Day 278. Visual Cacophony

Back in March I was inspired by a WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.  And by that, I decided to try to describe, in words, what the photographers among us were patternbeing asked to describe in pictures.  I really had fun with it.

This is another one of those days.  Yesterday’s Weekly Photo Challenge was about ‘pattern’.  I immediately thought of India.  The photo to the right is one I took when I was there, from the end of December 2008 until the end of January 2009.

Among many, many other things, India is all about an explosion of your senses.  All at the same time.  It can be overwhelming at first.  The noise, the smells, the tastes and all the colour.  All in the extreme.  All done to excess.

But it’s absolutely fabulous!  Spectacular!  Like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.  Or likely ever will.  I was

completely enthralled.  Mesmerized.  Almost Hypnotized.

Because I have a strong visual side to me, what made the biggest impression of all was, in fact, the variety of colour and patterns.  In clothes, in bolts of silk for saris lined up one after the other, in the stacks of spices and tins of oil and tea and condiments on grocery store shelves, in how vegetables are arranged in market stalls, in the design of the glorious gardens, in the gold, precious and semi-precious gems which adorn the walls, ceilings, floors and columns of all the palaces and monuments and forts.  In the clothing the women wear.

Deciding which photo to use to demonstrate what I’m talking about was really difficult for me.  But in the end I chose one of a group of women sitting on the steps of a Jain Temple in Ranakpur, in Rajasthan.  I did, after all, work in the fashion industry years ago.  Please ‘click’ on it so you can get an idea of what I mean.

Would you ever have thought you could put all that together?

The women in India, from the poorest to the wealthiest, mix colours and patterns and textures in combinations we would NEVER think of doing.  It would never occur to us, because we’d be convinced it would all clash.  That none of it would work together.  That we’d look ridiculous.  That people would point and stare and laugh at us.  It’s how we’ve been conditioned, I suppose.  We wouldn’t even try.

There, though, it’s the norm.  And trust me, it is overwhelmingly beautiful.  Ornately beautiful.  Magnificent.  I just couldn’t take my eyes off them.  I couldn’t take my eyes off anything.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  So much so, I took more than 5,000 photos.  I was like a mad woman.  Snapping everything and everyone  in sight.

Imagine combining orange and red and bright yellow and pink.

Imagine combining stripes and floral prints and checks and tweeds.

Imagine combining the most delicate of silks with denim and wool.

Imagine entire ceilings of carved ivory, as delicate as lace.  You think you’re looking at a doily.  The kind your grandmother used to put under her tea pot to protect the table.

Imagine a driveway of a hotel made out of marble, in an intricate design.  Cars drive over it, but it’s like a piece of art.

Imagine marble columns and walls and ceilings and floors inlaid with lapis and rubies and real gold.

So yes.  What means PATTERN to me?  India.  Absolutely.  Nothing else will ever come close.  Nowhere else will ever come close.

Want more proof?  Let me know when you have time.  I’ve got 4,999 more photos to show you.

8 thoughts on “Day 278. Visual Cacophony

  1. Fransi, trust you to articulate a photo challenge. I love how your mind works … and you do it so beautifully. You skillfully guide us to see how India is such a good example of “patterns”. 4,999 huh? I’ll make time!

    • Thanks so much! I love doing it. It’s fun. As for the photos, any time. Happy Mother’s Day. Make sure you get properly spoiled tomorrow.

  2. I have never been interested in visiting India. Maybe it’s the heat or the oppressive crowds or the excesses or the poverty. Most likely it’s the bad press it gets. You give it an interesting twist. I did love the Hotel Marigold movie!

    • It wasn’t hot when I went. Mid ’70’s and sunny every day. A bit warmer in the South but beautiful. December and January are the best months to go. It is an amazing country. I’d like to go back. Loved the movie too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.