Quarantine Colours

Yellow. The colour of hope; of daffodil petals; of new life emerging out of the places we’d grown

so accustomed to seeing beset by darkness, and in cold. —.

The zig-zags of duvet; our — armchairs, which sit adjacent to the window. A burst of

energy: splendidly citrussy. A bottle, a jar, of something distinctively optimistic, somehow. ‘Child-like’, a raincoat. —

the colour of skincare; of lemon in water, as you recurrently manage to convince yourself that this must be good for you, somehow.

‘Detoxification’; hand on heart, a thank you. A spring of excitement, unbridled, unafraid.

Against afternoon sun, these dust particles falling. And don’t they look graceful, while they do? —.

Caught between so many of Time’s outstretched fingers. Undisturbed, and slow. Comforting, pulled over oneself much like a knitted blanket. And this colour speaks, to me, most of home.

Red. The colour of freeze-dried strawberries, bobbing up and down in bowl. Cereal for dinner. — The colour of lipstick. It speaks of velvets; secrecy, and danger. Passion. An unpredictable prick of pomegranate blood; crimson —. Deeply rich, and the flurry of a dozen twisted-up roses.

A deep promise, this colour: a yearning of sorts.

— I am searching for a pen to mark these papers with. Frantic. The ink bleeds forth;

quick! we might just be losing our lives to this.

Urgency. And our cherry-picked cares in the world.

Jumpers maroon; a stop sign, which will not be denied. But just like all things here, only for a while.

Blue. The colour of the sky. Of vastness; of something that we can always look to, far beyond our own horizons.

Infinity, far past what we are able to comprehend, of it.

A hammock-like, canopy; the colour of a simple embroidered dress my Nanu got for me, from Turkey.

—. [And those deeper shades go tremendously well with mustard yellow!]

Night sky, our sprawled-out memories, and even the ones that are not directly… our own. An electric shock of sorts: this whole entire experience. Universal:

An awful, bittersweet, sadness, bubbling to the surface:

at the fact that I will never see that youth again: not in myself, and not in anybody. Block colour; hand-print. The darker, the wiser, the more she quietly demands to be seen. And the lighter: the more wisp-like, freeing. Endless-seeming: the very depths of ocean-—.

Black. The colour of grief, yes. Of the phone calls, again and again; our cries of loss. A dullness, at the very pits of our stomachs.

And that sense of being shrouded in mystery: dark night. The protective, restorative, cloak of sleep; the very pits at the centre of our eyes.

A colour that tends to leak, flowing; from pen-nib onto black pools on palm. —

A strong, faded feeling of sadness. Like something is missing, here. Like I am not quite Home: melancholy. But I will be, I hope, maybe: once — has turned entirely, instead, to silver. Sitting by the river. A kitten who was so afraid; would quiver with uncertainty each time you go to pet her. We called her Toothless, after the dragon, and her eyes: arresting, the most alluring shade of —

Green. Emerald. Do not underestimate her value:

The colour of the most overlooked parts of these climbing roses. Of trees, steadfast, unfurled from seed;

majestic. Leaves unfolding one by one by one; veins and spines stretched outwards. —

the colour of nourishment and goodness. Bottle- —, fingers. Reaching down into the Earth; in good time, something quite exquisite grows. And we will always be okay, Insha Allah, so long as we find ourselves returning to the root of things. And their leaves. —.

Pink. The colour of promising salmon between bagel slices. Houseplants, their parts intertwined, spiralling, with heavy time, upwards, open.

— the colour of magazines and makeup. Lip gloss. Uncaring glitters; candy-floss sunsets. Sewn into a scarf, pretty little bag, bank card. Suffused cheeks, happy, gleaming, and cold, amid snow.

Orange. Their stems adorned with two leaves each. The sun is coming up; we get to catch a glimpse, again, and

these may well be our last days here on Earth. That moment, through the windows, golden. Drenched in something sweet, and it stays, though its intensity is transient. Sticky sweets, and a trickle of healing honey.

Purple. The colour of royalty, and of chocolate. Silk: of a wide, wide universe, expansive, waiting to be heard; listened to, in silence. Through telescopes, we see you. Ever-in-awe. In purple-encircled-darkness. Uncanny.

— a cake; a warming mug of hot chocolate. A boldness; ultra-elegant ‘simplicity’. Striking, the different parts that make up this universe, and yet, often, part of the background, through our ears, and in our eyes: subtle. All the hallmarks of Majesty.

Grey. Mundane. Not ‘ideal’, but, — matters. The colour of the days that churned out and dissolved away, as though they stubbornly had no business in staying. The heavy, or the lethargic, or the ones that sort of seemed kind of identical to one another. Like dominoes falling, but always: we knew that better things would come. A walk through the fog; a tiredness that remained, for a while. The smoke from these chimneys; every person’s unique burden. A dullness, a —.

Brown. But — is the one that seems to come to me most… ‘naturally’. Chocolate ice-cream, biscuits, and a welcome drizzle over profiteroles. Where we stem from, and back to what we go. Humble, earthy; —: the colour of Trust. Food being roasted around crackling fire; chirping, hopping wood-feathered bird, transporting little twigs back home. Thoroughly gentle, and decisive,

and replete with Purpose.

And I know that things here are intrinsically imperfect, and that there is a reason for this, too; like the rugged edges of a fading letter. Edges burnt by candlelight. A swirl of coffee: a smell to get completely lost in, staining paper-white milk, teabags thrown away. And — is crumbling, organic. The hearty realisation that Allah is my Lord: the One, the Only.

And that my skin stays the same, and yet sheds itself, over and over again.

Begins again, with the dawn – with the fleeting promise – of every new day.

Here we are. Out of the earth, miracles. Like seeds distantly new-flowered. Entire selves encapsulated within these, our walking bodies, our fit-for-size skins. Cookie-cut uniqueness; consciousness flowing to our very fingertips.

I much like the lack of rigidity here, and I both fear and love this… lack of life-steering certainties. I know that goodness will sprout forth, seek sun, as and when it is ready. Transience:

The light heaviness of being here, at this time, in this place,

and the heavy lightnesses, which pass through this place, this time,

via of all of these words

Still, though, with certainty I know, that “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to Him,

He would provide for you just as he provides for the birds.” [Sahih Hadith]


With Salaam, Sadia, 2021.

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