‘Colours are powerful,’ Specky said, ‘they transcend their boundaries and easily get accepted in new worlds.’
I said, ‘That’s a bit cryptic for me. Do you mean colours spread as water colour does and take the green of grass on to the brick red of bricks?’
‘They can do that. But all that I’m saying is that colours can go from a visual existence to one where only sounds stay.’ She looked at me trying to see if this was still cryptic for me, and when she found all symptoms of grave puzzlement on my face, she went on, ‘Look at ‘VHP red’… doesn’t it automatically carry with it the sounds of chairs being smashed to the ground or painting being torn? Or look at ‘Pak green’ and tell me if it doesn’t come surrounded with boos and hoos from a cricket stadium? So do you understand what I’m saying?’
‘Point accepted,’ I said, ‘This means colours produce sound.’ I immediately shook my head in disbelief. What am I saying… colours produce sounds? My own wife is driving me crazy. Nothing strange about that, of course, but how can I agree to colours producing sounds?
Specky went on, ‘Now look at our PM. What sound do you associate with him? But wait… before you answer that, tell me which colours do you link with him.’
I told her that this was one of her easier questions and went on to say that the colours I link with the PM are Black, Blue, Red, Brown, and the very obvious Blue. And then, without waiting for her reply, blurted, ‘But the only sound I link with him is silence. Looking at him, even the metallic musical form of ‘trance’ would transform into a meditative silence. Yes, it is silence that I link with him.’
‘Absolutely. Now look at the magician in him. He has combined five colours and produced silence. How many can do that?’
Specky had a point here that was irrefutable. But I had a doubt and I voiced it, ‘Do these colours too have a sound of their own? I mean, if they do, even you would dive into silence if you happened to wear some such combo some day?’ there was hope in my question and had already decided in my mind which colours I would insist that she buys when we go on a wardrobe-bharo spree the next time round.
Specky looked at me like a hunter does and said, ‘Colours have a strange way of changing their sound pattern with the person they link up with. In Manmohan’s case, it is black humour…’
I said, ‘Forget the black for a while. Let’s start with blue. I’m sure he cannot be linked to anything from blue skies to blue movies.’
‘Blue sea,’ replied Specky calmly, ‘he is forever diving into issues but no one has ever seen him emerge from the depths. That is what makes him so enigmatic.’
‘Aha! So the blue sea of his blue turban is what makes him disappear from public scrutiny! And I can imagine very well the sea of black humour that threatens to drown him all the while…poor guy!’
‘You got that one!’ marvelled Specky, and then went on, ‘Can you guess what the white in him gets connected to?’
‘Can’t be white wine, though I’m sure he must’ve been an intoxicating personality for his wife and his students when he was teaching,’ I said, ‘But white… is it connected to paper?’
‘Of course, it is,’ exclaimed Specky, ‘White paper is what makes him insanely unaware of anything unsound happening around him. And who knows, he might forever be creating white papers to gift to Sonia to explain all that cannot be voiced.’
I suddenly started laughing at a thought I just had and when Specky insisted, I said, ‘I’m wondering how anyone can ever connect him to red. He cannot be a red alert nor can he be a sharp red wine. He cannot possibly be as red rage or red eyes… linking him to a red light area will be pooh-poohed.’
‘How about a combination of a red billiard ball and a red mark?’ asked Specky. She did have an explanation for this connection. She said his policies have been given a red mark by economists and thinkers of the world and so far as his politics of reconciliation is concerned, the wily cue-sticks of the opposition and even the insignificant regional parties treat him like a red billiard ball… coveted and struck but always expected to remain in play!
‘That’s a nice one,’ I said, with a lot of admiration in my voice.
Specky brusquely said, ‘The final colour connection is brown.’
‘Brown pizza, brown bread, browned meat, brown sahib,’ I hazarded a few guesses, but they were obviously all wrong.
‘Brown nut,’ she said, ‘Look at him. Doesn’t he look like a nut? Everyone knows there’s a lot of nutrition there and so they are interminably chewing him. But he survives each of these chew-sessions and bounces back like a hard brown nut, ready to take on toothless sucks and toothy grinds!’
‘But these five colours and their energetic linkages are so active,’ I asked, ‘why must they come together and adopt silence?’
Specky asked me to stay calm and then explained, ‘When a brown nut wants to behave like a red billiard ball and dives into the blue sea in search of a white paper but gets entangled in the black humour of sea-weeds, what choice does the brown nut really has? The brown nut remains silent.’
‘The brown nut remains silent,’ I repeated, ‘and thus you prove that these five specific colours actually come together to produce silence?’
‘Yes,’ said Specky, ‘I call it the Manmohan Principle of Colours.’
13 September 2013