Skin colour in India is a very important issue
sjenner13 / Love Matters

'Divorced because I'm dark'

“We were happily married until Amit was mocked because of my dark skin colour,” says Mira. “All our fights would boil down to my complexion.”

Family, friends and colleagues shunned Amit's choice of an ‘ugly’ wife. Prejudice about skin colour ground their happy marriage down until it ended in divorce. Part 2 in a MyStory mini-series on love and skin colour.

I think our love story was cute and simple. I met Amit when we were in college. We were opposites who complemented each other. Amit was ambitious and outgoing. He was tall, fair and intelligent, while I was tall, dark and intelligent.

Within two years of dating we got married. Oh, his mother was so not happy with his choice. I can't say that I was a great catch but we were compatible. I was a satisfied person and although I was dark, I thought my features were pretty.

‘Blissful’ marriageThe first year of our marriage was blissful. There were minor hiccups when his mother would visit us and comment about my skin tone. Eventually it got to me. He would usually ignore the comments but I could see that he got thoughtful after some of his mum’s taunts on how he could have aimed for a “gori-chitti bahu”.

One day after one such episode, we went to a market to buy some essentials. We met Amit's colleague on the way and before I was introduced, the colleague said, “When are you getting us to meet bhaabhiji? If the models you choose for your designs are anything to go by, your wife must be really pretty.” And just then he realised that I was Amit's wife. He seemed embarrassed and left.

The next day Amit’s mother left but for some reason Amit was moody and often lost his temper at me.

A rude jokeWhat I did not know was that the Amit's colleague had spread the news about how Amit’s maal choice was only restricted to his designs and design-models. His choice of a life-partner didn't match up to his professional standards. I had no idea about how that chance meeting had been messing Amit’s professional life until about a month later when Amit returned from a party.

When I asked how the party was, he threw a paper at me. The paper had his latest design morphed to include his photo beside the model. The caption read: “Creative head who wasn’t very choosy about his wife but is super choosy about the models he uses for his designs.” It was a rude joke by one of Amit's colleagues.

Beginning of the endIt was the beginning of the end of our marriage. Amit quit that job within a fortnight of that event. We started fighting, a lot. All our fights would boil down to how he had to lose his well-paying job because of someone else’s fault – namely mine and my skin colour's.

The more he fought about his lost job, the more guilty I felt. Initially, he would apologise and say he understood that it wasn’t me or my colour that made him lose his job. But it was almost as if he was having a love affair with his previous job and just wasn’t ready to let go.

He did find a job much later but it wasn’t as great as the one that he had lost. The lost job was a barrier we could never overcome. We realised that we could possibly never go back to being the happy married couple we used to be. In the end, we filed for a divorce.

(The person in the photo is not Mira.)

Skin colour - does it affect how attractive you are? What do you think about skin colour prejudice? Leave a comment below or on Facebook.

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