Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Black/Blue/Brown- Does it really matter?


Some time back I went to a local temple wearing a salwar-kameez that was predominantly black in colour. Now the dress was neither flashy nor inappropriate. As soon as I entered the sanctum, I could sense a few prying eyes including those of the sashtrigal(pandit) performing puja. But thankfully he didn't tell me anything . While circumambulating the temple premises an older woman came to me and told me - 'this is a holy space. so please don't wear black'I was tongue tied. While my mind came with a few responses, I couldn't mouth any and I simply turned and fled home. The matter is a few months old but is still fresh in my mind and I only pity the society we live in. Now tell me ---
  • Why do we judge a person on the basis of what he/she wears ? This in turn extends to all forms of intolerance and discrimination in terms of caste, creed,sex, colour of skin;
  • Temple of all places is supposed to accept people as they are, irrespective of how they look or what they wear. Then why the intolerance and prejudice ? ;
  • Respect for the sanctity of the place must stem from the heart and  not from what coloured cloth we wear. Don't you agree ?
  • Who decides that a particular colour is pure and another is impure? I wear whichever colour holds my fancy and shouldn't that be the case ? ;
  • A friend advanced a theory that probably wearing black must be assumed to represent my state of mind. For record, I was neither ecstatic nor depressed the day I chose to wear black. In fact, the  dress is one of my favorites and was worn precisely for that reason. So why are our perceptions clouded and subjective ?
  • If wearing white for instance is supposed to mean pure then the whole bunch of our conniving politicians must surely be the holiest lot. Since that is not the case, isn't the argument of colour representing our state of mind simply fake ?
  • Black is usually associated with 'dark' , 'night' , 'evil' or mourning but it is not always the case. It can also mean elegance, sophistication and restraint. Don't judge anybody by appearance, it can be deceptive.
It is up to every individual as to what colored cloth he/she wants to wear to a temple. As long as it is not overtly provocative or totally inappropriate let people be.I am totally okay if anyone wants to wear a shocking pink or scarlet red or white or black or brown . Respect should stem from heart & actions and not by wearing white or light coloured clothes. 

34 comments:

  1. I agree with you that that is all nonsense! Similar to telling widows to wear white or else they would be disrespecting their husband's memory!

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    1. what's colour got to do with respect - duh; cheers roshni :)

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  2. Priya, I had this argument for years. Colour therapy I understand but discrimination I don't. For the longest time, my wardrobe was full of only black outfits much to the dislike of my mum. I think these old wives tales are the last thing I want to pass on as a legacy to the next generation. Such an apt post.

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    1. old wives tales indeed ; thanks & cheers :)

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  3. Like Vinita says color therapy does have an effect on a person. Personally when I am unwell or down in the dumps wearing bright colors always helps me. Having said that, I don't understand the restrictions on wearing black or white ! What does it matter as long as you are decently dressed. For that matter I don't understand the objection on wearing western clothes when you enter the temple either !!

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  4. I know what you mean and truly support the thoughts shared here. But we live in a society which is governed by some peculiar practices, rules and systems. And the ardent followers of these practices do not believe in "live and let live", hence these practices, howsoever weird or outdated they may be, are dumped on us!

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  5. Yep PRiya its ridiculous the way ppl have beliefs and they try rubbing them on U! but u know what we cant escape it or fight and argue. Its better to stay mute and IGNORE
    Thats wat I learnt. I LOVE BLACK by the way.
    I wear it to weddings and all events much to the disgust of many arnd. It makes me feel royal and better :P

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    1. gee afshan; i too rebel in my own way and much to the chagrin of many :) cheers

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  6. Agree with you. Makes no difference the colour of our clothes - what matters is who we are. Nice post.

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  7. Never could understand the rationale behind such statements...never could relate to them :)

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  8. Well put, Priya. Black is indeed the colour of sophistication. These people try to project their negative thoughts on to others. Are they there to worship or to judge others?

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  9. I wonder will these nonsense ever stop! It does not seem to.

    A very well described post. Definitely food for the thought.

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  10. What really matters is the color in the heart. As long as the heart is pure, God will accept you.

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  11. Interesting to see that this sort of thing happens regardless of religious belief.

    I'm thinking it's a human nature thing. I'm sorry that this situation happened to you, because I think it's just unkind of those people to pick on you because of what you wore.

    My Writing Blog
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    1. yes misha it is indeed a sad thing to happen ; hope we shed our ignorance and insensiiviy; cheers

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  12. It may seem like an overly simplified response to your article, but I've always believed that it's what's inside that counts. It's cheesy but it's true. Having zero fashion sense and even less social awareness I'm sure people look at me and judge all the time. I may not be aware of it when it happens but I know it's happening. So I try not to judge others by their appearance, be it the colour of their attire or the colour of their skin.

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    1. i totally agree with your response ameron; cheers :)

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  13. People! One can only feel sorry for people who live with such misconceptions and fears.

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  14. Completely agree...coming from a Brahim family, I know and understand. I have my own rules now...I do the pooja even when I am menustrating.

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  15. :-) Makes one think night is evil, no? :D I don't worry about these things. Good post!

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  16. I have been told something similar when I chose to wear a black sari to a wedding (note, NOT mine). 'It is an auspicious event, don't wear black'. What stuff and nonsense.
    People wear black to Sabarimala temple. I find all these color restrictions ridiculous to say the least.

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  17. Oh God! I think we all can relate to this issue, Priya! Stupid lawmakers and judges of our society! You chose a splendid topic! :)

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