The Color Purple

“purple does something strange to me” 
―  Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last.

Its one of those  mid-week dreary afternoons. Hot and humid. The air-conditioning is on full blast and the slow whirring induces a somnolent state. I try to keep awake and Jimi Hendrix helps. Yes, I am listening to ‘Purple Haze”. Image

I love Hendrix. And I love purple. So I ask myself, why do I love the color? So many reasons. When I passed out from school, we had this ‘farewell’ function organized by our juniors in Grade 9. It was mandatory to wear a ‘saree’ because it signified that we were on our way to adulthood and the big world outside. I wore my mother’s purple “”Kanjeevaram”” Saree, with a gold brocade border.

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The saree was somewhat like the above.The girl in the photograph is not me .She probably weighs what my one leg does! Ha! I take inspiration from Maya Angelou’s ”Phenomenal Woman”

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.” 
― Maya Angelou,Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women 

Then, I remember discovering Alice Walker.I was in my first year of university and most of my time was spent in the library. reading stuff that wasn’t connected directly to the subject I was supposed to major in  i. e Politics( International Studies). There was a section in which all the Pulitzer winning novels were kept.Late afternoon rays of the sun played on the cover of Alice Walker’s ”The Color Purple”. Someone had just returned the book.I picked it up to idly browse.Oh the terrifying beauty of this book. The unflinching voice and beliefs of the author that did not kow tow to the hypocrisy of the timid authors. Read it,please. She says “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” 

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The purple literary tradition continued with my relatively recent reading of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ”Purple Hibiscus”. Explosive, carrying on the mantle of her peers.Bravo!

Do I dare to eat a grape?( Pardon, Eliot) Purple grapes.Fleshy,sweet,divine.My favorite fruit!

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And purple jamuns too! The fruit of the Gods!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_cumini

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Oh and why I love purple? The most important reason.The pic below.The utterly divine Jimmy page.Image

Did I mention that I am making Baba Ghanoush tonite for dinner ? 🙂

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