Colours of India
India, Week 1. It feels like we left Toronto a month ago. Sensory overload is not an exaggeration — we come back to our hotel at the end of the day feeling exhilarated, exhausted, mesmerized, puzzled, enriched. The perfect adventure for two friends travelling together for the first time.
“Colour lifts the spirit, brings beauty and sweetness to our life. It comes from nature and from God,”
I find myself hypnotised by saris-wearing women. There is an inexplicable pull that makes you stare, in admiration of their grace and elegance. The hand that grabs the cloth, casually draping it over the head where it rests without any fastening. It’s the colour combination that first catches the eye. Vibrant gold, crimson red and deep purple. Apple green and rose petal pink. Ochre, bright yellow and periwinkle blue. Solid, sheer, plain and patterned fabrics. And not a hint of garishness.
January 14th marks the beginning of wedding season in India. We are walking the narrow streets of Udaipur’s Old City, peering into the deep and narrow shops bursting with the most colorful cloth. Hundreds of bundles of fabrics neatly stacked up to the ceiling.
Women come in groups — three, four generations of women huddled on the shop floor, surrounding the bride as if to protect her. They are here to find the perfect fabric combination for the multiple outfits she and her party will don during her 4-day long wedding celebration. It will be many hours before they emerge from the shop, having bought tens of metres of silk, taffeta, charmeuse, organza, chiffon…
As if on cue, we came across a bridal procession — the groom, handsome on his white horse, preceded by singers, musicians, dancers and light carriers. It was all a bit surreal and completely enthralling.
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