…. What colour you want?

My daughter asked me if I remembered a particular book she had once procured via a Book festival for children. It was special because it was the first time she had experienced a reading of any book with the author. Well, the truth was it was also my first (or perhaps second time) and maybe the reason I actually remembered what otherwise has been a bad record, especially as per my daughter’s checklist of the number of times I haven’t been able to recollect that which was expected by her. My four decades versus her one, doesn’t seem to be reason enough for her to pardon me my follies of memory. After all, one more time, the mother in me was expected to know-it-all and remember-it-all, among other feel-alls.

But the reason I remembered this particular instant had nothing to do with the one-of-a-kind experience, but the fact that the subject of the book is what stayed with me- almost to the extent that I was tempted to read what my (then) eight-year-old found engaging. So the book was about this girl who had the ability to be able to see colours around people depending upon what mood they were in.

As my (almost) four-decade old brain extrapolated, it was actually the aura that one always wishes one could see on people. Were they good-natured and kind or evil and out-to-get-you. Were they happy with the way life had been with them or was there a certain amount of despair which they felt? Were they smug in their glory or purple with envy? Green with anger, red with shame? So many expressions, so many auras and so many colours.

In fact, I went all the way of even making combinations. Combinations of emotions and states of mind. Yes, someone who was generally with a happy state of mind could perhaps have been angry. So what would we have, maybe a yellow (happy) mixed with a wee bit of red? That would make it an orange. Of course, this combination of colours and creations, I am told are the machinations of the fairer gender and something the opposite one generally refrains from. Hence the need to talk in only the seven colours known to mankind.

How much easier would life be if it had been so simple to read what kind of personalities and emotions we were dealing with as we came across people in their day to day lives. Difficult as people find to share what they are feeling, the desperation to hide what it is that would give away a weakness further complicates matters of human dealings. In fact, there have been many a songs that actually extol the virtues of folks who are able to hide sadness behind broad smiles (some of you may recollect which one that is).

Complicated as human brains are, further complicated are matters of the heart. Being no expert on the subject, I only know that truly appreciated are those who are transparent about their feelings and state of mind. Vulnerable may be- but the least complicated to deal with. What you see is what you get- period. It is when the layers of onion have to be peeled meticulously, are when the tears come to the fore, because painful as the process is, conviction to make it happen is even harder.

What people wear as colours is also supposed to be a reflection of what they are feeling or even better, indirectly exuding as a personality. I remember the time, I landed at a session all dressed in white. And yes, the session was related to spirituality. Think about my surprise when asked about why I was robed (saree-ed to be specific) in white. My first instinct was to remind them we were in a spiritual-ity session, and all the Gurus I had come across were in white. So while I was wont to not be classified in the same halo-ed category, I was perhaps subconsciously assuming it was the acceptable thing to do. But then  I realized, I wasn’t even sure on why spiritual folks prefer wearing white. Of course there were more enlightened souls who had answers about the whites and maroons in which the great leaders robed themselves.

But I realized, it was my way to stand out for what I thought I stood for- versatility. Yes, white is a combination of all colors I was taught, and what better way to represent myself and all that I stood for, than white. Also, white as a color can be touched even by the slightest hint of another shade, more often than not, leaving a mark. Perhaps, that was an even deeper representation of a person who took every opportunity to learn from people and experiences- sensitive- bordering on the ‘over’- as one may be.

The bride’s red, the widow’s white, the black formals, the rebel’s fluorescents- each gives a story, of mind and heart, mostly untold, or rather unsaid. An attempt at fitting in, or perhaps justifying – sticking out. We have all had our favourite colors- the ones we feel we look the best in, or the ones that please our eye the most. In fact, more often than not, the ones that please us, or make us feel the most confident, may not be thus in the eyes of the beholder.

It is, however, the free spirit, that makes choices of its own, undeterred by what other’s feel or say- after all, one never was impressed by those who lived to impress others and neither did the rainbow ever appear, just because one wished for it to!