March 1, 2010 Off By Editor

Dear Readers,

At the very outset let me take the pleasure of wishing all of you a bright, peace-filled, cheery and safe Holi on behalf of the FE team. Colours are a delightful way of expressing a myriad of sensations – of the body, mind and the spirit. They speak in their own tones about life as we see it around us, about dreams that we weave within our own little worlds. They paint a synaesthetic world splashing a bucketful of meaning into experiences ungraspable by the written word. For most of us colours are a metaphor for freedom, for liberation and jubilation. They are a medium of sensual and artistic licence. That is why we associate vibrancy and energy with a multi-hued canvass- literal or otherwise.However, one must keep in mind that too much colour can also blind. Often we are swayed by the glitzy illusions of colourful dreams and desires and that leads to pitfalls we see a little too late.

When Ghalib sahab took over the editorial last issue, he spoke eloquently and at length about the various shades that love alone takes across time and space albeit in his own andaaz. I watched a play the other day that explored over the soft and pastel tones of music.Such greens and lilacs and lemons and blues! I walked back home musing over the vivid colours used on the sets and how they frequently changed meaning as the play progressed. Alas, I was soon shaken out of my reverie by a colour-filled water balloon that found an unsuspecting target on my back. I cannot complain too much about that though. It was a time of the year when everyone was in the spirit of colours and it was that one day when the playful and the reserved were both out on the streets celebrating a feat never seen before. Yes Holi fervour was back with a bang already, triggered by Tendulkar’s historic double century. Every kid and every kid at heart rejoiced over the fantastic innings that evening. Some donned the colours of the Tricolor, others simply doused each other in colours of celebration. Such is the prominence of colours in our day-to-day lives. We either use them with much deliberation and craftsmanship- as do artists, poets and play makers. Or we use them spontaneously- like the world did to mark Tendulkar’s achievement. And colours come in various avatars.Not for no reason do we politely term certain offensive pieces of vocabulary that spontaneously slip out on crowded streets and during juvenile brawls as “colourful language”, for instance.

This issue celebrates the metaphoric colours of life in their simple monochromes as well as in their arty casuistry. Sangeeta takes us through a reunion with nature after a brush with the rains. Mani Padma weaves in the fruity colours of coquetry and passion in her mischievous story in 55 Fiction. She explores more subtle and graver shades of desire, dreams, real and the illusionary in Random Take. Pramathesh explores how the business of manufacturing holi colours have become a means of altering perceptions about life and living for the inmates of Tihar jail. No celebration of Holi is complete without a glance at the intoxicating elements that build up the atmosphere of the festival- including the most literal of intoxicants: alcohol. Mani takes up the challenge of exploring the fuzzy pigments that go into making of one of the most-consumed commercially packaged liquor available in the Indian market.

Hope you have a colourful time browsing through these pages and more!

With warm regards,
Myra B
(on behalf of the Fried Eye team)

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