Break the 'Fairness' Stereotype with Banjara's Proud Of My Colour Campaign

Banjara to break the 'fairness' stereotype with its bold new campaign
~A campaign against colour bias~

The Indian obsession with fair skin dates back to several centuries. The innate implication was that if you have fair skin, you are somewhat superior to others. The quest for fair skin and the negative bias to dark skin happens right from birth and reaches its peak during the marriageable age. Girls are told that they will not get a good husband if they are dark or asked to try for various remedies to make their skin fair.

Taking a stance against the perception “fair skin is only beautiful”, Banjara’s; a natural cosmetic brand conceptualized and supports social movement #Proud of My Color. The campaign aims to change the perception that fair skin does not mean beauty and that the focus of skin products should be on healthy skin and not skin lightening. Along with the launch of the campaign Banjara also highlighted the benefits of their newly launched skin wellness range ‘Skin Positive’.

As a cursor to Proud of My Color, a short film was created that focused on how most often the pressure to be “fairer” began at home. The film captured the concerns and apprehensions that older family members have about skin colour, especially when it comes to their daughter’s marriage. The film till date has garnered 3 million views and continues to attract attention.

Commenting on the communication objective, Ramesh Vishwanathan, Managing Director, Banjara’s said, “We wanted to change the perception that beauty is beyond fair skin. A woman should feel gorgeous in her natural skin color. The focus of skin products should be on making the skin quality and making it healthy and not skin lightening. The highlight of these short films is to educate people to get over their unhealthy obsession about fairness.”

Proud of My Color, has built a Facebook community of over 2 lakhs and has received support by celebrities like Padma Lakshmi, Actor & Writer; Renuka Shahane, Actor; Radhika Nair, Model; Nidhi Sunil, Model; Jane De Suza, Author to name a few.  

Links to the Facebook Page

About Banjara’s
Banjara’s brings a touch of nature in people’s life to make them look and feel beautiful with the best effective hair and skin care products. Banjara’s products are available across 60000 outlets all over south India and prominent modern trade chains as well as e-commerce sites. From a humble beginning of just 6 different herbal beauty powders the portfolio is now 60 products strong. Banjara’s is a sponsor of ‘Proud of my colour’ movement and endeavors to launch products and campaigns with focus on healthy skin and not skin lightening.

About Proud of my Colour
Proud of My Colour is a crowd-sourced, volunteer led movement that provides a platform to celebrate the inspirational stories of people who have not allowed the colour of their skin or existing bias against it to affect their lives.. Proud of My Colour, has built a community of about 2 lakhs+ supporters and has received support by celebrities like Padma Lakshmi, Actor & Writer; Renuka Shahane, Actor; Radhika Nair, Model; Nidhi Sunil, Model; Jane De Suza, Author etc.

Do you support the Right to Die?

Do You Support The Right To Die?

Euthanasia means the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.

In a recent conversation that I had with my teacher, here's what I had to say: 

Death isn't cruel. Sometimes, it's rather peaceful.
For someone suffering, death is the only medicine. Would you call it cruel? It's the way it chooses to arrive that is cruel.


The most obvious question:

Only for the one who is relieved. What about the related people?

The related people thank the stars for this help that they didn't have to do themselves. At least someone, the one who truly cared to see them relieved. Why don't they make it legal? Is it really wrong? I wonder.

I think it's rather selfish of related people to think that their dear one should stay as long as they can even though they cannot perform the basic functions. They depend on you for everything and can't do a single thing themselves. Half of the body is wrecked, all slaughtered just in order to keep that heart beating. Is it really worth it?

I've been to the Intensive Surgical Unit of a Hospital myself, as a patient though not in the least bit as horrific a condition as the people I saw there. I would give anything to remove that image from my mind, but I can't. I can't and it hurts to know that their related ones don't see what they're going through.

I don't say that you should give up even when there's a chance of betterment but to keep someone suffering, to prolong that period just in order to keep them close knowing that sooner or later they will go away, I don't think it's justified.

If that person is in such pain and suffering that they can't talk, can't tell you what they want when they want it, is it really right for you to decide that they should stay just so that you could have some more moments with them, to see them move their eyelids or the tiny little finger in order to convey to you that they are not dead, yet?

What would you do?

Would you choose they stay and keep battling with life, take 4 hours to muster up the energy to move that tiny finger?

