A Very Happy Holi – with these thoughts…
Colours define us – and How!
What better day to think about this, than Holi, in adding to my previous posts and painting where I speak of colours making a statement.
Sometimes, the most unlikely person notices, and will know you better than those close, or whose taste’s you rely on, so as to seek their approval when deciding on something you’ve aspired for long.
I was to buy my first car in the year 1998, with my own earnings from working in an airline, based in Calcutta then. I had decided it would be a Daewoo – Matiz. This was after the gorgeous Lisa Ray became its brand ambassador. I was also wooed by the tagline “Love at first drive” in its print campaign, that highlighted the exclusive features of the Matiz in all its communications, just as by the comfort from a test drive I took of our family friend’s car. Now with this friend’s as well as my sister’s initiation, along with seconding by my parents, I booked a grey coloured Matiz.
The day I was to gain possession of the car, my sister and the family friend, my mother as well, and our family driver Shambhu – a man a few years older that I was, accompanied me to the showroom in Alipore. This is at the other extreme end of town from where we live in Salt Lake. We took a Taxi, so we could all return in the new car. While we waited in the showroom, the staff adorned my newly acquired car – after I had made the payments, with a number of free gifts like the wheel covers and the steering wheel grip etc. I decided to get the seat covers also installed, so the car would be ready to drive to work the next day.
It was at this point that Shambu walked up to me abruptly and said “Didi, don’t take this colour.” I looked at him in shock and replied “but why…its quite smart, isn’t it? Chot-di and dada also like it.”
“Its’ smart, but does not suit your personality at all.” He insisted “Please don’t take it.” I looked at him quizzically for a few brief moments: He had barely passed his 8th grade from his hometown in Digha and was quite a simpleton, yet thought it pertinent, that a car must match its owner’s personality right up to its hue.
I asked him, quite impressed actually, as I was then in the service quality department and very observant of such intricacies myself – “So which colour do you think will suit my personality?” He pointed to the car you see in the picture here and said “this one is very good for you.”
I looked at the car for a few seconds and promptly made up my mind on it. Then I approached my sister and friend seated on the sofa, both of whom vehemently opposed my choice, more so when they learnt who my newfound advisor was. Mother looked at Shambhu, nodding at him in approval as she stated “I was going to suggest you don’t take the grey, but you would not listen to me.”
Now it was just a matter of turning on my charm, to convince the salesmen of the sudden change in my choice. They politely conceded and quickly got busy in readying this blue car for us to drive home. As soon as we reached home, Shambhu driving us, I got my Lhasa Apso – Sylvie, and my father who was quite unwell then and at home, down and into the car, took them both for a test drive. The smile on my father’s face, Sylvie’s tongue hanging out with the wind blowing her snowy hair, are images still frozen in my mind. I was to have two pets thereon – one Sylvie, the other my very own blue Beetle – my Matiz.
My next car was somehow grey in colour as Bishwanath thought that would suit me better and he won. I wish I had listened to his mother who had insisted, “Why didn’t you take a Red car…it would have suited you much better than this grey!”
So anyways, the one after this was red, even though I was getting older and could tone down – in keeping with her choice and also mine, but sadly she was no longer with us to see it.
I was very displeased on going with Bishwanath’s choice in the colour of my debut book, that in its next edition and every other book I chose bright shades even if they are rather serious books – I’m the author and they represent me after all.
Then the current car I chose a matt gold, which Bishwanath again insisted he didn’t like. Just as he and my sister don’t like that I always opt for floral patterns and shades in my dressing.
But at my age – I no longer care what anyone else likes me to like – I just please my own soul. 😄
So you will see me in all the vibrant shades, though I love soft pastels as much – that uplift my mood and creativity.
I truly believe, and empathise, thus project in all my writing – that the human psyche has every conceivable hue and colour. Why then should I expect only black and white – then judge for the various shades I see. 🤓
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