Red, yellow, orange, pink, green, blue, purple…deluge of colours…wild, happy, amorous, shy, playful, and passionate…that’s what spring is all about. We celebrate springtime splashing colours with Holi! Festival of love Holi celebrates the divine love of Radha and Krishna. It’s amorous, it’s flirtatious, celebrated for over a week in Mathura and Brindavan, the land where Lord Krishna grew up.
Holi is celebrated with flowers and gulal, petals of spring flowers and colourful gulal flying in the air…red, yellow, orange, pink and blue colliding, merging and blending to form so many new shades and intricate hues of love and passion. For colours are mesmerizing, colours have many layers and their enchanting and complex hues reflect in our lives.
Holi is also about the victory of good over evil, Prahlad defeating his monster father Hiranyakashyap and wicked aunt Holika. With his steadfast devotion to Lord Vishnu Prahlad burns evil, celebrated as Holika Dahan on the eve of Holi. Like spring, Holi celebrates the positivity of colours – colours that are happy, wild and passionate, colours that evoke good and bring out the best in us.
Colours, however, are more complex than that. There are shades of sadness and gloom, shadows that are negative and hues that are confused somewhere in between the good and the bad – blacks, greys, browns and so many shades that can be scary, sometimes dull and often mesmerizing. Colours are about perception, they lend themselves to so many interpretations. Take black for instance, often juxtaposed with white which is supposedly pure the colour is associated with evil or bad. Black is the colour of death, the colour of the devil, of things or emotions that we shun.
However, black also symbolizes power, elegance and sophistication. And black is mysterious and enigmatic. The darkness of night for me is anything but evil, it’s soothing, it’s romantic, hiding so many stories in its shades. Our dark Lord Krishna is all about love and positivity and so many more complex and beautiful hues.
There are shades of white as well – milky white, ivory white, vanilla white and many more. Most alluring however are the shades of greys, browns or beige, colours that are in the intersection that are neither good nor bad, neither passionate nor dull. Depending on how these colours are perceived and applied they lend themselves to so many different meanings. Colours reflect our life, they define our mood and our personality. We wear colours, defy colours, we shun a few hues, some we blend and make our own.
I have always loved colours, bright and happy ones. The gloomier shades I have learnt to accept and blend with the cheerful hues. Greys and beige I found dull for a while till I perceived their intricacies and many layers. Along the way, life splashed me in many hues, but I chose the happy and the bold ones, ones that are wild and carefree. For, we may not always have control over the shades that come our way, but it is up to us to blend them and paint a picture of our own.