The Colours of Love - by Zainab Waseem

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 a