Colour Fixation

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.  

by Florine Roche - Daijiworld Media Network
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Comment on this article

  • Priya Das, Karkala / Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 25 2010

    Dear Florine Roche, you are a great writer ... Wishing you lots of best things in life and better future ...

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Tue, Mar 23 2010

    India the nation of "cloured" people is the most colourful nation on earth in terms clothes are concerned. Indian types of coloures and prints are second to none in the world. These colourful dresses are mind soothing,refreshing and non eye tiring.
    Keep up the colours.


    Mon, Mar 22 2010

    What a colourful article on whiteness!
    You paint with words! A rare gift! Keep it up!

  • Gurudath Baliga, Mangalore

    Sun, Mar 21 2010

    It reminds me of Government Babus of Delhi. You can see pan spit curvy designs on both sides of doors while entering Govt offices. Just like trademark. And imagine, the White Kurta Men of Politics have to deal with these stain-masters without staining their political career.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Sun, Mar 21 2010

    The best way to get rid of stains is to apply regular soap on the cloth and leave under the sun. Stains as hard as turmeric spots on kitchen towels too disappear. However, since the sun is natural bleach, colours fade upon direct exposure but that does not apply to whites.

  • jacintha, london

    Sun, Mar 21 2010

    Dear Florine,

    I liked your article. It is a good observation on the colour scheme of our wardrobes. Brought back memories of my childhood days - trying to keep the uniform shirt sparkling white and the nightmares of trying to keep the white canvas shoes white with Blanco!! On the funnier side I do remember how we youngsters used to copy our 'bollywood heroes and heroines ' for colour choices. THe white jeans or trousers or white kurti comes to mind vividly with movies like 'Sholey' and of course the guys wearing tight white trousers in Mangalore with the 'shashi kappor' hairstyle to go with it!! Those were the days, the ultimate insult of course was the paan spitting and the buses dyeing our 'sparkling whites' with muddy brown rain water from potholes, adding to the revenues of soap and detergent companies!! Once again good article! I like the 'Zebra' effect!!

  • Sarita D'Souza, Mangalore / Kuwait

    Sun, Mar 21 2010

    Well said Florine. I remember as an 18 year old I was waiting for the train at Byculla Station wearing a white salwar kurta and an uncouth U.P. Bhaiyya walking up the stairs threw paan spittle and it landed in the wrong place. I was so embarassed and had to go back home crying. These paan chewers will never improve.

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur,Puttur/Mangalore

    Sun, Mar 21 2010

    The narration concerning the colors is alright and the white dress for children as uniform is quite good looking but very hard for washing the spots. To erase hard spots on white shirts light chlorine will be useful or Alcohol swab will remove light spots. Dear Florine don’t use chlorine for colored clothes only for white clothes. People choose any type of colors and it is their wish/likeness. It is almost the two wheelers who are suffering unprotected from the travelers who frequently to cope with small, small ponds and spitting out by the travelers from the bus, trucks or from the car. The truckers after emptying the sand will run fast for another load and the two wheelers are facing havoc on the road sand blowing on to their eyes. While travelling the two wheelers should wear a glass or helmet (helmet covered with glass also ok) is a safety measure. But for the clothes nothing can be done with the pollution only the shirt is becoming dirty plus travelers omitting and spitting. The most ill-mannered are the Beatle chewers. (In Konkani Paan pod). Not only dear Florine Roache had such kind of experience almost many two wheelers have this kind of experience.

  • Lancelot N Tauro, Mangalore/Doha Qatar

    Sun, Mar 21 2010

    Nice article. Paan chewing must be banned or made complusory to paan chewers to carry plastic bag to spit. Its disgusting and embarssing to see at Bombay beatiful Metro train was sprinkled with dirty colors by paan chewers.

  • D.M.D' Souza, Bantwal

    Sat, Mar 20 2010

    Well written-Florine, my brother-in-law too had the experience while riding a two wheeler, the whole day was spoiled by these irresponsible paan chewers.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Sat, Mar 20 2010

    Florine Roche with paan spittle on her jeans, stopping a bus to get hold of the man ! Ha.. Ha.. I can imagine Chhandi Maha Kaali Maata !

    Nice narration Florine ! Keep going !

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