The Colour They Condemned

January 20, 2016

The Colour They Condemned

The shimmering suns of my land coloured me bronze, the skin I wore with pride,
With the strength of a lion walking its kingdom.
I had borne in the silky, tawny texture, the identity of my people
The identity insolently snatched away by mothers and aunts who barely knew my name by rubbing pastes;
yellow, white and orange on my golden skin and bright pink on my cinnamon lips.
I wondered who decides what is pleasing to the eyes, as they stood smug, satisfied with the brown fading away from my skin
Shoving into my chubby fingers magazines that celebrated women with arching backs, blood red lips and most of all, white skin.
I carried on undeterred, with the grace of a fawn walking on majestic green lands
Until I stepped into foreign streets, inviting gazes that labeled me 'exotic' and hands that subconsciously refused to touch me.
That was when I realized why animals see more colours than us.
All we see is black and white.



By Cema D'Souza
Cema D'Souza is a 12th grade student of Indian High School, Dubai.
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Comment on this article

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 26 2016

    Dear Cema D'Souza,

    Well written. It is all a Part of Life.

    Good and Bad.
    Day and Night.
    Ups and Downs
    Black and White.
    Laughter and Cry.
    Right and Wrong.
    Success and Loss.
    Light and Darkness.
    Yesterday and Today.

    People’s minds do speak
    Freedom and Dictatorship.
    I say and feel everything is the part of life.
    Kindly take it easy and digest sweetness and bitterness of this life.
    We have to accept one life. Once you are born there is death.
    Till we are alive people will call us in names. After the death people will say when the dead body will come, hold the body correctly. Lower the body to the grave.

    Hope we will meet in heaven. God bless you.

  • vincent dsa, Dubai,Shankerpura.

    Mon, Jan 25 2016

    Nice thought.All the best.

  • Usha Fernandes, Neermarga/Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 25 2016

    Nice it is. Good luck Cema Dsouza

  • ANP, Blur

    Fri, Jan 22 2016

    Speech by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe:
    Racism will never end as long as white cars are still using black tyres.

    Racism will never end as long we still wash first white clothes, then other colours later.

    Racism will never end if people still use black to symbolize bad luck and WHITE for peace!

    Racism will never end if people still wear white clothes to weddings and black clothes to the funerals.

    Racism will never end as long as those who don't pay their bills are blacklisted not White listed.

    Even when playing snooker, you haven't won until you sink the black ball, and the white ball must remain on the field.


  • John B. Monteiro, Bondel, Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 22 2016

    Beautiful thoughts poetically compressed.Your brevity of presentation will take you very far.Congratulations and good luck.
    Even the visual is very expressive.

  • Kavita Trust, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Cema, Its brilliant piece of poetry. Welcome to our 'Nandanavan'. You are going to stay here forever in the future.
    God bless you

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