Miscegenation is not a dirty word.

She says….

Her Dad was Indian and her mother a Negro.

What she says softly….

They called her Dougla at the marketplace.

It meant no harm, was all in jest,

But we understood better.


Communities fixated on the purity of race

Obdurate in their refusal to accept

The dynamics of kneading flour with water

An agglomeration of gluten

For our daily bread

And our sustenance.


Her friend, with a Buck man for a father,

A dougla mother,

They called her a cook up,

Made us chuckle over tea

Ah! Nomenclature….

Lovely when rooted in sustenance.


It is unfashionable to speak ‘Mulatto’

I hear, it is also unfashionable to be Negro.

And all the anthropologically negroid Indians

Use fair and lovely to hide their wheatish complexions,

As they exhibit themselves on

The matrimonial columns of the Times of India.


Whiteboard, blackboard

Our vocabulary has skewed our perceptions

Or perhaps vice versa….

Until we discovered there were unwritten rules

For cessation of union across race.

It didn’t seem funny then.




*Dougla is the term used to describe offspring of Indian and Black parents. The Bhojpuri origin of the word is highly offensive in India.

Buck man is a term used to describe an Amerindian male. It is considered derogatory in Guyana.

Cook up is rice and meat cooked together with spices.

Fair and lovely is a cosmetic cream promoted in India for its skin lightening properties and young women are exhorted to use it; to look fair skinned enough, for matrimonial eligibility.