Tag: defiant shades of love and life

Shades of Grey

Grey and its many shades! No, this has nothing to do with 50 Shades of Grey and its protagonist Christian Grey and his twisted sexual fantasies. I am talking about the colour grey here – the dull, drab grey that we abhor, and eventually learn to accept. For, we realize there is much more to grey – it can be threatening, melancholic, conflicting and even enigmatic – there are many shades of grey!

When we are younger, we like bright and happy colours – red, yellow, green, orange, pink. Who wants dull grey? We can deal with the clarity of black and white, but grey confounds us. It’s neither back nor white, neither here nor there. We can’t put it in a box. It defies any definition. For black and white has merged to create grey. And not just one grey, many shades of greys!

For a long time, I avoided grey. I found the colour boring, sometimes confusing. I was all for happy colours, all for clarity. I wanted definite answers. For me, it was either right or wrong, no in-betweens. I either liked something or somebody or I didn’t, and I what didn’t like, I ignored. I made no effort to be nice to people who didn’t match up to my standards. I would rather be alone than be with people I didn’t care about. My friends, who knew me better, called me reserved. But not everyone was as kind. Most people found me snobbish. But that somehow didn’t bother me, as long as I had clarity.

Things changed once I entered the world of work. I realized I couldn’t ignore a person just because I disliked them, no matter how valid my reasons maybe. You could probably get away with it in some spheres of life. But in my profession that involved dealing with people, it was impossible. So, I learnt to get along with people irrespective of whether I liked them or not. I did so grudgingly at first, then eventually got used to it. I realized that it didn’t make me fake; it made me a better person. I was less dismissive and judgemental.

Grey makes the happy colours stand out

Then the little boxes defied me. The right and the wrong, the good and the bad, the light and the dark, and so many other opposites that I compartmentalized often got jumbled. Things got even more entangled when emotions entered the equation, all those ‘Love me, love me not’ moments. The conflicting sentiments confounded me. I would be perplexed, sometimes depressed, not knowing how to deal with them. Until I realized it was impossible to put things in different boxes. The greys are for real, as real as black and white.

And not all greys are dull. There’s romantic grey like a monsoon day that brings silver rain or the enigmatic grey of the evening sky that merges with the night. Grey can be threatening, grey can be looming and uncertain, but once we learn to deal with greys, it’s not that bad. Grey is a mature colour that teaches us to accept life as it comes!

Colours of life!

There’s a reason why we hail spring, why it’s so widely celebrated, odes written about its youthful exuberance. Spring is the season of hope, it’s all about celebrating rebirth or rejuvenation. Spring celebrates life. The fresh green leaves shooting out of branch browned by harsh winter, the colourful flowers blooming all over, the singing birds – the world seems to have awakened from the winter hibernation. Song of Spring is a colourful melody expressed so beautifully by none other than John Keats: 

And O and O,/ The daisies blow, / And the primroses are wakened;/ And the violets white/ Sit in silver light,/ And in the green buds are long in the spike end.

No wonder then Spring is blithely followed by lovingly playful Cupid. First, comes visiting Saint Valentine from the far West and we Indians paint the town red and pink to welcome him. Though many may not know who Saint Valentine is, Valentine’s Day has become the most important day on desi lovers’ calendar. It’s all about red roses and pink hearts or rather pink heart-shaped pastries and chocolates and trinkets and gifts followed by expensive dinners. Those already in love take a lot of pain to make their cherished one feel special. Those yearning for love, hope to find that special someone on Valentine’s day. While the florists and the bakers make hay, we are or imagine ourselves to be Cupid struck! Naysayers may cynically nod their head, but I feel great about dedicating a day to love. After all, love does make the world go around! 

Image courtesy Deccan Chronicle

Then comes our very own Holi that encapsulates the fun and frolic of Lord Krishna with his beloved Radha and his favourite Gopis. Though Holi also signifies the victory of good over evil, the triumph of Prahlada over the evil king Hiranyakashipu, it is the image of fair Radha playing with colours of love and passion with her dark mischievous lover Krishna in Braj Bhoomi (Vrindavan) that captures the popular imagination. Holi celebrates the many colours of love, the divine love of Radha Krishna – love of Krishna for his married distant relative Radha that is considered to be the epitome of love and adoration. Ironically, our society that frowns upon love that doesn’t fit into its narrow norm of caste, creed and morality, celebrates and embraces the divine love of Radha Krishna.

Even today, Holi in Vrindavan reflects the amorous love of Radha Krishna. It could be the Raslila’s being performed in every corner, the songs celebrating the Divine Love or gulal in so many colours, Vrindavan’s Holi does create an aura of mischievous, defiant love. Red, yellow, pink, purple and green gulal floating in the air create their magic. For Holi is all about celebrating love, the many colours of love and the many hues of life, shades that often leave us confounded. We so often witness during Holi red, yellow, green and purple coming together to create a hue that flouts all definition. Holi, the Spring festival, the festival of colours celebrates these varied defiant shades of love and life!