Red is the most significant color in our culture. It is the color of seduction and power, red has been symbolically present on every auspicious occasion.
This color has made a recent entry into my life. my transformation from being a girl to being married woman, happened in a red lehenga, with the almost red henna on my hands and was sealed with the pinch of red powder sindoor on my head. Like me most Indian brides are bedecked in red bangles and saris, and the ceremonial kiosk showered with red roses. It’s almost the most powerful symbol of leaving behind one’s adolescence and stepping into womanhood.
It was on my last trip to
for Karwa Chauth, that I realized that this one color has so many shades and also degrees! From the moment I boarded the flight I knew that the city would be painted red, literally. Even from thousands of kilometers away the hue was visible! Since we were in Delhi the clothes were different but the color was the same, red! The number of bangles may be lesser in this part of the country but the color that ruled was, red! I was already out of place in my pink kurti and blue jeans. Bombay
My awkwardness vanished the moment I saw my father in law standing at the arrival to receive us, along with him was my namesake cousin. Mum in law called the moment we were in the car and said “welcome home beta” that was when I realized, that all my apprehension was for no reason it was going to be just a red velvet cake walk!!
Karwa chauth is supposed to be a fast done by every married woman for the long life of her husband. It is almost as important as the wedding ceremony itself. I was told that it is very tough because u aren’t even allowed to have water, until moonrise. The moon that day getting all the attention basks in it and therefore is fashionably late! The lesser known fact about this festival is that it also makes the bond between the mother in law and the daughter in law, grow stronger.
Even before I entered the house I knew what we were having for dinner, my favorite as always! mum does that every single time I am in
and I look forward to it every time I fly in! She had already thought of everything that needed to be done and planned it in the minutest of details. After dinner we went off into the market, just so I could see the fanfare surrounding the occasion. It was 1.30 in the morning and we still could barely find place in the market to stand. Mehendi waalas charging 10 times of what they usually do, aunties trying to bargain, chaatwaalas temping the crowd also toy sellers shouting around..! this was the first time I had seen something like this, two minutes there and my eyes got accustomed..I now could see all possible shades of red!! Delhi
Crimson, Auburn, Burgundy, Carmine, Vermilion, scarlet, brick red, rust red, Cerise, Cardinal, chestnut!!! All of them and more! Lil red, lil more red, a lil too red every possible version of the colour was seen. From the tiniest girl with stars in her eyes, to the veteran grand mums with a nice white mane to match the red everyone was drenched in the color. This was the first time I had ever seen something like this.
I stood there dazed, a little confused, when a hand slid into mine and held tight, took me in the direction I was suppose to walk in, I looked up and saw her smile! My mum in law has always made life easy for me, she has been there when I needed her, and just around the corner on other times. All I have to do it just call and she has the answers to everything!
She woke up early in the morning and made everything I wanted to eat, I very nicely shared it with my husband, who was awake so early! Not just to support his wife who was doing this for the first time, but also eat what mum had made! Also who was up with us, was my father in law. Papa has been doing it every single year. Looking at them makes me smile always.
The day went past the way it was suppose to be, with mum leading and me in tow! Just like I would like to have it life! Both of us were dressed in the color of the day and were enjoying every bit of it.
Finally the moon had some mercy on the poor thirsty souls and made an appearance. It had never looked more beautiful than it did in that moment. With the pooja done and me getting my much awaited sip of water, the mood of festive as could be, in all that I happened to catch a moment between papa and mum, it was a little gesture which made my eyes water, the color of the day was caught peeping through my eyes. Hugs followed and lots of wishes, for many more such magical moments.
I saw all the shades of red in one day, the red that denotes strength and commitment is my favorite!
P.S. just when I thought I had seen it all and my day couldn’t get redder, H walked in with a tiny box which had the prettiest little heart shaped swarovski pendant which is red in color!! The color of love also happens to be RED!