Radiant orchid in Goa


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)