Would that make you any happier if they died themselves, in the end, while working up their every last breath to make sure you knew they were there?

Why do you think it's not legal in India?

For someone unaware and extremely patriotic would immediately point out that foreigners don't love their people as much as we do, I'd like to know what makes India not legalise a practice that ends up working rather more effectively in giving peace to the people they love more than Havans they perform in their name after their demise?

Share your thoughts in the comments below and be humble in stating your point.

Until next time,
Be kind to one another! 
Bye bye! :)

Haiku: Wildlife

Haiku: Wildlife


flourished the wildlife
a habitat camouflaged
from eyes of vultures

A Haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five; traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

Also read: Haiku: After the Sunset

Share your thoughts in the comment box below! :)

Until next time,
Be kind to one another!
Bye bye! :)

Short Story: The Ancient Song: Part IV

The Ancient Song

Part IV:

Of course! La Manera park, on the outskirts of the city. It's 6 p.m. already. I think I should head there, she thought, the park was located at an hour's distance.

Finally having a lead, Tia was feeling a little hopeful, given that how messed up this case was. The destination wasn't close but she couldn't risk taking a cab, every second was precious, she decided she'd drive. 

Not sure what she was supposed to return to this person, she decided to take an empty package along, hoping to bluff her way, through.

She quickly changed into a little professional clothing from her comfy overalls. Combed her dishevelled hair and got ready to set out. 

On her way to the park, she got a call. 

'I hope you're heading where you're supposed to be.'

'I reckon I am. Just keep the person safe, I'll be there. On time.'

'You better be. You have what I want?'

'I do.'

'Good. I'm waiting.' and the line went dead.

Thank god, I'm on the right path! sighed Tia.

The park was a good half hour away, and she was finding it hard to keep calm. 

Once close enough, she parked her car, 10 blocks away. She took the package and stepped out. 
Walking stealthily, she made her way to the entrance and was shocked to see what she saw. 

The beauty of nature was so enchanting that for a moment, she forgot she was on a dangerous mission. Walking in, she noticed that the most popular park of the city was deserted on this beautiful evening. Clearly, she was dealing with someone influential enough to make that happen.
She also noticed that no one was there, except her which meant that either she was early or at the wrong place, the odds of which were rather low.

The phone rang and she jumped. 

'I see you got here. Open the package.'

'First you. Assure me of the safety of the life in danger, the package is yours.'

'Ah, you're not as clever as I thought you were, are you?'

'Do you want the package or not?'

'I don't. You didn't quite figure it out, did you?'

'Look, I'll give you what you want. I'm here. I want that person's safety first.'

'Well, you had your chance.' 

'Wait!!' she spoke, her heart beat racing with time, as her chances of saving whoever was in danger blew away as the line went dead.

She kept standing, waiting for something to happen, trying hard to be in control of her emotions. 
Now, the beauty of nature didn't enchant her much, rather she had a cold feeling about her. 
After a few minutes, she decided to look around and that's when she saw the shadow approaching. It was a man, but she couldn't see his face in the dark. He was coming closer and closer. She ran towards him as soon as she saw the face.

'What the hell are you doing here, Michael? You need to get out of here, right now. This is no joke, you're in grave danger right now. Leave, please leave.' she spoke, drowned in panic.

'the birds sang the ancient song,
the final wave is coming along,
the one responsible for undoing the wrong, 
should return the rose where it belongs.' recited Michael while the colour on her face drained.

'What the hell is going on Michael? How do you know this verse? Why are you here?' she wasn't sure what to believe.

'Do you have what I want?'

'It was you? Look, I'm in no mood for jokes. What do you think you're doing?'

'Do I look like I'm joking?'

She kept staring at him, words failing her. 

'Come here, sit with me.' said Michael, as he sat on the park bench.

'What do you want? Why am I here? Who's life is in danger, Michael? Are you being forced to this? Tell me, I can help you. Please, Michael, if this is a joke, I'm not getting it. Please tell me what's going on.' She spoke in one breath.

'The only one in need of help, is you, Tia. Now come, sit with me. Or should I say, it'd be safer if you do.' She was barely holding herself together but she knew she couldn't let that show. She did exactly what he said.

'What do you have in the package?'

'The thing you want me to return.'

'Do you even know what I want?'

