Thursday, August 24, 2006


I wonder, each day, how beautiful the world looks because of the vibrant colors each entity in the world appears in. How dull and boring life would be if we were to see only one color or maybe two – black and white?

I read up some trivia about color on the Net, not that I appreciated everything I read. I have never been a great fan of Physics and Biology and the theory of color happens to rest on these two pillars of science.

Did you know that the color that we perceive is dependent both on the reflection/refraction of life and also the built of your retina and other components of the eye? This boils down to the fact that no two people can perceive color exactly in the same way! That does not mean if I see blue, you would see the same thing as Red!

When we see something, the color we see is the wavelengths/frequencies of light, the particular object is unable to absorb. Color can be broadly divided as two – additive and subtractive. So, the color that is projected and we see is significantly different from the color that is printed on paper. No wonder – I felt that the colors were more beautiful when I printed out a digital snap, than what I saw on the laptop/computer.
White contains all the colors in it, whereas black is the absence of any color.

So much for scientific theories of color!

Colors have different significances in different cultures. When I first visited the Unites States, I was told that men who wore Pink were considered Gay. And just few days before I landed, I was talking about Rajesh buying a light pink shirt, for I felt it would suit him. White, in most parts of India, is not considered “Shubh” as it was the color associated with funerals and widows; whereas on the other hand White is considered as the symbol of purity and virginity and hence is worn by brides on weddings. For years together, I had arguments with my father for liking the color black. He would never like me using a black ink pen, forbade me from buying black clothes and would never consider buying a black car – whereas I would just simply love the black color, so much that I adored the fact that my pen leaked and I had black ink all over my hands! In India, as far as I am aware, blank is considered “Ashubh”. People will not sign documents in black, would not wear black for good occasions, to the extent that some people don’t even put Black Bhindis! But here in USA, black is considered a very elegant and color of great substance. All the rich folks will have the best car – colored in black. A sleek, long elegant black limousine would be the dream car to ride in for a wedding or an award ceremony. Black is preferred in board room meetings and is worn by the groom to weddings.

Red has always been considered a symbol of energy, valor, bravery.
Orange is considered as the symbol of wisdom and engineering is associated with this color.
Green is unanimously considered as the symbol of nature, by all cultures in the world.
Blue is associated with truth and thus the phrase “true blue”.
Pink is an eternal color of Love. Pink is also said to subdue aggressiveness and bring calm to the mind, and hence used to color the walls of prison.

Did you know that each day is associated with a color? So, if you are the kind who finds it tough to organize your wardrobe and end up wearing the same dress twice a week, you might want to use this to help you.

Sunday - Yellow
Monday - White
Tuesday - Red
Wednesday - Mixed Colors
Thursday - Blue
Friday - Green
Saturday - Black

For some people, colors are made of only Red, Green, Blue, Brown, Black, Yellow etc.– the standard shades. They are insensitive to the slight variations of colors and can’t make the difference between blue, violet, azure ; or red , crimson, scarlet.

I like some of the colors that we use to refer to saree colors. If you are in Chennai and associated with a Brahmin family – you are sure to hear these terms while shopping in a place like Nalli / Kumaran: Vengayam color (Onion skin color), Aanai color(elephant color), Molaga pazham color(the fruit of a chilli – probably a reference to red chilli), Mambazham color(the color of a ripe mango).

When on a topic of colors, how can I forget the “Mera wala Cream” ad of Asian Paints!

I could go on and on on Colors, but for now … this is it! Maybe some other post!


Usha said...

Interesting stuff. Imagine if the world was all in black and white - thank god for all the colours.
Isnt holi sucha popular festival because of this and spring is the best loved season I am sure.
I love to play with colours - and you know sometimes when i am too sad or depressed, I take a paint box and paly with colours on paper and it calms me and even brightens me up. Try it sometime.
Nice colourful post.

Vidhya Rajesh said...

# Thanks Usha, I will definitely try it sometimes. As a kid, I used to spend so much time painting stuff, though I was not a great painter. I think one must make one's life very colorful in all possible ways - color borders to a photograph, give each room of your house a new color :)... Life is too full of zest to be just painted in few hues.