It was 2012 and I was merely admitted into a Commerce course at this co-educational school where my father used to work as a teacher. I was elated to study with boys for the first time, which was very natural after studying for 12 years in a rigid all-girls convent school. I thought everything would be just like a teen drama on the TV. But all I faced was discrimination. Guess why? My complexion.
"How can you be so dark?", "You'd be so beautiful had you been a bit fair." – These were the words I was often greeted with.
Putting it in a positive perspective, these things shouldn't matter to anybody. In my old school, I've never been treated like this. Coming from a cultured Bengali family, the prime emphasis of my parents was to see their daughter walking to the office with responsibility as well as dignity. So this discrimination I suddenly received literally killed me from within. A sensitive girl that I was, I never raised my voice against them but smiled at the jokes cracked on me instead.
I was badly bullied, and the damage was irreversible.
I had this one friend who probably was the most desired girl in school. She called herself my friend, but at the same time, she also mocked me indirectly by saying things like, "Oh! Ritu, you know what? X told me that we are the black and white partners of the school.", "Look how everybody's after me! I'm tired." and so on.
I was so depressed and demoralized that my grades were affected. I tried to put on every kind of makeup, began to yell at my parents for no reason; yet, I always wore a smile for the world. So, being a dunderhead that I was, I got obsessed with getting famous to compete with my friend. I wish I could have competed with her in the field of studies. But never mind!
Then came the rosy phase of my life. I made a boyfriend. This was the probably a huge turning point in my life.
It was the March of 2013 when I began looking for a boyfriend who'd love me despite my appearance. It was as if making a boyfriend had become the sole motto of my life. Because I felt it was only then that I could stand shoulder to shoulder with my "Fair friend". So damn foolish I was!
The guy’s name was Rehaan. He was from Jammu and Kashmir. He loved me to the fullest. I believed that no one ever could have a boyfriend like him. However, everything was virtual. We talked on the phone during the days and nights. He loved me like no one had before. He managed to bring me out from my inferior complexity of being "Dark."
I was so in love with him that I even dreamed of living in a small house with him, cooking for him and doing the dishes in Kashmir. I wish I could show you the beautiful picture that I have created in my mind. Life without Rehaan looked so empty to me. I was even determined to convert my religion. I gave my hundred percent to him, to an extent that if he wanted me to wear a salwar kameez from 2000 km away, I would do it for him happily.
Everything was going well until one fine day in February, he asked me for a break due to his examinations. I was okay with it since I firmly believed in his Love. I pleaded him to come back soon with flying colors. Meanwhile, my final ISC examinations were also fast approaching. I did get a first class, but haven’t done well enough.
Rehaan had become the sole meaning of my life. Without him, I seriously could not focus on anything. I got into a college in a different town and moved there, yet there was no sign of him. I still did not doubt his love. I waited for him patiently with his picture and voice messages as my only assistance.
After 6 months, in September, there was a flood in Kashmir. The havoc wrecked many lives. I was extremely concerned about Rehaan and his family. So I mustered up some courage and called him. I was praying to God so that he received my call...and he did! My heart started pounding faster.
I actually wanted to ask a lot of things. But the only thing I could inquire was about the condition of his family and him.
Everything was normal again for a couple of months, until I met a guy on a social networking site who lived in Ganderbal, the same district where Rehaan resided. The first thing that shocked me was that Rehaan was not his actual name. It was Mudassir. The feeling I had then can never be expressed to anyone. It was at that point of time I understood that everything was a lie, just like his name.
I cried like hell. I was shattered for almost a year and a half. I could not love anyone like I loved him. The pain I endured eventually turned my heart into a stone. There were guys who really loved me after that but just I could not!
But time tends to heal everything, I have a real lover now, Akash. It is because of him that I have regained my lost faith in love. He has aided me, beautifully re-opening and re-structuring the dreadful closed chapters of my life. I am extremely grateful to him for his contributions to my love life. He is probably the best anyone could ever have. Sincerely speaking, he is the one whom I have actually loved after three years. But, I am strong and confident enough now to handle further bad omen.