could all be wrong and actually some of these above mentioned practices when mixed with the right Ayurvedic medicines and Yoga – be producing miraculously fair skins!!!