Each city paints its own story with the help of the colour palette. No one story is the same as the other, as no one colour can be the same as another. There are hues and shades that give each city a life of its own.
And no one does a city show case itself more to than the one who watches from above.
Today, as my flight is about to land, I look down at the city below and wonder what story this one is telling me. It is lush green and beautifully serene, is filled with water, not just of the sea variety.
Inevitably, I take a walk down memory lane.
It promised to be a red city, with swirling dust. I could see neither the greys of the roads nor the blues of the water from above. The city seemed to challenge me, in a mocking tone, with a “Do you have the nerve to touch my red hot soil, smack in the middle of a treacherous Indian summer?” Whenever I hear ‘Ahmedabad’, the only colour I am reminded of is red, a dangerous, deep red.
Did I ever tell you the story of the intimidating grey, warning me of dire consequences if I ever dared to touch it? I remember to this day that fear in my heart when my flight touched this grey and red land. It still does not cease to intimidate – the regal, royal red and grey combination. The red of forts and the grey of castles, sprinkled with a vast expanse of roads and tolls. What a fitting choice of colours by the national capital!
There is this other story of that muddy brown one, muddled up all over. It said, “Can I ever have a colour of my own? I house so many unknowns within me. If you could only define me by any colour, would I be who I am now?” Dear Mumbai, if only I could associate with you a defined colour, I may not love you as much as I do now.
As my flight takes off from Kochi, and I marvel how beautifully this city has spoken to me through its colours, I am still left wondering what my city has tried telling me all these years. Wait a minute. Have I ever bothered to pen it down? Is it the vast expanse of the blue, or the yellow twinkling of the lights (for I have always landed in Chennai in the night)? Is it a multi coloured extravaganza or is it some dull hue of an unknown colour one cannot bother to notice?
Each city tells a story of its own. Mine too would be telling someone its story. Maybe it would tell me too, someday sometime, when it finds me worthy enough of the knowledge.
What does yours tell you?