Colours of the rainbow

Shalini Sirsi

When you look around you
You’ll see that
Everything has color – K.Schippers from ‘The Discovery’

Picture this – brightly painted yellow buses, children getting down from them, clothed in different hues and shades, entering the school with bright smiles. There is dissimilarity and yet there is an organized symphony of colours that strikes the onlooker as pleasantly enigmatic.

We are frequently asked by visitors, “What is the essence behind the ‘Abhaya Dress to School’?”

Our answer is, “Come and spend a day with us and you will know.”

Surrounded by colours, oftentimes we fail to notice them and colours somehow fade into the background. But, it is also believed that only the human eye can discern the magic of different colours. What is also interesting to note is that in the absence of light, colours vanish. To experience colours we need to know what darkness is! And in darkness, only shadows remain. Amazing isn’t it?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is credited with publishing one of the earliest works on colours. His book was published in 1810 describing the phenomena of colours. Isaac Newton analyzed colour from a scientific/mathematical perspective and Goethe looked at it experimentally. Goethe and Newton may not have agreed on the theory of colour but to ordinary folks, the visual world of colours holds indescribable magic.

There are cool colours, there are warm colours, there are winter colours, there are summer colours, there are earthy colours, and there are haute-couture colours, colours for the season and colours for the mood and so on.

By now, discerning readers are probably wondering what this write-up on colours is doing in an issue on uniforms in school.

At Abhaya, clothes worn to school are all about colour and comfort. So a little more on colours before we proceed further.

Feel the nuances of each colour in the colour wheel …

The author teaches English and social sciences at Abhaya School, Hyderabad. She loves reading up on children’s literature and spends her free time quilting. She can be reached at

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