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Gray and brown. Just colors.

The huge waves of a monsoon ocean as they crash against a rough, sandy beach. A dull, dusk sky as it heaves against the intense desert heat. The tarred road meandering through muddy pathways that rest carelessly on either side.

Gray and brown. Just a natural scheme of colors that surround us.

The elegant teak wood rocking chair in the window with the warm fraying throw blanket. The edge of the steel knife moving rhythmically on the chopping board. The cement sheets that line the walls of the weathered planked floors – a once industrial warehouse now a popular café and coffee shop bursting with an early morning breakfast crowd.

The elegant folds of her melange silk dress as she bends gently to lift her tan leather folder. A gift from her grandfather that she still carries around to every meeting. More for its sentimental value than for its purpose.

Sentiments, emotions, colors, combinations. Interchangeable hues to suit each mood. Alternatively, juxtapositions create the ambience, look, and feeling that seeps slowly into our being and leads us to smile or sigh.

I turned on the dressing light and looked into the mirror. A tuft of hair at my temples which I purposefully pushed back behind my ears. Gray hair brushed against my sunburnt cheeks. Gray and brown, I thought. Nothing to cover or conceal. There it was. The colors of the sky, the beach, the old-brick road all within the frame of my very own portrait.

I sat with the thought. I dwelt upon what I saw. The association. Age, wisdom, texture, tenacity. Qualities that evolve over time. The strength gained from experience and the physical frailty of years lived. The maturity that comes with trial and error. Mistakes made yet milestones achieved. The loss of the taut, radiant complexion of youth that glows with the exuberance of promise and ambition.

Gray and brown. Just colors. The color of my hair against the tones of my skin. Alternating, growing, living, ageing, dying. Beautiful, simple, substantial, complete.

Just colors of life.


AnjaliThough my childhood was difficult and complex, these challenges forced me to look for happiness in things beyond the conventional givens of material possessions, career and marriage. Decades of philosophical reading, exploring meditation techniques and alternative therapies, culminated in meeting my Guru, Ramesh Balsekar. It was during the six years I spent attending his daily discourses that my innate love for language developed into editing books and doing some writing of my own. Learning from hard-earned personal experience I was finally able to overcome my unresolved issues. Today, this journey has allowed for me to be an emotionally present mother, a caring partner and a dependable friend. Indeed, suffering can be a gateway into becoming a more complete human being.

This series of blogs has been reviewed by Drishya Warrier, Aditi Iyer, and Pratishtha Bagai, of Symbiosis Centre of media and Mass Communication, Pune. We are students that have completed our first year. Through this NGO Internship Project at MHAT, we explored the field of mental health while pursuing our interest in creative writing.

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