The simplicity of life in hindsight

Jack, Romie, Christina and Liu in technicolor

Tanzania, 1899

A Lioness rounds on its prey, waiting for the right moment. She knows that this could mean three meals for the pride. She steps to the left then to the right and just when she’s about to leap, a  monstrous roar engulfs all the forest sounds. An elephant emerges, the Lion runs, and the zebra stands there staring at the animal that just saved its life. A flash goes off. Jack admires his first ever picture with his Kodak, steps into his Jeep and drives away.

Clark County, Nevada, U.S.A, 1912

Romie screams at his mom and walks away. A trip that could have been, he thought. Why did the Titanic have to strike an iceberg just before his first cruise to africa. Why? Why were his parents so paranoid? He needed some fresh air, he grabbed his bike and rode off, thinking about the lions, tigers and zebras. He sat down under a birch tree and picked up an envelope lying on the ground, an envelope with the word Zebra scrawled on it. He opens it, and sees a  black and white photograph, a photograph that changes his life.

Berlin, Germany, 1942

Christina lazes away on her bed and writes in her book, as she flicks through the channels on her brand new black and white television, a luxury only afforded by the top German officials. A handsome boy catches her attention on television, he dreams of the forests and wakes up only to end up going and screaming at his mother after an altercation. Christina sighs at state of American television, as she finishes up her novel. And for some reason, she writes about the boy in her book.

Guangzhou, China, 2002

Liu, walks down the aisle flanked by towering shelves filled with chemicals on either side looking for any anything that could remotely interest her. She walks into his bedroom and her gaze falls upon a doggy eared, old worn down book, a black and white cover stares back at her. The book is titled “If only I could change the world” by Christina Schneider.

The grey scale picture of a zebra staring at an elephant can do no justice to the event, nobody would truly understand what it felt like to be there and to have seen that, nobody except Jack. To a boy, who dreams of jungles, forests and wildlife,  a picture can mean so much. All he got was a black and white picture. He doesn’t need to see the colours to feel the passion, the colours are already in his head. Christine can barely understand the words that Romie speaks, she couldn’t see the colours of passion dancing in the eyes of the boy, but she could sense its presence.

Liu reads the book with a child-like curiosity, the book takes her to a whole new world. A world where she could see the zebra stare at the grey elephant in defiance, a world where a picture brings the golden glint in the eyes of a boy, a world where a writer is captivated even by the slightest moment of passion.  Liu, reading the book has witnessed an era, an era that was so full of colour, but an era that couldn’t convey the passion of its colours. I write this post devoid of a colourful picture, or any colour for that matter. Four people, in four continents, yet connected by events that shape each others lives. The colour is in your eyes, in your imagination and dreams. And it’s the power of your mind that paints the colours around you.

We’re lucky to live in an era, where we don’t need to leave the power of experiencing colours to the mind. We live in an era in which we can convey the power of colours in life, an era where no colour needs to be left to the imagination.

We live in an era with gadgets like the HP Deskjet, which brings colours to life.


This post is an entry for the ‘Take flight with colour’ contest.


4 responses to “Jack, Romie, Christina and Liu in technicolor

  1. Someone is Special June 30, 2011 at 12:38 am

    and I agree with you.. we can convey the power of colours in life, an era for our colourful imagination.. ‘Good Luck and will my life be colourful

    Someone is Special

  2. Sairam July 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Very good post. Very different from the usual posts about a BW picture. We live in a time where colors need not be left for imagination. is a goo thought.

    All the best

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