Last week, Coldplay released their new video “Hymn For weekend” with the desperate attempt to portray the myriad colors of India. This video has received great appreciation as well as flak at the same time. Let me use this opportunity to explain why Coldplay’s “representation” (quoted on purpose) of INDIA is all seriously flawed! The video begins with showcasing saffron clad Sadhus with their foreheads smeared with ash, a levitating sadhu, crowded streets buzzing with people and vehicles, three boys riding triples on a bike, a boy dressed up as Shiva and the Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, running in slow motion for two nanoseconds. I am really frustrated to know that Coldplay chose all the above mentioned scenarios to represent multitude of colors in India. Seriously, is this what INDIA is all about? Coldplay has definitely missed doing their homework on where to find the myriad colors of India, so let me help them in right direction.
Here are the list of places where you can find more “colors” in India:
Rangoli – Holi colors are amazing? Try looking for Rangoli (Indian art of drawing intricate designs with colored powder) in the front porches of houses in India. You will be spellbound by the variety of lines, arcs and colors used to make complex designs.
Diyas/Lamps – Schedule a trip next time during Diwali (the festival of lights). You will be blown away by the countless diyas(lamps) in multitude colors, shapes, designs and sizes that are used to adorn the front yards and courtyards of numerous Indian homes.
Indian attire– Indian women in various parts of India, belonging to various cultures, religions and traditions wear a plethora of attires ranging from chudidhars, salwar kameez, lehengas, ghagras, kurtis, Sarees etc. The myriad colors, designs, embroidery, stone work and intricate designs used in all these attires will make your jaws drop.
Accessories: – like bangles, kangans for hands, earrings like studs, jhumkas for ears; necklaces, chokers and pendants for necks; bindis for forehead; nose rings for nose; anklets for ankles; maatis for head are used by Indian women to adorn themselves and are available in various colors, shapes, designs and sizes.
Food: Don’t even get me started on this one. India proudly flaunts the variety of food platter ranging from Parathas, Sabjis, from Punjab to dhoklas in Gujarat to Bakarwadi in Maharasthra to Bisi bele bath in Karnataka to Idly sambhar in Tamil Nadu to Hyderabad biryani in Andhra Pradesh to Kashmiri Pulao in Jammu. Each food has its own significance, flavor and spices and are more colorful than the bland food that you are accessible to in the rest of the world. Indian sweets like gulab jamoon, rasgolla, ras malai, kesaribath, obbattu, etc are lip smacking too.
Art and Artifacts – India is a goldmine for multitude arts and artifacts. You can find art everywhere – from street arts, wall paintings, cave paintings, temple paintings, sculptures, embroidery, pottery, woven silk etc. Take a trip from north to south, east to west and each state will proudly flaunt their own unique art.
Royal Heritage – The Taj Mahal at Agra; Pink Palace, & Jal Mahal at Jaipur; Sun temple at Konark; Bellur, Halebidu, Hampi, Shravanabelagola, Mysore Palace of Karnataka are few examples that depict the rich culture, tradition and heritage of India. Each place has its own story to reveal. The stone carvings on the interior and exterior of some of these heritage sites are stupendous and immaculate. Some of the carvings are eons old and are carved using a single gigantic rock.
Big Fat Indian Weddings – From Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra to West Bengal, the wedding rituals, attires, traditions are different. A Punjabi wedding is different from a Gujarati wedding, which is different from Karnataka style of wedding, that is different from Bengali wedding. Beautifully decoorated wedding halls, attires worn by the grooms and brides, wedding jewelry, accessories, etc are totally different from each other. Each wedding has its own set of rituals, ceremonies, culture, tradition, and food. If you fail to find myriad colors in Indian weddings, its high time you schedule an appointment with ophthalmologist. 🙂
Indian Festivals – Apart from throwing colored powder and dancing on streets during Holi, we also celebrate variety of festivals like Sankranthi, Ganesha Chaturthi, Diwali, Kurva Chauth and Dasara. Each festival has its own style, fervor, flavor and charm. The innumerable people flocking the streets during Ganesha visargan supersedes any other gathering(even Holi!). Beautiful diyas adorning the houses, the joy of bursting fireworks, the sounds and squeals that fill the air during Diwali cannot be expressed in mere words. During Karva Chauth, the Indian women fast the entire day for the longevity of their husbands and break fast only after viewing the moon at night. During Dasara, in Mysore, there will be huge procession of numerous floats depicting various cultures and traditions of India. It is a great experience to view dolls display at several houses during Navarathri. Each festival has its own signature food items.
Therefore, I would conclude by saying that “India does have myriad of colors”, but definitely, Coldplay’s video doesn’t!! 🙂