Demystifying Colors

Colors, or colours. How-so-ever you wish to spell it, for me, it shall always remain a mesmerizing word. No I’m not color-blind, unlike Mark Zuckerberg or Chris Nolan; I can recognize most shades, though I don’t think I am qualified enough to name them differently. I am also not talking about the documentary ‘Colours’ which was made by the Girls’ Hostel team at last Acumen in my college (Though it was the most celebrated documentary in a short-film competition). Parrot green, bottle green, sea-green or ‘as green as grass,’ I know all of you must be different, but I know you by only two names, light green and dark green. The only green that is different is, perhaps, the color of Aishwarya Rai’s eyes.  Same is the case with the blues; sky-blue is the same as ocean-blue, because if I’m not wrong, it’s the color of sky which reflects in the otherwise colourless water. Although I’d like to be the blue-eyed boy for my boss some day and get that extra zero at the end of my early bonus cheque. But I certainly have a thing against red, especially when the traffic lights blush at seeing me drive. Irresistible is the word they use for me, but Red is also the color of blood, the color of change and I always have the most mixed of feelings whenever I see this color.

I’m colored too. You’re wrong again if you think that I am talking about my much-talked-about dusky complexion, or if you think that I am trying to raise my voice against racism or Apartheid or any social cause, then as much as I would want to, I’m sorry, I’m happy the way I am and I don’t give a fuck to whatever you may think about me. But as seldom as I would care about you, I am concerned how I am to the world when the chips are down.

I am BLACK: Technically, Black is the absence of any color. Unable, at all, to reflect any light. I too am black. Unable to reflect the way you would want me to. Unable to react the way I should. Devoid of emotion? Perhaps, to a great extent, but then it also depends on what you deserve from me. Black is the color of evil. I’m no Lucifer myself, but yes, I am bad. I escape from the truth when it is easy for me to run; I drink and forget when it is not. I lie and I would love to see you fall. But for those who confide in me, come hither and see for yourself, how much light I can absorb. Maybe I’m not black because I have negativity. Maybe it’s just the negativity that I removed from your aura. Ever think of the halo behind your head? Who put it there, and whose responsibility is it, anyway, to keep it clean?

I am GREEN: The color of envy or that of the spring? From a cinematographer’s point of view, green is the color least present in human body, hence the green screens we use. I may not be that eco-friendly that I may be called green, but then again, I am green, even though I’m unable to perform photosynthesis and do not have chlorophyll. Nor am I the Green-Lantern, who’d help you like a superhero. Jealousy, then?  I’m no God, and my flesh and bones are jealous, of you, and the way you get everything you want so easily, yet you crib as to how tough life has been for you. The green-house effect works on me and heats me, but I’m not sure yet how much would it nourish me. I’m unfair, at times, and I let my whims take over, but how often do I not justify it. I may be green, but that only makes me human; and definitely not any lesser, if compared.

I am BLUE: Blue is the color of bliss. Blue, you’re said to be when you’re feeling low. But Blue for us, Indians, is a proper noun as Blue is the color of Team India. Even as they play in Whites, Blue is our blood when team India wins. The coolest of all colors, I’m Blue, both in moments of joy and sorrow, content and loneliness. Blue, I feel, is the color that makes me fluid, Blue is what attracts me to you, Blue is why I trust you, Blue is what makes us one. Blue is the color we should raise a toast to.

I am GREY: An achromatic color in an otherwise poly-chrome world. Grey is the color that describes human nature best. Somewhere between the extremes of black and white, I am Grey too. I’m good and bad at the same time. I half lie and half say the truth in the same breath. I was trusted and deceived, I have been trusted and have deceived, but I am what I am supposed to be. Yes I have been manipulative, but maybe I did it for the best of everyone’s interest. I can be secretive, but that does not mean I am hiding something. Revenge is not what I incrust under and revenge is never what I’ll root for. But I’ll curse you and say a silent prayer for you at the same time.

I am YELLOW: The color of fear, or timidness, at least that’s the way I see it- the weight of the world, the unsure feeling of the light going out, the flickering hope, the disposition of faith. I am yellow and I have the right to be wrong. I turn away when I should stand abreast, I think of myself when the house is on fire, who does not! I value things, more that people sometimes. Hold morals above emotions or succumb to emotions when ethic is all that is required, but I am weak and that is my biggest strength.

I am RED: Red is the color of blood. Red is the color of danger. Red is the color of rage. Red is the color of rebellion. Red is the color of love. The most sparkling of all colors, with the longest of wavelengths, who are we if not red? I may not have the deep voice of Walter White (of Breaking Bad) when I say “I am the danger,” but the colour that is missing from my cheeks, more than makes up for, in by head. I am rebellious and rules are not for me, unless I make them, but try breaking one that I have made and you are in for trouble. Bloodshed is not my thing, but sweat and blood, must be put together. Pink, they say, is another shade of red, and much as I hate the color, an occasional pink strawberry drink, does not make you gay (not that it is a problem if you already are)!

