Friday 1 May 2020

Violet hues in the time of Lockdown

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG 2 where
some of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day
starting 1st of May to the 7th of May, 2020.
The colour theme for today's post is Violet.
One cannot see the colour violet, I read. No, it's not purple but a different shade of purple. It is confusing for me who always used violet as a synonym for purple. Alas! My professor used to say that there are no synonyms. Coleridge said that first and my professor led me to that. I still believe that there are no synonyms. Every word is distinct and could fit a particular context so yes, violet is NOT purple. I think we are a species who always like to group similarities and tag them/it with a generic word which is often suitable to the context with minuscule degree of difference but then how do others even spot the differences. Instead we stick to the easy way of grouping similar characteristics together like substituting violet for purple.

We do it all the time, we have set words for different aspects of life: Cool, sexy, hot, woke, feminism and so on. We use these these words over and over until we think whether we are limited to these alone. Our vocabulary stunts rather allowed to stunt by us because we don't care to notice. We JUST want to throw our thoughts and words out there - this explains why blogging has taken a back seat for many who were active few years ago. The patience to engage with newer outlooks and perceptions are slowly but definitely disappearing. Some of us seem like the last species of bloggers who are often seen as artifacts who rightfully belong to a bygone era. But then aren't museums and history fascinating? Like the colour Violet which is not purple but like purple liked by many.

I used to know a member in the church named Violet. Her lips were affected by leucoderma. She was called Violet aunty.

Did you see Violet aunty?

Violet aunty was looking for you!

She used to talk fast and loud, forcing herself close to you. Being diminutive, she was oddly funny. She had two daughters who fortunately weren't as colourful, meaning they weren't named after colours. Isn't it a bit funny to imagine South Indian Christians sporting colour and flower names but having personalities quite contrary. Well, don't be harsh on my passing judgement. Violet aunty is no more and we no longer go to that church.

So much so, for violet memories.


  1. Words are not enough Susannah but only the Creator can tell about the so many hues that lie in the color spectrum. VIBGYOR is what is visible and we also have names like lilac, mauve, apart from violet and purple too. i adore the colors of Jacaranda, Wisteria, Lavender flowers for even when i think i was not born so much so that i think in my previous birth i was a Jacaranda tree. Something about the color call it by any human name be it purple, or violet or mauve or lilac has a profound impact on me.
    Museums are fascinating but not for all. Same thing about blogging and bloggers. The last time i visited any such was the Monet Museum Paris and while i wanted to dwell and know more than the famous waterlilies my friends just wouldn't be bothered by the nuances of the painting or the painter. Different strokes for different folks.
    There are cool colors and i think Violet/Purple/Lavender/Mauve/lilac call it anything but it has some kind of calming or stunning into serenity kind of a feeling that it induces on many people. Especially me.
    There is a saying in Hindi आँख का अंधा नाम नयनसुख ( aankh ka andha naam nayansukh) which means having attributes quite opposite to the name.
    i love Violet as a name too. Enjoyed reading the bit about Violet aunty.
    i have in my life encountered many who don't live up to what their name stands for. The good thing is you still remember them.
    Accha as we are conversing about so many aspects i have this hopeless urge to share. This is about blue not just being blue but a special blue.'Cerulean'. Thanks to this i have a human name for this blue. Here it is from Devil Wears Prada :'
    ... That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs''
    You never know Susannah what will take the world's fancy. But when we are told that a particular celebrated thing is Violet then violet it is.
    Also please enlighten me on what Coleridge said first. i don't know if i know. Help me.
    Wish you many more conversation provoking blogs like this.

    1. Your comments are like sweet conversation, just flowing. A cuppa chai is what's missing. You seem like me - I like jacaranda trees too. I was teaching in a place called Rishi Valley, a residential school and there were many jacaranda trees and even a hostel was named jacaranda house.

      You are indeed lucky to have visited that museum. It is on my list as well but now, I wonder if anyone would dream of travelling.

      Coleridge and Wordsworth wrote The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads in 1798 where in one of the places, he roughly discusses words and meanings. I think there he mentions that each word is unique and cannot be substituted or something like that. I don't get the exact words.

      Hopping over to your blog now.

  2. I loved the post. With regard to purple, I've read that violet comes close to blue and purple comes close to red in the hue spectrum, and they are very much distinct, as you had mentioned.

    1. Thanks Kaushik. I read about that too. This is fun, learning newer aspects of colours!

  3. I had an aunt whose name was Violet. A sweet lady :)

  4. I had a aunt with the name Violet. The post made me think of that sweet old lady. :)



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