Thursday, 19 June 2008

Burgundy Alert

For a good part of my childhood, I believed that the world was entirely black and white until a few decades ago, with seas devoid of their azure and meadows of their verdure. Colour, like TV, chocolates, Hot Wheels and most other wonderful things in the world must be one of mankind’s brainchildren (sic), I thought, deceived by the movies of that era. Realization dawned upon me soon enough, though, to this day, I often wonder if my apocryphal world would have a better place to live in. It would have been far simpler, if nothing else.

“It’s on the third row in the basement, a turquoise WagonR,” said my uncle, relenting to my innumerable requests for a drive. Now that I had his permission, I had a completely different obstacle to contend with. Not for the first time, the mention of a colour left me in a daze. Five minutes later, having tried the keys on every WagonR in sight, I learnt that turquoise is some weird shade of bluish-green.

I read a book by Sigmund Freud five years ago and decided to major in psychology, if only to prove him wrong. True to the middle-class values I was raised in, though, I took the road most travelled and ended up in R-land. I am as close to proving Freud wrong as Karan Johar is to making an intelligent movie, and the fact that psychology, philosophy and most other good electives have been done away with hardly helps my cause (Natural Disasters and Seismological Balances, anyone?) One of the few things I do know about human psychology is that we are all born with a voice within us that keeps telling us that there are millions out there superior in brain and brawn. Our entire life is spent fighting that voice. For some, this is all about leaving those around flipping through the dictionary at the slightest of opportunities (The Decayed Canine and his blog come to mind).

Having a good vocabulary is one thing. Dishing out ridiculously fancy terms like turquoise and burgundy like every other guy on the street knew them is quite another. What do you lose by calling burgundy dark-red? Or turquoise bluish-green? So the next time we converse, please bear in mind the fact that my vocabulary isn’t the best in the world, especially when it comes to colours (chromatically challenged, if you like). To the best of my knowledge, peach is a fruit. So is apricot. And I have no idea what mauve is.