Naani Poem inspired by Dark Is BeautifulMitti

They think they taunt me
by calling me “Mitti”.
But, I am proud
to be like this earth.

I am soft and coarse:
resilient, brown and
dark: resplendent.
life-giving, forgiving.

Whether you derive your hue from
limestone, loam, peat or clay
Of this soil we are:
Together, let’s play.

©Namratha Varadharajan


NAANI is a Telugu poetry form popularised by a famous Indian poet Dr.N.Gopi. It consists of 4-lines with 20-25 syllables. It can be written about any subject.

In this post, I have written 3.


poem inspired by darkisbeautifiul

How do you fight something you believe is the truth?

I am the first one to point fingers at myself. I am biased. I am partial towards people of lighter colour. Aren’t most of us?

It has been a snail-paced and difficult exercise in un-learning biases and re-defining beliefs when it comes to ‘knowing’ that skin colour does not determine whether you are beautiful or not. How often have you seen a dark guy/girl with a fair kid and wondered if that is the caretaker? It still happens to me, even when my intention is to not be biased and I repeat to myself: Skin colour does not determine status or success. Skin colour does not determine how educated a person is.

But, these biases are deep-rooted in our systems, so much so that we associate light skin with ‘beauty’, ‘brains’, ‘wealth’, ‘success’ and a lot more, especially in India. The cosmetics industry nurtures this obsession to sell more products. Even the men aren’t spared with products saying ‘FAIR IS HANDSOME’!

I have written about it before, here is an excerpt from that article:

We have miles to go before we reach a place where we can say “Dark and beautiful” or the Classifieds will say Wanted:a Dark Bride or parents will let their kids enjoy the sun without a care in the world.

And I will write about it again. The more we talk about it and explore this issue, we are one step closer to weeding out these beliefs. The movement DARK IS BEAUTIFUL by Women of Worth works towards this end and has been a great source of awareness for me and many others. At the least, follow them on their facebook page where they share many purposeful articles and perspectives.

Here is a 40-second video from their page.

If you are influenced by this cause and decide to use it as an inspiration for a poem/article, do leave the link in the comment and I will be sure to read, comment and share it.

For each letter this April, I shall be presenting a poem inspired by ‘something’ that is making our world a little bit kinder, a little bit greener. The ‘something’ is a mix of people, movements, thoughts, or organizations who are having a positive influence on the world around us. Read all the posts in ‘Poetry For A Cause’ series by linking the button below.


Do drop a link to your post for the Letter M of #AtoZChallenge to make it easier for me to visit you. Thank you!

Mitti: Naani Poem Inspired by #DarkIsBeautiful #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterAtoZ #NaPoWriMo
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25 thoughts on “Mitti: Naani Poem Inspired by #DarkIsBeautiful #AtoZChallenge #BlogChatterAtoZ #NaPoWriMo

  • April 16, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Beautiful poem. People judge, discriminate all the time. About time- needs to stop.

  • April 16, 2018 at 12:01 am

    It’s a beautiful poem, Namrata. The colour biasness is deep rooted in India. Loved the way, you have explained it.

  • April 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    That’s beautiful. I love the comparison between skin colour and ‘mitti’ and how beautiful the connection is. It’s sad how deep this colour bias is. I find my children already getting affected.

    • April 15, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Thank you. The bias is deep but the only consolation is that it is being acknowledged as a bias and not reality

  • April 15, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Hari OM
    I never understood it, for it seems I was born ‘colour-blind’… in Africa and in India it was astounding how often my company would point and say, “oh isn’t s/he so fair!”, with a touch of envy and awe in their voices. Such irony, too, that in Western society, efforts are made to darken the skin (tanning) as it is seen as the preferable option to sun-protected white. Silly business. A person’s skin is never the first thing I see; what is in their eyes is what interests me… YAM xx

    • April 15, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      I love how you said that.. What is in their eyes is what is important!

    • April 15, 2018 at 12:37 am

      Thanks Seema for your comment. This cause is very close to my heart.

  • April 14, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    A lovely and sweet poem 🙂 I would like to use this poetry form in one of my poems of A to Z 🙂

  • April 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Sweet poem. I know what you mean about the colour bias being deep rooted in our system. Hopefully with every generation of aware and awakened parents, broader thought patterns will be transferred to future generations!

  • April 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Wonderful theme and poem, Namy.
    More power to your mighty pen!

      • April 15, 2018 at 12:47 am

        You definitely will. I have become a fan of your poetry. You must publish these brilliant poems once the challenge is over.
        Best wishes always…

    • April 15, 2018 at 12:41 am

      Thank you Rohan. Your poem was poignant.

  • April 14, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Dark is beautiful! We need to look beyond skin color and that’s what we can teach our younger generation for an inclusive society.

    • April 15, 2018 at 12:43 am

      We do. The more awareness we create, the more we educate ourselves, better are the chances for the future generations to have higher thoughts and beliefs

  • April 14, 2018 at 5:01 am

    Lovely poem. I don’t think beauty is defined by anyone’s colour, it’s defined by what’s inside of them

    • April 15, 2018 at 12:44 am

      Thank you Debbie. Beauty isn’t defined by colour, nor is anyone’s character by their beauty


I would love to know your thoughts! Speak to me


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