The flowers match with the salwar I wore – pink. Oh well, the flowers were bright pink and I wore light pink, but what the heck, they did go well. The green looked fresh and bright, and so did the houses behind me, but I could only feel the heat, and smell the musty air.
The guy asks me to adjust my dupatta. I smile gently at him, adjust the dupatta against one shoulder, look at him modestly and ask him if I will do. He does a critical eye-over, and apparently is not satisfied as he mutters something under his breath, but decides that nothing better can be done.
I adjust one hip against one tree trunk, and lean against it. The dupatta moves again, and he is annoyed. Afraid that I will have to endure it more, I quickly smooth the starched garment, pull away the hair from the face, and try to contort my facial muscles into an expression of peaceful discontent. Apparently, it worked – because he shoved a few more lights into my face. Its was easier to now depict the peace and calm – the lights make you shut your eyes in calm solitude, and the heat makes you look like you are dying a peaceful death. But it worked, and it was soon over, as he finally clicked the last pics. I decide to shift my hip before the poor overworked plaster of paris tree gave away.
And so ended my photoshoot for my ‘pennu kannal’ pics. I started a few years back, and you should think that I should be a pro at it. But as they say about happy marriages, every single time, it’s a unique experience. Oh the backgrounds are different, the poses are different, the cameraman’s comments are different….unqiue. And it wasn’t over yet.
I come out, and Achai looks at me with curiosity. I am a pro right – so I am well prepared. The gold chain shows above the dupatta, and the hair is pulled back to reveal the diamond earrings – no trace of the oxidized nose ring. He smiles, and I smile back. Ahhhh, thank God. All’s well that ends well.
Well almost…
We are paying up when Achai turn back and looks at him. “Photo korachu bright aakum pattumo?  Eru neram ollelum, korachu velithu erunotte”
A toothy smile from him.. ““Athinu entha..photoshop il athekke adjust cheyamelo. Korachu color enthayulum kodukam”.
Thank God for Photoshop…what if Chakkolas Fairness oil doesn’t work?:-)
For non mallus: 
Can you make the photo brigher? Even if she is a little dark, let her look a little fair in the photo.
Of course not a problem. We can adjust the colors in Photoshop. Will definitely give her some color.

29 comments for “Photoshop?

  1. September 11, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    My beloved racist country 😐

    • September 12, 2006 at 5:11 am

      Well honestly, am so used to it now, it doesnt even bother me so much:)Have gone beyond feeling angry ..its now more irritation at the stupidity.

      Its ridiculous and stupid…but it does show mass attitude. fair and lovely has the most sexist and stupid ads, and yet they are doin real well. I dont know if I should feel happy that now there is a cream for males..Fair and Handome…:)

  2. September 11, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    This non mallu also wants to know: What exactly are ‘pennu kannal’ pics?

    • September 12, 2006 at 4:17 am

      Well, “pennu” is girl..and “kaanal” is ‘to see’. So “pennu kannal” is a traditional ceremony when a guy comes to ‘see’ a girl his parents have chosen for him.

      I just coined the term ‘pennu kannal’ pics for pictures which are put up on matrimonial sites:)

  3. September 11, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    🙂 We did that for my sister a few years back. The photos came back air brushed and beautiful, and left my sister fuming. She demanded getting copies of the ‘real’ picture and insisted on only using those. I have a copy of the airbrushed ones as a souvenir!

    • September 12, 2006 at 4:21 am

      I am beyond fuming. Its easier not to argue for me. I just let them do what they want, and then later what I want…*grin*

      • September 12, 2006 at 4:40 am

        > and then later what I want…*grin*

        With this sentence, I now should be having the hope you wont make any compromises 🙂

        • September 12, 2006 at 5:00 am

          I hope not too:-)

          But honestly, sometimes the pressure is just too much.

  4. September 11, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    Photos? I refused, period. So my poor mother got a photographer friend to crop and enlarge the only recent photo of me that she had — where I had a month’s growth of facial fungus and the hair on my head was all sticking up on end. Photoshop could have done nothing to redeem it. (The userpic in this comment looks positively dapper in comparison, just to give you an idea.)

    The funny bit is that the woman I ultimately married (mom had nothing to do with it — sorry, mom) protests if I threaten to go smooth-chinned! Though I admit she doesn’t dig Tagoresque beards either, so it’s a compromise.

    So remember: when it comes to marriage, one size doesn’t fit all. As far as physiques go, I find dusky, plumper-than-usual women more attractive than any other, and I’m not merely trying to be politically correct. Ask the wife. 🙂

    • September 12, 2006 at 4:58 am

      I know. But its very difficult to convince the parents. According to them, the average mallu man’s notion of feminine beauty hasn’t changed too much – long hair, fair skin and a ‘healthy’ body.

