A brief history of chai and chaiwalas-II


While the “chaiwala” enjoys male privilege, there ought to be some shame felt among the upper class Pakistanis – men or women – feasting upon the socioeconomically underprivileged for their own amusement. The indigenous look is unsightly, we have learned. And learning to feel dissatisfied with our natural skin tones or our usual eye colours, is a tremendous feat. To favour the melanin-impoverished beings in a climate where the dark pigment is an indispensable barrier against skin damage, evolved through thousands of years of human evolution; this beauty standard must surely require an impressive degree of self-loathing. It’s almost as if the Polish decided that they had way too many fingers, and having two fewer fingers on each hand (like 40% less melanin in the skin), makes far more aesthetic sense.There’s nothing wrong with having preferences. But maybe it’s worth questioning how we developed these specific tastes in the first place.

Faraz Talat