Updated: Jun 17
When I was in fourth grade, there was a topic in our English book where we had to match colours to emotions; green for jealousy, red for anger, blue for sadness, yellow for happiness, and pink for love. As I grew up, I learnt even more associations of different colours to emotions. The colour for ‘love’ changed from cloudy pink to burning red to sunlight golden. Or to any other colour, I’d see people matching it to in a movie, song, poem, or book.
It’s not that simple though, to believe a single colour represents a single emotion. When you think of sadness and grief, you don’t just think of the colour blue. You think of all the colours of the moment you felt that emotion in. You think of the little things around that your eyes had caught, the blurry red blinking traffic light seen through tears, or maybe the green pen in your hand when you first got the bad news. The same applies to love. It isn’t simply just a single colour, made to represent all situations and scenarios of ‘love’, rather it’s all the colours your heart attaches itself to, all the colours in that moment that would later remind you of ‘love’. Just like the way your mind affiliates a song, or a scent to a time in your life, it associates colours to an emotion just the same.
The phrase ‘time stopped when I looked at you’, although literally inaccurate, definitely holds some truth to it. Time doesn’t stop when you feel love but your brain suddenly does become a lot more perceptive to everything around you. You look at that person and your brain seeps in every small detail, every sound, fragrance, and every colour you can to remember that person and that feeling by. Your mind subconsciously rushes to take everything in just to make that moment stop a little in time, and to make it a little more colourful, beautiful and warm when painted in memory. As a quote which I once read, gives an apt description of love,
“One of my favourite things about human physiology is the way our eyes change when we look at someone we love. Our pupils dilate automatically like they do when it’s dark outside and they’re trying to let more light in. Except now it’s the light of your favourite person. We tend to raise our eyebrows as if we’re trying to make our eyes bigger. Trying to get a better vision and seeing all the details. We tend to blink less than usual just to make the moment last a bit longer. Even if it’s just a second.” via Sahra, @legohotel on Tumblr
It’s unfair to let a single, solid colour represent all the excitement, rush, warmth, quirks, fear, longing, intimacy, calm, and satisfaction and all the other aspects of love. Especially since when you think about love, it’s anything but a single colour that comes to your mind.
Colours of love are the white of the hospital sheets, the bright yellow morning light through the opened blinds, the blue towel wrapped around the tiny body, the pink skin of the sleeping figure when the mother first got to hold her baby. They’re the black of the boy’s eyelashes, the green of the jacket her husband was wearing when she smiled up at him in tears, the orange of the band the nurse tied around the baby’s wrist.
Colours of love are the turquoise, lemon yellow, lilac and white of the four-stranded friendship bracelets’ ribbons that the two friends exchanged at the back of the class during their Science period. It’s the colour of the dark painted benches decorated with whitener drawings and the BTS name chant, the blue of the ink stains on their dirty hands, and the white of the uniform in which they spent the best years of their lives and innocent friendships.
Colours of love are the green and blue of the jug handle in which her fingers accidentally got stuck with his. It’s the purple and red of the shirt she was wearing, the pink of the blush she noticed on her face in the bathroom mirror, the maroon of his kurta he was showing to her mother, the white of the cloth spread on the table she was sitting on, avoiding meeting his eyes.
Colours of love are the black of the room with all the lights turned off, the grey of the dimple that’d appear in every smiling photograph he’d look at of her while she would talk for hours from his phone. It's the blue of the wallpaper he had set behind her WhatsApp chat, the green of all her messages that he had starred to read again later, each time when he'd miss her and she'd be away.
Colours of love are the bright lights of the airport, the dark green of the suitcase beside which they hugged their children one last time before leaving. It’s the grey of their son’s shirt that got stained with her tears, the pink and yellow of their daughter’s hair ties that got stuck in his watch, something that got that big laugh out of all of them, the one they remembered forever.
Colours of love are the faded green, orange and brown of the falling autumn leaves that crunched beneath her cane and slow, soft steps as she walked to sit on the bench with her son. Colours of love are the gold of the evening sun, the red scarf around her granddaughter’s neck that kept falling off as she played with her husband, the silver of the wedding ring that still remained on his finger after thirty-seven years with her, the grey of the dimple that would still appear on her cheek each time she’d reciprocate his smile back.
So, colours of love aren’t the normal colours we are taught to associate it with or any other for that matter. It’s every colour on the spectrum that can define the moment you fell in love, that reminds you of the warmth that spreads all over your heart, all the calm you feel each time you think of the person you love. Colours of love are anything that take you back to the moment your heart skipped a beat, and you found it hard to hold back your smile.