      I have had n number of fights over this, but there’s no use. So, I just choose the path of least resistance..let them do what they want, and I do what I want …*evil grin*. But of course I am in perpetual terror that I will run into somebody soon..and they will be..”i have seen you somewhere”. .”Of course, on that site..”.and I will be like…RUN!:D

      To their credit, its true that some of these notions have been developed through real experinences. I have actually had a guy tell me that he is ‘okay’ with me as long as I was ready to grow my hair…and another one who wanted me to lie about my age to his parents (only below 25 was acceptable). So well…:)

  5. September 12, 2006 at 12:45 am

    Maybe they can also do one of those burn effects (or some of the more whacky ones) in Photoshop, and then you can look goth-mallu?


  6. September 12, 2006 at 4:50 am

    Hmmm sounds very familiar. But I was not as cooperative as your were.
    The photographer asked my Mom if I was ready why was she getting pics of me clicked. I looked so angry in the picture – I never thought anyone would say ‘yes’.

    • September 12, 2006 at 5:02 am

      Well obviously, someone said yes!:-)

  7. September 12, 2006 at 4:54 am

    Isn’t this what HLL was cashing on when they did that Fair & Lovely add.

    “Photo korachu bright aakum pattumo? Eru neram ollelum, korachu velithu erunotte”
    A toothy smile from him.. ““Athinu entha..photoshop il athekke adjust cheyamelo. Korachu color enthayulum kodukam”.

    Thank God for Photoshop…what if Chakkolas Fairness oil doesn’t work?:-)

    For me it worked the other way around – whenever I wanted to say no – I would tell my dad that he wasnt fair skinned enough (sorry – I am no racist -but thats the only line which worked with my dad).

    • September 12, 2006 at 5:05 am

      I know. And I totally understand – have to cook up more excuses now. I have run out on every possible one.

  8. September 12, 2006 at 5:56 am

    Babe you actually agreed to get matri pics clicked??? I’m in shock!! 😀 Please do not tell my mom that you agreed to do this…otherwise she’ll make me do the same!!

    • September 12, 2006 at 6:12 am

      I agreed long time back..years back in fact:)

      • Anonymous
        September 13, 2006 at 11:38 am


        As a matter of fact, I have it from reliable sources that men *do* admire fair, long haired, “healthy” women…:D

        As for the bias towards fairness, it is so extremely prevalent in our society – and not just among men. I still get bugged when I hear *old* married, mother-of-two women say they don’t want to go out in the sun cos they’ll get dark. For a 15 minute stroll after lunch for god’s sake. And they don’t even have to worry about matrimony any more.

        And then again, when you’re “window” shopping for life partners, what would you look for except the socially-accepted norms for good looks? I would argue that you should look for character, personality etc, but come on, in one meeting of an hour or two, how much of that can you judge? I know friends who’ve got it terribly wrong and not even found out until after the wedding. At least “good looks” don’t fade quite that fast.

        On the other hand, what’s the point of making the photo fair? The guy is going to meet you in person sooner or later isn’t he? Or is it like lying in your CV just to get the interview call and hope to stun them with your personal charisma after that?

        Whatever. Some things never change.

  9. Anonymous
    September 13, 2006 at 11:40 am


    BTW, I didn’t know that I could post comments without creating an ID. What fun! That last comment was me – Mika

    • September 13, 2006 at 1:10 pm

      Re: 🙂

      aaaah its you:-)

      I agree. What else can you look at when you are having an arranged marriage, but i do protest at prevalent notions of beauty. Dark skinned doesnt mean ugliness, and its high time people realised.

      Having said that I do realise that every person is entitled to have a personal opinion and is entitled to that choice. For example, as a general rule, I like tall men, and would prefer my hubby to be tall. Like you said, if I had fallen for a short guy, it woudnt matter, not one bit. But if I ever have an arranged marriage, and thats a big ever, I know that I would look out for a tall guy (maybe not consciously, but honestly I would:))

      What I have a problem is ‘mass attitude’. I do not like it when you label something as undesirable, and then go about giving a cure for it.

      Anyway, i guess for me, the whole idea of an arranged marriage is unpalpatable and thats why the whole rigmarole that goes with it irriates me.

      • September 13, 2006 at 3:22 pm

        Re: 🙂

        U poor dear … I understand … I agree too … to some extent.

        Freedom of speech also implies freedom of opinion and that in turn implies freedom of prejudice as well. I hate the politically correct crowd who try to dictate what people’s preferences should be.

        But then on the flip side I am wary of voicing my preferences because someone will have an opinion against it. I have no desire to be a martyr on either side.

        Though I get pissed of with the ‘prevalent’ attitudes in society, I don’t grudge them that since it is not forced down legally on anyone.

