While the world trended on the colour purple, I was drawn into the world of red.
A young girl, thin, in a tight yellow t-shirt, skin tight jeans, wearing push up bra, hair tied back in a ponytail and with eyes glued to the road, did draw me into her world. She was wearing a dark red eye liner, a colour that was well beyond my imagination for eyes, up until that very minute.
There was something magical in her existence, lyrical in her posture and something ethereal about her aura. On the outside, those were the roads that lead into the unspoken twists snd turns of Sonagachi but on the inside, she was wrapped up in a blanket of innocence that only her red eyeliner could justify.
My eyes were following her from a distance and when I got close to her, our eyes met and she smiled at me. Her smile, started in reluctance but stood still in warmth and was heartfelt. What was I thinking? Was I concerned about her being in that place? Was I worried for her? Was I feeling sorry for her? Unfortunately none of the above! I was staring at her in amazement. Her beauty was captivating and she drew me into her world of red.
Would that red eyeliner stop her from being abused? Would the colour red help her hold onto her pride and dignity, the day she leaves sonagachi? Would her red eyeliner stop someone from falling in love with her? Would the colour red give her all the strength that she would need day in and out to live a life? I would never have answers of any of these! Maybe somewhere I don’t even want to know the answers. I guess some questions are better as questions and should never be answered.
I couldn’t stay there for long and neither could I ask her where did she get her eyeliner from. But I did realise when I got back into my car to drive away from sonagachi that her shades of red would travel with me for the rest of my life. I would always wonder what colour of an eyeliner would she wear today and tomorrow and so on?
But this is what holds me a prisoner from inside. The philosophy of beauty. If it is about norms then the best bet lies with the fashion critics and designers and their vision of make or break but if it is about breaking norms completely and shaking them up, then in reality, the ones who actually break them always remain unheard of and are unspoken because they exist in places that are often labelled ‘forbidden’.
But what has a colour got to do with beauty?! The soul itself is colourless so whether it’s a purple colour on the body or red or black or white, doesn’t really matter because at the end of it, shades that matter don’t really come in colours; whether purple or red – none of it matters!