Fair and Lovely!

Helping hands reaching out to another

With so many protests and debates over colour issues worldwide, corporates and industrial houses are jumping overboard to absolve themselves of colour discrimination, by changing names and titles. The latest, ‘Fair and Lovely’ has changed its name to ‘Glow and Lovely!’

And in my vivid imagination I hear a boss of another such fairness cream firm shouting: “We need a new name!”

“Sir,” shouts an employee, “What about Radiance?”

“Beautiful!” shouts the boss. “What a name! It will sell like hot cakes! Run over to the patent office and get the name patented before anyone else does!”

And at the patent office, an official shakes his head, “I’m afraid that’s already been taken, sir!”

“By whom?” asks the executive angrily, “We are the only ones who offer a glow and radiance with the first tube itself!”

“Sir, those that got the patent say their Radiance is not skin deep like yours but a glow all over!”

“I want to see the product!”

“They said to look out into the Covid-stricken world and you will see much of their product all over. Can you see that daughter moving in with her aged mother, giving up her posh flat to help her ma during this time?”

“Yes! And what a glow she has on her face!”

“That’s Radiance she has on! And see that film actor, flying poor migrants to their towns! Just look at…”

“He seems to have taken an overdose of their product!”

“These Covid times have thousands using their product!” said the patent officer. “What a shine, envelopes them when they do! See that worker carrying his aged mother home, that middle class family paying for their driver and maid servant, though they haven’t seen either in the last three months? Can you see people helping their Covid-stricken neighbours with food and medicines, instead of ostracizing them…”

“What beauty…”

“Not from a tube like yours, sir! You make people spend thousands to bring a fairness to their skin, who later with that artificial whitening stare with loathing at those with darker skin! All they need is to have real Radiance!”

“And what are the ingredients used?”

“They told me it’s something called Character!”

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed the corporate man, “and you think Character can compete with our chemicals?”

“Maybe not!” said the patent officer sadly, “But the glow their users have, the shine and radiance is far more permanent, more visible, much healthier, than yours, sir. Its effects of well-being and generating happiness even build immunity against this dreaded virus; can yours do that?”

“No…” whispered the corporate man, “How much is it priced at?”

“It’s free!” said the patent officer.

“Then what’s preventing people using it?”

“You!” said the patent officer, “fooling people with shortcuts in tubes and bottles..!”

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Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com