'What has happened to you, Michael? Why are you doing this?'

'Are you even listening to me, Tia? You only answer what I ask, nothing else. Now where was I?'

'I don't know what you want, but whatever it is, I'm ready to give it to you. Just tell me no one's hurt.'

'So you don't know what I want. Okay, let me decode the verse for you. Then you decide, whether you can give me what I want, or not. Fair?'

'I'm telling you, I'm ready to give you whatever you want.'

'Ah, don't hasten your decision. It might not be that simple.'

'Fine, go ahead.'

'You did decode the first line but you couldn't get to terms with it, could you? Now this will take a moment to sink in. You have to be calm and listen carefully and not jump to conclusions.' His voice changed, the sternness was gone and a rather calming, soothing voice, the one she fell for, was now talking to her. She took a deep breath and got ready to finally see what the mystery was all about.

'The birds, your parents, your grandparents sang the ancient song, the wedding vows. 

The final wave, the time to decide what you want with life, the time to make a commitment, is coming along. '

The one responsible, you, for undoing the wrong, distancing yourself from everybody, from me, whatever you may decide to make do.

Return the rose, return your heart, where it belongs, with me.' 

With every rhythmic word he spoke, she realised how careless and ignorant she's been about all her relationships, about him, about her grandma and about her friends that she lost because she never could make time for them, she always had something on her plate that needed more attention than the people she loved. She took them for granted for way too long and one day, they all left, and she could do nothing to stop them. She always knew Michael was in love with her but she wasn't ready to make that commitment because she knew that she was too focused on her career. The realisation just made her heart fill with guilt and regret for taking everybody in her life for granted, her eyes welling up, ready to burst.

'Now do you know what I want?' asked Michael, after a few moments, after letting the reality sink in.

'I'm sorry Michael, I'm really sorry. I never thought how ignorant have I been about you, about grammy, about everybody. I don't know what to say...'

'It's alright, you know now and that's what matters. You know I love you, right?' he said, putting his arm around her.

'Well, I'd be an idiot if I don't. she said as tears started rolling out. 

'Now now, come here. I'm really sorry to have put you through all this drama for days. But I couldn't have found a better way to bring you face to face with reality, don't you agree?'

'Dear god, you almost gave me a heart attack with those riddles of yours. But you're right, you couldn't have found a better way to get my attention to what has been breaking my life apart for so long.' she punched him playfully as she rested her head on his shoulder. 

'You've drained yourself emotionally for far too long, it's better you come back to us or even I wouldn't be able to save your life.' 

'I know, I'm glad you're the one who did it, Michael. You teamed up with Grammy on this, didn't you?' 

'I did, and with Cassey too. I hope you still remember how beautiful a poetess your best friend is, don't you?'

'Cassey's is on this too? I thought she'd never talk to me! How did you get her to do this?'

'You know, you're the only one who thinks people don't want you in their life. Cassey was more than willing to bring you back.'

'Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do.' she smiled, tears still flowing out of her eyes.

'So are you ready to make the commitment?'

'I'll need time to think about it, Michael, about the commitment you want from me. But you should know that I love you, no matter how ignorant I have been. I always knew you were the one for me. Now, it's time for me to make up for my mistakes.'

'Let bygones by bygones.' said Michael, in the deep voice that was playing her all this while. 

'Oh no, you didn't!'

'You're right, I didn't. It was Adam. He just couldn't stay out of it. He said it was way too much fun.'

'God, you all plotted against me!'

'I'm sorry, we did!' and the both laughed, heartily.



Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time,
Be kind to one another.
Bye Bye! :)

Short Story: The Ancient Song: Part III

The Ancient Song

Part III:

Who is that?
Hey! Hey! I scream.
That person doesn't answer.
I start running, but I don't seem to get any closer.
The white sand makes it hard to run.
I just want to know who that is!
Hey, you! Please stop...I scream on the top of my lungs.
He doesn't even turn.
A huge wave is coming but it seems to be going in his direction. If he doesn't get out of there, he'll drown.
I scream, but he doesn't turn.
There's no saving him. The wave is about to touch the ground.
What's happening? The wave is coming over here. I run, the other way.
It's about to crash, I'm about to die.

Tia woke up with a start. The fidgety sleep of last night had done her no good. It was then that she decided that she'll catch some sleep while she can.

