Monday, May 09, 2011

A story well told

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?

8 comments:

Shrutz said...

1) Trivandrum: Deep, gorgeous green. So green, you know there's water under the leaves. The beautiful blue of the sea pounding the sandy coasts.
2) Brussels: A little green quilt of different hues punctuated by little red houses. :)

vinayvasan said...

Mumbai at night, the curve of Queen's necklace is astoundingly beautiful. Chennai at night, watching the coast disappear & appear when the plane circles around for landing is again superb

Yogesh said...

Duh. I hate heights and don't usually take window seat :D

Bihag Bhatt said...

Good post. And a really good topic.

1) Mumbai has a strong color in monsoons near the airport - Dharavi Blue!! The ragged huts covered in blue tarpulin.
2) Mangalore hills swirled in mist and below it the multiple shades of green. It's an alluring sight!
3) The carpet of different hues of green almost equal-sized patches somewhere near CDG, France

Kavity said...

@Georgy: I am able to associate Brussels only with sprouts. Should really visit to shake that thought off me!

@Vinay: Yes, Chennai at night is quite a feast to the eyes

@Bihag: Thanks. Dharavi blue? :) Should see next time.

Shreya said...

All these cities look like PCBs. You know the Printed Circuit Boards? It must be fascinating to hover over places and see what shapes and colors they form. I want to do more of it, I usually land at night. And I see the beautiful PCBs :)

Kandarp said...

Very interesting thought !!

Kavity said...

@Shreya: Yes, come to think of it, most cities do look like twinkling PCBs when seen from the night sky.

@Kandarp: Thanks.