Jatti jogi ae pani kanai chireko.
“The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is Substantially lower Than That of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over Several generations.”
This explains why we fail so much at school, don’t work hard outside school, and suck at surviving life in general. Oh wait…
And somebody please introduce me to this “white native population” please.
But what do i know? I am just an immigrant with low IQ.
At the time and place I was a little girl; all the little girls around me wanted the same things; Stickers, candies called “White Rabbit”, and shoes with heels that clunked on cement floor.
If we were born in the city and blessed with cable television, we also wanted a closet with at least a couple of pink summer dresses we called frock.
It couldn’t be just any kind of frock. The details of this dress were conditional. It had to have ribbons to be tied on the back of our waist, plenty of frills, and had to flow like the dresses worn by princesses in American cartoon channels, except shorter like the ones worn by beautiful girls with white skin and yellow locks smiling inside the same television. Oh and it also had to have at least a layer of lace and a lot of glitters.
This little girl has a huge closet. It consisted of jeans, khaki shorts, traditional garbs made out of local fabrics, and “boy t-shirts” with symbols of music and resistance and politics that nobody seemed to care for at that time. All of this but not a single pink frock.
I would make subtle suggestions to my mother.
“They are uncomfortable and impractical.” She would roar and continue to remind me how strong women do not let Disney princesses define standards of beauty.
I would then demand it from my father.
“We will buy whatever you want, I promise.” He would whisper but the promise would be as empty as the bottles besides him.
My hopes of owning a pink frock after every attempt would fade away with the stench of alcohol in the living room and, melt down with the melancholy in the kitchen of my household.
When I was ten years old, I was picked to pose as flower in the annual Parent’s Day Show at my Catholic school. Like the rest of my classmates, I wanted to be one of the butterflies, look beautiful, preform a dance routine, and have actual dialogues in the play. But the nuns said I was too tall and that my hair was too “wild.”
Regardless, I was a happy flower. Not because of the play, which even at that age, I thought was sexist and stupid, but because of the required costume for the day- yes, a pink frock.
This was my opportunity. I knew that my parents would never say no to my school requirements. So I went back home that day, happier than usual, and handed the note to my mother. I went to bed that night, hopeful than usual, and dreamt about flowers and butterflies.
The dress came home that weekend. But it had no ribbon, no frills, no flow, and absolutely no lace or even a trace of glitter.
“It is pink!” My mother said, proud of her choice.
“Thank you.” I lied, heartbroken of her choice.
Monday came. I was nervous. The little girls in my class made faces, some laughed and other game me a mournful look as I took the dress out of my hand-woven woolen bag pack awkwardly lying next to fancy polyester pink bag packs. The teachers exchanged remarks with each other, gave the same look they seemed to have every time my parents were around.
“Get another one.” Said the older nun.
“Something prettier, like the one in Cinderella book?” Added the younger one.
“But strong women do not let Disney princesses define….” I murmured, incomplete and unconfident, and disappeared behind the happier flowers and butterflies dressed in their pink frocks.
One weekend before the show, my aunt and I stood in front of my cousin’s closet. I could feel myself turning green as I got glimpse of pink frocks proudly hanging in that blue cupboard.
“You can have this one.” She said and handed me her daughter’s old pink frock.
It resembled the ones that my classmates had. Ribbons, frills and flow, layers of lace, perfect length, and glitters- if only I could get rid of the brown from my face and add yellow to my hair, I could look better than the girls in the TV, I thought to myself. I was overjoyed to have come this close to perfection.
The shoes with the dress and the makeup felt uncomfortable, especially under the bright neon light on stage. But I did not complain. I looked like Cinderella, and Cinderellas did not complain. I smiled and swayed back-and forth just like the other fifteen girls on stage. None of them complained either. They all looked like Cinderellas that day.
My father with his legs crossed, sat among other mothers, smiling and clapping gently. My mother with her loud presence, stood among other fathers, taking pictures and cheering my name. The butterfly forgot her line but at the end of the show still got the loudest applauds.
“Well, she doesn’t have to get rid of any brown from her face and her hair is already yellow”, I thought and decided to make peace with my part as a flower with no voice.
I wore the pink frock again. To countless birth days, couple of weddings and a funeral. Again and again and again until one day it mysteriously disappeared. I wore the other dress as well, countless times. Sometimes because of the fear and love I had for my mother, and other times because of the understanding I had about the concept of wasting money; thanks to my mother’s constant reminder of what the money could have otherwise been used for…
If you are reading this right now and looking for lessons you think the author has hidden between the lines, then accept my apology. This is a story without a motive or a moral. It is simply a recollection of memories that temporarily fills the empty space along the distance between my mother and me.
Tonight, I am suddenly thinking about that pink frock. Not the one I chose then, but the one I would choose now. I am thinking about its simplicity, its eccentricity, and about how comfortable I actually felt in it. Tonight I am thinking about my mother, who back then, was trying to teach me lessons of simplicity and eccentricity and of being comfortable in our own skin. I don’t know what happened to that pink frock or to my mother. I wish my closet still had that dress and my mother still held those beliefs.
Tonight as I talk about the woman I love and once called my mother, with the woman I love and once called my lover, I try to dial the numbers to her phone after almost a year of silence. I want to tell her how intensely I have missed her- this woman who once raised me, this woman I am now on my way of becoming.
Happy Mother’s Day!
I wanted to edit some details and post it again in honor of strong mothers who need to know that their strong daughters appreciate them, love them, and miss them. The unedited version was posted last year on http://community.feministing.com/2012/05/11/pink-frock-mothers-day-memoir/
What are your feelings on the Nepalese Maoist party?
Jatti jogi ae pani kanai chireko.
lovveeeeee your blog
awww thank you!
I love your display picture. now heading to your tumblr.
We believe that Dorje Gurung has been wrongfully charged and imprisoned. The eyes of the world are on Qatar and we ask that you take this moment as an…
Sign and signal boost folks,
The chemistry teacher could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Six sombreros and twelve packs of
beer, you said you are celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight.
I asked you what it meant and, you said “Mexican independence day or some shit.”
I looked away and you said I look ugly anyways.
“Dont be so rude” said my friend who thought you were cute
“At least they are promoting diversity.”
Well if that’s the case, I guess, the next phase should include us sending you appreciation cards for eating Taco bell, that Bollywood themed party you organized so well, that “African” child your family helped.
But NO. And know that you are the reason why I am that “hateful bitch.”
who does smile, by the way..
& hopes that you will make smiling at you easier one day.
I will smile back at you
when I see you trying to understand what this day really signifies
when I see you marching for rights of the people whose culture and heritage you have reduced into just another reason to “drink beer and chill.”
Until then, excuse me. And keep the line moving please.
This one for example.
are you leaving us permanently or going to nepal for a summer visit??
Who is this us you are speaking for?
and since you and I live together in Tumblr only, it shouldnt matter.
& in case you are somebody who shares a life with me outside the internet, you should pick up that phone because you clearly, have been MIA.
Call me. Twitter me. Facebook me.