I am WHITE: When Newton observed the colored bands on a whirl wheel, he said that White is the presence of all colors. It’s the color that reflects all light that falls on the. The most ‘adjustable’ color there could be. It becomes one with whatever light you throw at it. White is symbolic of purity, the essence of poetry, the epitome of placidity, the reflector of tranquility. I am white, when I am honest to myself. When I tell myself the truth, pick myself up, dust and run again. White is my positivity, optimism, the gay charm, the truth. I possess all the colors, and that makes me white. I maybe a dull shade of white, but being white, is what matters.

I sometimes wish I could camouflage like a chameleon, and how simple life would be if I could become one with my surroundings, where I can be everywhere, yet no one can find me, unless I want them to. But if I can be so many colors at one time, do I even need to hide?

PS: The above thoughts are just my take on human nature through different colors, the reader is free to agree or disagree. Leave a comment, if you  disagree or vary from my opinion.

Deconstructing a Writer’s Mind

Vikrant Dutta with Meenu Mehrotra at the Social Potpourri meet up

A few days ago, I was fortunate to attend a meeting with two budding writers, Meenu Mehrotra and Vikrant Dutta in Delhi. As a blogger and an aspiring writer, I was keen to know the stories of these two writers and when the agenda of the meeting said ‘Construction of a Writer’s Mind’ which was organized by Social Potpourri, I was even more excited to know what goes on in that head of a writer that percolates onto the paper like a tin-shed in the Mumbai rains. It was quite interesting to meet some of the most creative and inquisitive souls at the meeting and then finally came the moment when Vikrant started telling his story and how he came about writing his first book, ‘An Ode to Dignity.’

For an Air Force officer, writing a book does not come naturally. Especially when it’s not a memoir, a motivational self-survival story and most importantly when it is written in approximately 300 pages of ballad. To add to its uniqueness, Vikrant Dutta is probably the only writer, ever, to have successfully published a whole manuscript in ballad. Kudos to that! Dutta went on to tell his story about how, he graduated from an avid reader to a writer, after being aspired his mother’s words of wisdom about how a dacoit like Valmiki could transform his life with the power of the quill. In pursuit of not being cast under the oblivion’s curse, Dutta too, started writing. Taking inspiration from the sonneteers and writers of verse, he started writing ballad and after years of perseverance, he finally finished writing his first book. To give you an insight, at the moment I would just like to say that the story is that of an army lieutenant falling in love with his superior’s widow and what transpires thereafter.

Meenu Mehrotra, on the other hand, is a Dubai based full time writer who has just launched her second book, Sunlit Hearts after ‘Lilacs Bloom in My Backyard’. With Lilacs Bloom in My Backyard, Meenu Mehrotra explored the lesbian relationship between two women protagonists in the story. Sunlit Hearts on the other hand deals with infidelity. Meenu prefers to stick to writing in prose and mostly writes about the life of women protagonists in her stories.

Now after a long talk with the two authors, I was rather surprised when I deconstructed the minds of the two writers. Sitting on the same sofa, they seemed to not only belong to two very different schools of thought when it came to their writing but even as they approached their writings for that matter. While Meenu is the quintessential writer for whom writing is sacred, something that gives her joy makes her feel closer to her ‘undiscovered self’ as she says, Vikrant was a first of his kind writer I was meeting. He confessed that he never enjoyed writing per-se, but he wrote, daily, without fail, and the end of it, he felt ‘relieved.’ People have different perspectives on doing the same thing, but never before had a met a writer who didn’t love to write. With Vikrant, I discovered a new way of writing, ‘Mechanical Writing.’ Whoever said, “When you’re good at something, never do it for free,” was right. With Vikrant’s story of how he wrote whenever he got time and that too in ballad gives a new dimension to the way we approach writing. Facts and figures are not something that he looks for in a book. And when he writes fiction, he says, that is not even important.

This brings us to a very deep question. Why do we do anything? Is it our ostentatious self or the desire for attention? Why do people chose a profession and then end up cursing it? Why do we change our priorities every now and then? And do we ever think of the people we walk out on while doing so? Writing is one example, to get to do something ‘mechanically’, what is it that motivates a person if he that. People worship their art, yet many ‘artists’ may just be doing it because they do not know of anything else that they’re better at. How many actors do we have, who only act because they’re good at it and not for the love of cinema? In this world of deceit, if I look around me, then are my friends really the people who love me? Or are they ‘mechanical’ friends too? Will they back-stab me or leave me for good if they find someone more interesting than me? Am I myself true to what I do? Will I leave someone/something for good if it does not satisfy me? Am I honest to the people I love? ………. I don’t think I can answer the above questions. Can you, for me?