We designers look at colors a bit differently. We study their tonal values, their saturation levels, effect of their juxtaposition with other colors and sometimes even give them names. So when I came across a particularly rich colored building in an otherwise drab street in Goa, I screamed in my mind: Radiant Orchid!!
Well, that’s the name of the “Color of the year” for 2014 given by Pantone. And this happened to be around 2014. But I’m not sure the painter or the contractor had this in their mind while commissioning these hues for the building. I’m not even sure whether we follow this colour forecast or any other in India. We have plenty other parameters to think about.(like the availability of the color again).
Goa is a visual treat with its colourful homes. The merciless rains almost 6 months a year also ensure that the buildings are painted frequently. So we find not only Radiant Orchid, but chartreuse, blues and greens of different hues, ruby reds, bright oranges, tangerine to coral and a myriad of yellows.
For those who don’t experiment with colour, they stick to the burnt sienna roofs and crisp white exteriors. I remember a traditional home on a street going towards Altino hill. It was hard to miss. Not because of its well maintained exterior (I don’t suppose they could afford painting it every year) but because of the drumbeats.The teenager would sit at his drum set and beat on his cymbals every afternoon. He would keep the window open to let in the air and was impossible to miss his routine if you did pass this street.
One day he was not heard again. A few months.. and the house was covered from all sides. A few months later, the sound of a new building being constructed, replaced the sounds of the beat and cymbals. Dust and grime replaced the shaded breeze of the coconut tree in the backyard.Few more months and a hotel came up rather rapidly adding to the din of cars, for people who would like to visit Goa(tourists) and see its colours. But I felt as if the colour of this street had disappeared..with the boy and his music.I often wonder where that went.
(Note: the pictures have been pixelated on purpose)
I’ve been in part inspired by Penguin Book of Indian Railway Stories , which sent me digging into my archives for train pictures and part inspired by the experience of traveling in trains in India. For those who have traveled India cross country by train would agree that its fascinating to watch the scenes unfold every time and the depth to which Indian Railways reach connecting many places each so different from the next.
For a city bred person like me, its an amazing saga that unfolds each time I travel by train, which unfortunately have been getting lesser and lesser over the years.Always wonder if the train may come to stop mid location, crossing mustard fields with their yellow blooms in Punjab or when the Konkan express glides effortlessly underneath the Doodhsagar waterfall.
This time the train did seem to stop in between such scenic beauty, bu the best part, it was a station. It still seemed partly under construction with a bridge to cross over the other side. But the view is breathtaking everytime I stop here, more so on this day.
This was around January and winter had set. The Carambolim lake on the other side of the station was crowded with birds, herons and egrets battled for space and sometimes a flock of birds would glide over in the sky. The air was fresh and calm. There were hardly any people on this station. This train just stops for two minutes. A minute for me to deboard and another minute to take out my phone to take this picture.Perhaps the best one minute I ever spent in photography.
Have you ever had a similar experience?
I didn’t take a picture of the journey. It was too serene to disrupt the moving trees, hills, clouds and the waterfalls. I didn’t even take a picture of the passing natives in their saris and jewellery or of their cows gracefully meandering the roads, also wearing bright necklaces made of beads, lovingly decorated by their keepers. Three hours away from the bustling mumbai, I found this piece of heaven, further from the more tourist friendly hillstations.Rains had not yet started. Only silence. And this one picture to remind me of the adventure.