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Art and Culture

Beauty of the colour grey

One day in monsoon, while going from one job to another, relentless, not knowing that I was, it suddenly strikes to me, “grey is such an underrated colour” I decided to take a halt, both from driving and from this relentlessness that I was bringing upon myself. I lit a cigarette and wrote,
Neither black nor white,
Neither here nor there,
Equipoise.
Ash, the truth lies in ash,
Life is achromatic.
The pastel which remains unused in the box.
Dull yet so telling.
Monsoon.

Art classes simplify and teach that grey is a colour that is derived by mixing black and white in different proportions to get different shades. It is a colour that is deceptively defined as something “without interest or character; dull and nondescript” I believe otherwise. I believe it has the most versatile and complementing persona. Imagine Bollywood movie songs without those dancers in the back, the extras that fill the frame seem unnecessary but their absence is realized only when they are absent. They’re like catalysts, they are the creators but remain unacknowledged.
Complimentary. The character of this colour is complimentary, a quality us humans should be possessing. It is a colour that compliments all other colours and enhances them, voluntarily sacrificing itself of the attention. Let me give you a bizarre but quite relatable example. Imagine a sofa, grey in colour. Now imagine yourself in this shop exclusively selling couch pillows. I wouldn’t be able to find a single pillow that would not match this grey couch.
The picture taken in black and white, the colours used to make grey are called monochrome. Weird, isn’t it? For something that uses exactly two colours to be called- ‘mono’chrome. What adds to this stunner is that a monochrome picture might express more than a picture that could be the most colourful picture in the world and if that most colourful picture is turned into a monochrome, there is a high probability that it will add meaning rather than otherwise.
I remember this dialogue by Nigel from The Devil Wears Prada that says “And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart” I feel that Andy was the colour grey, not knowing her potential and needed a pep talk.
Spiritually, the colour grey is described as a cool, neutral and balanced colour despite the fact that it is associated with loss and depression. I believe it acts as a timeless but transporting colour which gives you a whiff of nostalgia. Better yet, it makes you feel, emote and experience a feeling that is difficult to bring out.
Colour psychology says that it’s a colour most humans are indifferent to, they say that if your favourite colour is grey, you must be someone who is neutral, indifferent to life. A colour that is so versatile, complimentary, sacrificing, dull, yet so telling, the colour of monsoon, the season that accelerates creation but it is perceived as dull. Bloom or gloom, you decide.

 

– Manas Daxini

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