After hours of brainstorming about the clues that she had received, Tia was quite unsure about what she had gotten herself into, this time, around.

With two vague clues, she wasn't very hopeful about this mystery. That's when Michael called.

'I'm sorry, I had a bad day, and I ended up drinking. I'm really sorry. It won't happen again.'

'I believe you. I'd really like to ask the reason for that bad day, but right now I'm stuck with some work that I have to finish by tonight.'

'Work? I thought you said you're not taking up anything for a year. Why this?'

'As much as I'd like to defend myself, I can't. I just couldn't let it go. I'm sorry. But it'll be over soon and I promise, no more work after this.'

'Promise me one thing, you'll take care of yourself, won't you?'

'That's the exact same thing I was about to say to you.'

'Don't worry. I promise.'

'Okay, then. I'll get back to work. I love you.'

'I love you and I miss you. Just get this over with.'


At around 2:57 p.m., the doorbell rang. The ninth hour from sunrise was three minutes away.

She ran to the door. Took a deep breath and opened the door. There was no one out there.
But there was a package on the carpet, too beautiful for something dangerous. She took the package and opened it. Amongst tiny bits of white paper, was a white vintage hand mirror. She looked at her own reflection through it and recited the lines, 'the one who hides in disguise, 
shall be found at the ninth hour from sunrise.'

So, I am the one. I have something that this person wants, and he wants it today.

He called at about 8 p.m. yesterday so I have that much time to figure out what he wants to save the life that is in danger.

I need to know this ancient song that the verse talks about. I have no recollection of any such lullaby or song that was sacred, or special. I'd better call grammy, she thought.

'To what do I owe the pleasure? Did you finally take a break from work?'

'Ah, grammy, why do you always say that? You make it sound as if I never call!'

'You ask yourself that, child. I don't even remember when you called me last. Anyway, you have to come visit me this week, the carnival is about to begin. You used to love going there when you were here.'

'Grammy, I'm not a little kid anymore, I don't like that kind of stuff anymore but I'll come anyway.'

'Now that's my little girl.'

'Um, Grammy, I wanted to know if you know, if there was any song that mum or dad used to sing to me?

'Not one that I can remember. You never were a fan of any kind of noise, even if it was a pleasant one. Why do you ask? Is everything alright, my dear?'

'Oh, no, everything's fine. I just had this dream and there were people singing a song to me, and it was really beautiful but I couldn't make out who they were but I was really happy. I don't remember anything about the song, just that I'd like to hear it again. I thought it must be one from my childhood, something that my parents must have used to sing to me.'

'My dear, are you sure it wasn't one of the songs you recently listened to?'

'Oh, I am sure. It was unlike any that I've heard. It could even be you, you know?'

'You never liked lullabies if that's what you're thinking. You always preferred silence.'

'Was there any song that all of you guys used to sing together, like something in the family, kind of a legacy?'

'The only thing common between me and your mom were the wedding vows we sang.'

'Your wedding vows?' she asked, taken aback.

'Yes, your grandfather's best friend was a renowned musician of his time. He insisted on making a song out of our wedding vows. On a special request from your Grandpa, your parents sang the same. It is really beautiful. Shall I sing it to you?'

'Oh no no, I'm quite sure that's not what I'm looking for.' another lost cause, she thought.

'Are you?'

'Yeah, totally. I think I'll just have to wait until I listen to that song in my dream again.'

'Well, you can wait for that or you can come visit me and we can go to the carnival where there'll be so many happy songs. I'm pretty sure you'll find the one here.'

'Oh Grammy, I'll come, I promise.' she couldn't help laughing.

'Are you working on a case?'

'As a matter of fact, I am and I'm kind of stuck with something, things are just not making sense.'

'I think you always try to go too deep into things. Sometimes, my dear, things are as clear as they seem on the surface. Not everything has a hidden meaning.'

'You're right. That's all the help that I needed Grammy.'

'I'm always here. And I'm buying the tickets for us, you better show up girl.'

'I'll be there, I promise. I love you.'

'I love you too, child, see you then.'

She thought, Grammy's right, not everything has a hidden meaning. I should explore the surface.
With a stronger resolve, Tia laid down the clues and looked them over, yet again.

'the rose shall return to its fate
find the way before it's too late'

the way...

the way...

La manera!

To be continued...