“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No.” — Picasso
I remember a brief moment from my very first 10-day meditation retreat in Chennai. I happened to glance up on the short walk from the meditation hall to the dining room and my gaze tripped over a emerald bush exploding with vivid red blossoms. I remember being aware of a very physical ’tilting’. Something within lurching instinctively towards this extravagance of form and color. It was amazing to catch that moment. To notice for the first time how the body responds to beauty, how there is, quite literally that lovely momentary loss of equilibrium.
I think of that moment now, because being back in India after almost two years, there are so many things that catch me off guard in the same unmistakable way as that anonymous garden shrub. Color for instance. India has such a bold palette. She does impossible things with color that somehow work. The color of vermilion, saffron and marigolds, the color of terracotta, newly-painted autorickshaws and newly-ripened mangoes…
the color of wet water buffalo, unopened jasmine buds, the mystic color of filter coffee just before the milk is poured. The fierce blue of the sky at midday. The purple forgiveness of dusk. Silver anklets gleam against brown skin, brass lamps with flickering tongues tell the darkness to mind its own business. The colors of India are so unafraid and so — alive.
Everywhere you look, the universe is singing. Hard not to want to join in (even if you are slightly offkey :)).