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  • Writer's pictureLeela Kirloskar

All of Life’s Colours

Earlier this month, I spent a few days in Ooty with family, breathing in the minty eucalyptus air of the Nilgiri hills. It was delightfully nippy all week, with bursts of bright warm sunshine spilling out of a rich azure sky studded with rainclouds in the mornings, rain pouring through every afternoon in a steady silver stream. All that generous rain this year has turned the lush hilly landscape alive with colour, flowers growing in profusion everywhere you look. Every garden overflows with crimson poinsettias, wintery daisies and feathery red and purple wildflowers that fight for space with fiery orange bird of paradise. Indigo morning glory creepers overlook cheerful beds of sunny marigold, hot pink geraniums, purple petunias and pale yellow roses. Even the golf course was embedded with the tiniest sapphire daisies. It was truly a feast for the eyes and heart.All those colours were reflected in the boisterous group that we were – in the cacophony of voices that began at sunrise, over the endless breakfasts, noisy card games, fiercely fought table-tennis matches and enthusiastic rounds of golf. It was in the laughter and excitement that floated around us as we rode the pretty toy train to Coonoor, soaking in the glorious views through the steady drizzle. It was in the joy of playing with several dozen affectionate fox hounds that lived next door in the Hunt Club. It was in the children’s happy chatter over games of Uno and Taboo, and in the bright eyes of the adults as the day came to a close and it was time for the bonfire to be lit and drinks to be served. And it was in all the photographs we took to capture a memorable holiday, promising ourselves we’d do it again next year.I came away grateful and happy. To be reminded of all of life’s colours and how they can show up in so many different ways. Over the past two years, colour has been synonymous with family and close friends: people I love and who bring meaning to my life – and who contribute to my sharing that meaning with others. Before that, I anchored my world with richly aesthetic exteriors: colours, textures and fragrances that were daily reminders to hold what mattered close to my heart. Over time, my homes have had a turquoise sofa, multi-hued dining chairs, golden yellow curtains, and lime green, powder blue and rose pink bedrooms. Warm pottery, flowers, quirky overstuffed bookshelves, eclectic art, music, family photographs and aromatic candles defined my spaces. And always, always, the fragrance of vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon scented my homes. It’s how my boys have always known they are home.Colours can be soft or bright in your life. They can shift and blend in a kaleidoscope of patterns. They can highlight what matters and make you curious about what you might want to follow. They can bring purpose and meaning and drive you to contribute. They can fill you with energy and radiate warmth into the core of your being. I’ve learned to acknowledge their myriad hues and be grateful for each one that renews me.You’ll always notice when colour is missing in your life, in your world. It’s not important to judge that awareness, or to go down that spiral, just to look at it with eyes of possibility. Colour only reminds you to celebrate life. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

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