Dr. Zahira Rahman
I was four and away from home. But for a four year old home was any place where she felt loved. There was a name Park View and the place just outside its huge guarded gates was lined with huge trees. Some of them a hundred years old. In May they flowered and had fragrant lilac flowers. Lilac was blue for the little girl and the flowers had no name yet. The flowers were promptly gathered in the folds of the dress and gifted to a loving grandparent. A memory that one associates with a colour always stays. This lilac colour was a place you escaped to when adulthood was too much on you. And then any shade echoing lilac, violet, purple, lavender, mauve became salves.
One often wonders why are colours and emotions so linked? Years after , returning tired and dispirited after a day of teaching at a department where standards were set and rules followed and men walked about cocksure, the little girl saw the Jacandra in full bloom in the middle of the town near the porch of a government building, being just being, not trying to be anything but itself lilac flowers blowing about in the wind. Just being and spreading and showing paths to birds seeking strange colours in the noise of a muscle flexing Street
Another colour I remember but can’t name is a grey and pink and violet all blent in a rose that my father brought home from kuttiadi where he had lemon grass and cardamom on a hillside plot. It was late evening when he brought home some cuttings and the lone rose was coloured so unusual.None of the cuttings survived and the colour remained a memory.
Some colours can’t be emulated. Neither photographs nor paintings can reflect the way colours mirror your soul as light filters through a new born leaf neither yellow nor orange nor peach or pink,or the rainbow as it hovers over a field of fresh green. Some blues and greens refuse to be represented. The wild flowers indiscernible in the darkness of a rainy morn show themselves in a strange hue neither white nor blue. Colours are what you draw in, not really there sometimes like the blue sky or the black boughs.