Thursday, August 17, 2017

Love is color blind

A grandma was fondly showing me pictures of her newborn grandson.

A professor grandma. A researcher grandma. A grandma who has spent many years working on feminism. Black history. Black feminism. 

I don't even know half the names of Black writers and activists she talks about. Excited, I scribble down the names. I am going to look them all up.

Between such conversations, grandma fondly shows me more pictures of her newborn grandson.

I am willing to overlook the fact that she just reiterated, rather unnecessarily, that her grandson is a US citizen. Others do it too, the ones who need constant validation that they fit in, but she is different. She is a professor grandma. She has somehow earned my respect. No human is without biases. I have mine too. 

And then, the unthinkable happens.

She says, "Look at my grandson. He has different colored hair than all of us. Since he was born in the US, he has brown hair. Isn't that amazing?"

My make-believe world of role modeling professor grandma comes crashing down. I look closer at the picture. Not a wisp of brown hair. I also happen to know the parents. Not a wisp of brown hair from there either. Is it my ageing eyesight? I wonder what other strange ideas brew in grandma's imagination. Grandma does not live in the US by the way. Grandma lives in Kolkata. Is love that "color blind"?

Genetics died a mocking death that day.


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