The Colour of Grey18 April 2018
When he started out on his quest to observe and reflect upon the sunset, all I experienced was shades of darkness and light, which he called grey. The world was busy throwing out wetness at me. He seemed disappointed that the rain was interfering with his quest. It was on a rainy night that the love of his life left. An introspective mind like his would describe the scene as a world of black-and-white seagulls waywardly gliding around, white spider webs intricately engineered on black rocks, black-and-white penguins lounging under the black rocks, and black water subtly rising and falling in the sea, creating white froth upon walloping against black rocks. To him, it was a charcoal painting where the amount of charcoal at each point decides how black or white that portion is.
In the midst of this, a small unworldly streak crept out in front of his field of view and kidnapped our attention. It was alien because I experienced it with an intensity that no grey had given me till then that day. To me, everything is reborn everyday. To him, it was a worldly orange streak that he was witnessing through his round old spectacles. The source of this orange streak was a miracle ball who was burning to rebel against the world of grey. To him, she was a source of shining possibilities in a grey and dark world.
He was annoyed at the grey fogginess of the entire scene around him.
“Thanks for the amazing weather, Melbourne!”
Meanwhile, the sun continued her rebellion, ferreting out crevices in the greyness to let herself through. She began to perform like an expert magician, moving the streak of alien colour left and right. The streak grew in both directions before disappearing from the middle. An orange portal opened up from the middle and the first orange progressively got darker in its shade. There was at least one feature the alien colour orange and grey shared in common. The ability to grow darker or lighter. As the orange grew darker, he could feel my deep stillness. Shutting down the mind completely is no small feat. He took a deep breath and listened for his beloved.
The streak started to get thinner and lighter, eliciting some disappointment in him and quashing his hopes of seeing a richer sunset. He liked richness and intensity in life. He realised that the orange was a perfect imperfection in a dark and grey world, and this tiny imperfection made the world all the more beautiful and blissful. Why evil is necessary to know the divine, melancholy to experience happiness, darkness to see light and hatred to feel love. The fogginess began to clear away and the world jumped into a higher resolution. This sudden clarity in vision quietened him, enabling us to have a unified experience again. He finally began to feel at peace with her sudden and heartbreaking demise.
He saw a kaleidoscope of yellow, orange, blue and white, enveloped in grey. I was experiencing so many new shades of alien colours all at once. This was a peek at the transience of life, all thanks to her. The fog cleared away, producing an enhanced clarity of vision, while she was slowly bowing out. He contemplated this as a paradox, since, despite the enlivening sun setting and taking away its light along with it, the world became increasingly lucent. After all this time locked up in a dark room, colour seemed to enter him for the first time. He began to feel that this was a play of his beloved. She had inspired him to paint. She now seemed to pervade all that he experienced. His sparkling eyes were lost in her at that moment.
He noticed a neat blanket of orange-grey enveloping all the buildings together in one part of the city while an orange-white appeared right opposite his initial field of view. When he turned back around to face the sea, a small dark orange line, resembling a fire streak, appeared out of nowhere. There was orange reflecting off the dark grey water, accompanied by a crimson orange portal opening up at the top in the sky.
“She knows me too well,” he exclaimed, with excitement and tears.
The contrast was enhanced as the surroundings got progressively darker. I could sense another alien colour, just above the orange, which I had not witnessed till then that day. To him, it was a sky blue. At that point, even the sea began to participate, carrying the sunlight towards us, through the waves. The beach was her favourite place and now became his too, after her departure.
There were other colours of streaks appearing for the first time in the sky, such as the colour of blood devoid of orange. The dark grey of the surroundings had unwittingly been replaced by a pinkish grey and this was truly a mesmerising point of unified experience for us. The feeling resembled the pinkish warmth which had radiated from her cheeks. The only non-pink region left was the place of sunset, and it appeared bluish. It soon transformed to a light purplish tinge with a grey backdrop, while some vestiges of yellow remained above the sea. The world began to transition quicker than ever, finally giving way to darkness. The 70-year-old artist’s last ever dream was as rich and vivid as his usual reality. As he took his very last breath, he wondered, “What would it be like to experience this experience through the mind and senses of my beloved?” I knew the answer and he was just about to find out.