Watching Moomin in a black and white TV : vivid memories of my childhood. Maybe that was when I first analyzed that white(Moomin) was good. Black(Stinky) = bad. I always fought with my brother over playing chess with white figurines.
But in Class 5, we read about Rosa Parks. I thought that illuminated me. I shunned ‘Fair and Lovely’ ads. (not for the right reasons though, which I realize a bit later) I used to categorize everyone I met, listened to and talked with under two distinct categories : Good and Evil.(Confession: I judged a lot back then. But now my mantra = ‘Destereotype’ ) The notion must have come from fairy tales, Enid Blyton books, Super Commando Dhruba and Nagraj comics I so used to adore.
I believed in that notion so much so that I actually tussled up my classmate’s hair in Class 5 after school one day. I was convinced that she’d traded her soul to Satan, the evidence being traces of lipstick on her lips and gaajal on her eyes. I don’t even remember what the argument had been about in the first place. But I still do thank Archana K.C. for not telling on me. Had anyone questioned me concerning that incident, s/he would surely have called a psychiatrist then and there, who would in turn have isolated me in a white room under strict surveillance and tried to de-brain-wash me. Or s/he would have given me a resounding slap on my cheek and called my parents to school.
That would have perhaps led to a ripple effect of me donning a disguise every time I punished for good… and so on. Thank the Gods that never happened.
So convinced I was about me: I was a warrior of light. The world needed me. I would sacrifice my life for this cause.
My childhood in two words: black and white. That was how I saw the world. When you place a child like her in a world pulsating with varying degrees of grey, guess what happens? Mayhem = Puberty
Also, during the onset of puberty, a color TV made its way into our home. Stinky was not pitch black, but dark brown, the color of Cadbury. Turmoil. Confusion. But not for long. I had new aims in life: to be a Cardcaptor; also my first crush was going to be a Pokémon master. I was to accompany him on his journey every weekday for half an hour. Being a warrior of light could wait. Also, I had to figure out the answer to how people hid their black and white selves in them.
It was long before I found out for myself: people can be good and bad at the same time. And it is okay. I can’t get rid of evil by pulling people’s hair. Fighting is never the solution. Even though you might be fighting for good. But my concept of good and bad was deeply flawed. I myself was good and bad. It is not okay to judge people like that.
Here I am, sometimes a shade too dark; at times a shade too light, but never quite achieving the perfect balance. I always slip and fall when I try to tip the scales. But I sure do miss being a warrior of light. Pure white light.