Monday, July 23, 2007

Warm Colors

I saw this pretty desi woman dressed in a sunflower yellow shalwar kameez with turquoise details. The neck line was particularly interesting with turquoise beads and cutwork. She was the solitary splash of brightness in the monotone of blue jeans, sweat pants, khaki shorts and non-descripts tees at the grocery store.

Like me, several others noticed her. Back home seeing women dressed in bright colors was so commonplace that I never gave it a second thought. I used to be like her once - dress in colorful cottons paired with terracotta and silver jewelry. Wearing a contrasting two-tone outfit like this woman seems very unnatural now. Not sure at what point it became difficult to feel at ease in the color palette that I grew up with and loved as well.

Maybe being exposed constantly to the western color palette has alienated me from my native sensibilities. Even some of these beautiful combinations inspired by the masters lacks the warmth and pizzazz of a Indian woman's colorful attire. Yellow and turquoise may not be very masterful but it brightened my day just to see them paired and I'm sure a lot of us girls in our faded tees and jeans wished we could pull off that bright plumed tropical bird look as the yellow and blue chiffon dupatta trimmed with hand-made blue lace floated past us.

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