“Amma, I want that dark maroon dress” said 13-year-old Prabha. “No ma”, said her mom. “it is very bright and will not suit you at all. You can buy this light cream colour instead”. “Yes”, said her sister Divya, who was two years younger than Prabha. Prabha was disappointed and came home without saying anything. Prabha was the most intelligent and bright student in the whole school. She studied well and never missed the first rank. But that never got to her head. She was always willing to help her school mates with studies. But she was not liked by the other students who were also studious and competed with her to get first rank. They made fun of her as she was dark skinned and never accepted her as their friend. They called her names whenever she went past them. Prabha was able to tolerate all this. But even in her house, her own mother and sister Priya treated her as if she was from another world. Though she was dark skinned, she had beautiful wide eyes and long, black thick hair which reached her knee. Her sister was fair skinned. She was given preference in all things; even in selecting dresses. Prabha was never permitted to buy bright coloured dresses. She fought with them for some years but gave up finally. Whenever any occasion came for purchase of dress or accessories, she let her mother and sister do the selection. She didn’t even accompany them to the shop. She finished her graduation and got a good job with a decent salary. Then her parents started seeking alliance for her. This was also not a happy experience for her. She was rejected by many boys. Once she overheard her mother speaking to their neighbour. She was telling her neighbour that since Prabha was dark skinned, her marriage was getting delayed and due to this, her sister’s marriage is also getting delayed. She became very angry and when her mother came inside, she shouted at her mother. “If you want to marry off Priya, go ahead. I will remain single. Don’t go and complain to all our neighbours. My dark complexion is not my fault” she shouted. Next week, her parents informed her that another boy named Vishal is coming alongwith his parents to see her. She said to her mom with determination “this is the last boy. If he rejects me, I will remain single throughout my life. After all, marriage is only part of life and it is not the end. I have so many other plans in my mind”. Vishal came alongwith his parents and sister next week. She adamantly didn’t wear silk sari, didn’t make up her face. She was very casual. Her mother was not at all happy but she didn’t mind. She insisted that she will go alone and meet them only at a local park and she did not want to invite them to their house. Her parents agreed though they were against this arrangement. She met them at the park. To her surprise, the boy was talking to her nicely. After some time, he asked her whether she liked him. Only after that, she looked at him properly. He was tall and handsome and his benign smile made her to skip a heartbeat. She liked him but she was still suspicious. “Do you like me”? she asked him. “Yes, I like you very much. That is why I asked you” he said and they went back home and declared the news to her parents. They were very happy and the engagement date was fixed. He spoke to her parents and informed them that he wanted to take her out to purchase her engagement sari on Sunday. He came promptly on Sunday and took her out. They went to a restaurant and then to a shop. She was looking at the rows and rows of saris. She zeroed on the maroon sari which she had wanted for so long. “Shall I take this Vishal”? she asked him. “Of course, if you like, take it” he said. “Thank you Vishal, thank you so much. My mom and sister never permitted me to buy anything of my choice since I am dark skinned” she said. Vishal said “the first thing I noticed was your beautiful dark skin, wide and big eyes and your thick hair and immediately I fell head over heals in love with you. After all, Prabha, love doesn’t see the colour of skin, it only sees the mind, the inner beauty” he said. Prabha felt very happy thanking God for the wonderful companion she got after waiting for such a long time.