India in color- a photo essay
From my travels in Africa, the West, and the Far East, I had noticed that those in warmer countries wear warmer, brighter colours and those in cooler climes wear cooler colors. These are my personal observations only and there are probably exceptions.
I am fascinated by colour and their meaning and decided to take some photos on the streets here. The photos have been taken on the streets of Pune and Mumbai. The people I captured are simple folk, but as the pictures show – fiesty and full of life. The temperatures at the time I took these pictures were over 40 degrees, but these people were happily walking along, without a thought for the unbearable heat. Some of them were dressed in their finest, apparently going for a party, or perhaps a wedding. Bright clothes are favoured when it comes to dressing to go out.
In the photo below are saree-clad women – except for the girl in pink (on the right) who is wearing a salwar kameez. The bright orange and green was dazzling to the eye, specially in the bright sun.
Men tend to wear lighter colours. In fact in India men prefer white, or sober colours. It can create a remarkable contrast to the way women dress.
These people below, clearly from a village, were crossing the road in Belapur, a small township near Mumbai. Their bright attire with its jazzy pattern was eye-catching.
The woman in the photograph below was selling magazines on a street in Pune. Her cool blue and the umbrella giving her a respite from the heat.
This woman is not as lucky. Her work means walking on the heated concrete, which she was doing with alacrity.
In all the photos above you will notice how very common it is for men to wear white or light colours. So common in fact that it can appear to be a uniform! I guess its everything to do with the fact that women are supposed to wear colourful clothes to look attractive and beautiful. Children too are usually dressed in colourful clothes.
Men, if they do wear bright colours, either don a colourful turban on their white attire or leave it to the holy men to make up for their lack of colour. Saffron is usually associated with Hinduism. This man approached me when our rickshaw halted briefly due to the traffic. He was downright scary!
The man in the picture below came to my uncle’s house to conduct a pooja and happily posed for a picture.
Some young of men today do wear bright colours…
But its not common
Colours like red, orange, and yellow mean energy, love, passion and joy and perhaps that explains why women traditionally dress up in bright colours. Blue signifies coolness and that is a colour that men prefer if they do choose to wear colour. Men are supposed to possess the qualities of coolness and control, while women are traditionally permitted to express their emotions…