March 21, 2010
When it comes to choice of colors of clothes everyone can pinpoint one or two favorite colours they find most endearing. Some just go weak on their knees when they spot the color they just cannot resist. Interestingly a close look at the wardrobe of many reveals an intriguing fact that their wardrobes are usually dominated by one or two colours with or without they realizing it.
Color white has many takers and Indian politicians have developed an unusual penchant for this color, many opting for it as their haute couture. Does white attires gives them an image of being ‘clean’ and innocent, is for anyone to guess! Giving them close company are underworld elements or ‘goondas’ who too prefer spotting spotless white on all occasions. Sometimes it gives me an idea whether it is an outwardly sign of converting black money into white. In short white is the colour for all people, for all occasions and for all seasons.
Our Hindi films have influenced every facet of our lives, be it fashion, culture, traditions, food, relationships or lifestyle. Coming to films there is nothing like the Hindi masala movies which from time to time used white with gay abandon for that salivating lasciviousness from cinegoers. These Bollywood movies have immortalized the demure Indian heroines in white in all possible sequences especially in bathing scenes to drive home the message very subtly. Who can forget our own Simi Gerewal of “Sidhartha” fame whose preference for white only is well known?
These days the two piece bikinis are ruling the roost with the present generation growing bolder flaunting their gym toned bodies to utmost effect but missing the earlier finesse. Who can forget showman Rajkapoor’s uncanny ability to subtly present his heroines in white in bathing scenes! A friend of mine was so taken by Kishore Kumar’s white attire in the song ‘Hawavon mein …..” from the movie “Do Duni Chaar” he switched on to similar attire a few years later for all occasions. I often tease him it is the best way to get away wearing the same set of clothes for all occasions.
It was not until a friend of mine pointed out to me my infatuation with white and also black – one that gives out everything and one that absorbs everything, though not the spotless white of the above mentioned ilk. I am not sure when I developed this inclination towards white and black. But my wardrobe certainly reveals an interesting facet of my preference of colours. So much so, during my visit to Delhi a few months back while shopping with friends I ended up buying everything that had shades of white or black quite oblivious of the fact that I had finally ended up everything in these two colours. My friend, a smart guy, who noticed this, has started calling me zebra since then.
In high school I hated the white shirt that formed part of our daily uniform to school only because washing it called for Herculean efforts on my part. Once out of high school I don’t remember opting for white on my own accord. One has to admit we children never had a say in choosing colours or clothes with elders deciding what is good for us. Without my own inkling white has permeated to take pride of place in my choice of colours with regard to clothes.
In between of course I had a rethinking on this white preference especially when my son came back from school with his white shirt turned pale red. The back of the shirt most often resembled that of an abstract painting with imprints of as many muddy palms and fingers. The sleeves and the collar was no better. I could never think of putting that shirt in the machine for fear of muddying the entire lot of clothes. Despite using several detergent and soap cakes that boast cleansing everything white in their impressive ads, I really had to put all my washing skills to use - rubbing, scrubbing and resorting to all sorts of acrobatics to bring back some semblance of whiteness into the shirt. I thanked my stars finally when his uniform shirt was changed from white to checked shirts.
While pink is considered the favorite of girls/ladies men always had a fondness for blue. It could be because men come from Mars and women from Venus as John Gray says in his book that deals with the needs and preferences of men and women.
When it comes to colours it is now believed that there is no hard and fast rule about which colours are masculine or feminine or gender neutral. Most people even now think pink as a feminine, delicate colour, the colour for little girls. Though colour pink is generally associated with the ‘weaker’ section a revolutionary change has permeated into men’s dressing with pink becoming an accepted colour for men. Still with the changed situations and circumstances two guys moving together wearing pink oblivious of their intentions will send tongues wagging and invite furtive glances from both men and women.
Coming back to white, I remember an instance when I was all decked up in my white jeans and T and jovially riding in my two wheeler to be jolted when a passenger from a speeding bus threw his pan-filled saliva that decorated my white jeans. Seething with anger I stopped my two-wheeler and got the driver to stop the bus too in order to catch hold of the fellow and thrash him. But seeing my countenance and my pestilential mood the fellow either disappeared from the bus or his male counterparts might have shielded him. But the red daag on my favourite jeans failed to get obscured even with the passage of time often reminding me of that repulsive incident.
Such incidents, however, fail to restrain me from opting for my favorite white. Now that the heat of the summer is on in all its majesty I consider myself lucky to bring out all my mollection of white kurtis, pajams, salwars, chudis, jeans or T’s before giving them some respite during the monsoon season to opt for my other favorite black.