        I personally would love a tall, fair, beautiful chic as my mate [wife or otherwise]. And I don’t care if anybody hates that. That’s what I find attractive and its not a choice I made. It was wired into my genes. Even if it was a choice its still nobody’s business is it?

        But then like you, I would ignore a lot of my criteria if I fell in love with a gal [ and thats a big IF 🙂 ].

        FYI – I was once terribly and still slightly in love with a divorced gal [i.e, untouchable in the marriage ‘market’] who was older than me by 3 years [tauba tauba]. But she rejected me for a mythical jewish bastard because I found it hard to believe in virgin births.

        ** I did not put it that crudely to her … I’m just expressing moi angst….

        • September 15, 2006 at 2:18 pm

          Re: 🙂

          I agree…again to a certain extent:)

          Yes, you are allowed to freedom of prejudice. But as I said before, when it limits itself to individual prejudice I dont have a problem. I am not trying to be politically correct, but i do believe that certain things benefit individuals, certain others benefit society and civilisation, and there are others which dont. Anything that is detrimental to the human desire of being better individuals or a better society is not acceptable to me.
          So when there is a collective prejudice against dark skin, and if it leads to discrimination, I do have a problem with it.

          Personally, if you decide to go for a fair girl, well, good for you. I have absolutely no issues.

          • September 16, 2006 at 4:59 am

            Re: 🙂


            I was not picking on you specifically daa 🙁 … I was picking on everyone generally 🙂 . Also methinx u is very attractive as does someone else I know 😉 …

            Who decides what is good for society? Isn’t the phrase ‘gentlemen prefer blondes’ discrimination against gals with other hair colour?

            “Socialists like to play God” – Bastiat

            We all have prejudices. That is our privilege – one we give to ourselves. Any action is bound to be evil to some and good to others depending on how much it does to increase or decrease your chances of survival [I am borrowing from Dawkin’s “Selfish Gene” & scraps of Scientology here].

            Maugham has this to say about society . I’m sorry go off on a tangent 🙁 but it really is good reading.


            [I can’t resist quoting him – “Of Human Bondage” is so much like my autobiography]

          • September 16, 2006 at 5:07 am

            Re: 🙂 Somerset Chaettan Once More ;p

            “He said to himself that might was right. Society stood on one side, an organism with its own laws of growth and self-preservation, while the individual stood on the other. The actions which were to the advantage of society it termed virtuous and those which were not it called vicious. Good and evil meant nothing more than that. Sin was a prejudice from which the free man should rid himself.

            Society had three arms in its contest with the individual, laws, public opinion, and conscience: the first two could be met by guile, guile is the only weapon of the weak against the strong: common opinion put the matter well when it stated that sin consisted in being found out; but conscience was the traitor within the gates; it fought in each heart the battle of society, and caused the individual to throw himself, a wanton sacrifice, to the prosperity of his enemy.

            For it was clear that the two were irreconcilable, the state and the individual conscious of himself. THAT uses the individual for its own ends, trampling upon him if he thwarts it, rewarding him with medals, pensions, honours, when he serves it faithfully; THIS, strong only in his independence, threads his way through the state, for convenience’ sake, paying in money or service for certain benefits, but with no sense of obligation; and, indifferent to the rewards, asks only to be left alone. He is the independent traveller, who uses Cook’s tickets because they save trouble, but looks with good-humoured contempt on the personally conducted parties.The free man can do no wrong. He does everything he likes–if he can. His power is the only measure of his morality. He recognises the laws of the state and he can break them without sense of sin, but if he is punished he accepts the punishment without rancour.
            Society has the power.

            But if for the individual there was no right and no wrong, then it seemed to Philip that conscience lost its power. It was with a cry of triumph that he seized the knave and flung him from his breast. But he was no nearer to the meaning of life than he had been before. Why the world was there and what men had come into existence for at all was as inexplicable as ever. Surely there must be some reason. He thought of Cronshaw’s parable of the Persian carpet. He offered it as a solution of the riddle, and mysteriously he stated that it was no answer at all unless you found it out for yourself.”

  10. September 18, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Aaaah Maugham. Sigh.

    Trust you to use one of MY fav authors as your weapon to win an argument:) And esp after I have just finished my third reading of Christmas Holiday.

    I know I know – but I am not really convinced. And these are questions which came up when I first read Aldous Huxley and then graduated to Maugham. I started up questioning right and wrong and then digressed into individual versus society and finally got so confused that I decided to return to the notions that I originally held.

    Long before I started reading – my parents had drilled a few ‘no’ concepts – no lying, no hurting others, no theft, no cheating. It was easier to live against these, of course with a few amendments in certain cases. Of course I never figured if these ‘no’ concepts is what leads to a conscience:)

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