In India , there is a stereotypical supposition that all the people residing in the South ( irrespective of the states ; please note that there are 4 states in south of India !!! all speaking completely different languages ,yet seen as one ! ) are dark complexioned ,without exception …….( which is not always the case !)
I am a South Indian ,from the state of Kerala , but brought up mostly in Delhi (North India ) . I have always been mistaken by my friends and teachers for a ‘Punjabi ‘ ( from the state of Punjab ,in the North ) , mostly because of my complexion ( which is not supposedly ,dark enough ,for someone belonging to the south !!! ) and also because of my name ,which would be rather unconventional for a South Indian girl..
On one such occasion , My new Hindi teacher , in between our class ,enquired as to how many of us were from the South. There were only two hands raised , in the air ….
One was a boy , who, apparently fulfilled the teacher’s ‘standard expectations’ from a South Indian . Thus, satisfied at having further reaffirmed her belief ( with a smirk on her face ! ) she asked him to sit down and turned to look at the other raised hand…
The hand was mine ,and I could already see the teacher’s mouth open up in disbelief( rather than amazement ! ) as she interrogated me , to settle her doubts… A little disgruntled and probably annoyed ( that her myth was shattered ! ) , she sneered , and remarked ” YOU ARE SO FAIR FOR A SOUTH INDIAN !! ” And all I could do then was ,smile back at her ,a weak ,confused smile…No thank you ,for certain !!
I did not know ,what a back handed compliment meant then !
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT INDIA OR ITS STATES ,HERE IS A MAP…( My native state Kerala is the southernmost ! ):