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‘Colour Me’ Impressed With The Chaos that Colours Bring To Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Lavanya Goswami

I wonder whether we see colours or know colours. Colour can be the fluid darkening the horse-hair tip of a paintbrush; it can be what flashes through our neurons when we care to look at the summer-blue sky after a really long time. Colour is what we dress in; colour is what we play with. The whole process of mixing dry pigment to form wet paint is enchanting. With each swipe and pat, each swirl and spread, the pigment changes and transforms under the mixer’s gaze  the mixer knows it will become something beautiful. 

 One knows of the colour ‘red’ but there are so many visual variations of red: the tropical red of a hibiscus is very different from the mafia red of a rose. Even a bland brown differs: the moist soil of the garden is in no way similar to the polished plywood shelves of the study. Beige can be a soft cream, and it can also be a rough khaki. Orange is seen in both Donald Trump’s ‘tanned’ skin and the drenched-in-chemicals ice lollies each student has savoured during Indian summers. Green plants, am I right? Yet, the apple flavoured sour strips that make one’s molars revolt at its hair-raising taste are most often green as well. Colours can be curious creations.

Each colour is a light with a specific wavelength  what I understand from this statement is that they’re basically different energies with different vibes. Energy radiates out into the atmosphere, and it can't be too much of a stretch to believe that colours do the same. So what do they share with a passerby, in this process of radiation? Will wearing auspicious red guarantee passing an exam? Will wearing protective black ward off the jealous evil-gaze of strangers? Colour adds character to an object, yet I believe each colour has a specific character too.

  Purple is a glam-diva who hand-sews their own clothes. Grey is the go-to person for coffee and life advice. Baby pink has a deceptive smile and tries to sell drugs to close friends. Blue is vast and untamed  messy notes, messy oceans and messy skies. Turquoise is a person of questionable existence, living in the basement of Green and Blue. Yellow gets on the nerves of people easily, yet they stick close to them for study notes. Everyone knows that Peach whips up a storm in the kitchen. Maroon scares the general populace, but always gets called when the situation heats up. Ochre is that one person no one knows what to do with, so they’re made to go flatter Yellow.

 I’ve never seen these ‘colourful’ colours as lone existences; even the loud childish neon shades. Colours come in combinations: a sunset is a myriad of colours; the sea foams and froths with numerous blues and greens; a flower hopelessly struggles to be one single tint. Soot black and electric blue remind me of all the fictional boys I'll never meet in real-life. Paper can be cream, white, off white and even a spotty yellow at times. Pink blushes and unfettered white smiles stand bright against rich brown sunlit interiors. Mesmerising monsoon is a bit of grey, a bit of black, a bit of white all tied in together with a swirl of blue. An emerald cricket sits in the middle of a fully-bloomed velvet red rose. The dark grey of Zoom screens with rectangles of bright shades cannot compensate for the peach of human skin and the glittering brown of excited eyes. Perhaps human memory and colour are connected as well. 

Try as one might, even with names like “Deep Rose Shimmer”, “Vamptastic Plum”, “Magnanimous Mahogany” and  “Pink Periwinkle”, the complete calamity of colours cannot be described adequately. I’m miserable about the fact that I can’t really engage with colours  I just observe them and feel certain emotions about them. Give me a paintbrush and I’ll make a nice murder scene, even if the palette doesn't have red in it. Why did I try then, to write poetry pretending to be prose, describing a paltry few of the variety of colours we come across? Maybe you’ll know the answer when your fingers smudge soft graphite into the rough white of canvas. Picking up a pen to doodle a chibi character counts too! Go on an adventure with colours. There might be a chance of you popping up in a pot of leprechaun gold at the end of a rainbow  just what every broke artist cum college student needs!

Sthitee is a writer of the content team of the Her Campus Ashoka chapter and is in her first year. She is a huge fan of coffee and loves talking about how awesome nature is. Bribing her with pictures of baby animals is very effective and she's always on the look out for book recommendations.
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