Filling life with colour and taste

Sheela Ramakrishnan

My teacher walked into class yesterday,
A new subject we are going to learn, she said, today.
Chemistry it’s called, my teacher smiled
It’s never out of your sight or mind!

Filling our life with colour and taste
How can that be? my mind asked in haste.
Do you see that wall, my teacher pointed – a lovely bright green?
It’s the chemistry of two colours – yellow and blue
That produced that hue.
a little more yellow or a little more blue
Makes endless greens to match every mood!
Now do you see chemistry again – in that glass of water – how do you think it came?
Two parts of hydrogen mixed with one part oxygen – that precious liquid gave.
Think! Think! our teacher urged earnestly
where else do you see, that wonder called chemistry?

By now I was excited and my mind started ticking faster
If it could make that life liquid water
and fill our lives with colour
Surely there are things to learn, greater?

And yes, answers I did find
In my mother’s kitchen – in the aroma of biryani awesome,
The frying of onions, the sweetness of cinnamon,
The setting of yoghurt, the just right flavour of that custard
The coke that I love, the rice that fluffs like a flower
It’s all chemistry, it suddenly dawned!
The glue that sticks paper and wood,
It’s made of chemicals good
the perfume on my mother that I love,
liquids and gas a combination of
My soap, my shampoo – my toothpaste, my shoe polish,
Chemistry fills my life, like a fairy godmother’s wish!
I began to wonder, if I can really find a space
Where chemistry does not have a place?
So let’s look at all those equations – queer
Without any fear
For these friendly numbers and letters
Make my life infinitely better.
Colours or taste – there is science everywhere
a combination of squiggles and wriggles
hey presto – textures and solution formation
This wonderful subject opens a whole new vision!!

The author is a partner at Edcraft, Hyderabad, a firm engaged in making teaching-learning materials, conducting workshops and providing consultancy services. She can be reached at

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