Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
To the human eye, orange is a very hot colour, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain produces an invigorating effect and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus colour, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the colour of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.
The connection of orange and me Started when I joined the school and you know that means the earliest days of my life. The school was established to spread the ideologies of Swami Vivekananda who used to wear orange coloured dresses and our school uniform was accordingly his ideology was orange.
The school days started with orange dresses stitched by my mom. She was very good in dressmaking. It was those old days when women were confined to their homes managing their own family, otherwise, my mom would have become a good fashion designer with prolific interests in knitting and embroidery. The winters were meant for orange coloured wools and mom finishing our sweaters for school spending most of her time on knitting. I can say I grew with the orange colour developing a weakness for orange coloured attires.
Orange is a fruit too, which has a special connection with me and my family. My dad used to tell me many stories of his childhood. My dad’s family was staying in hilly areas of northeastern part of our country where they had the orange garden. I can remember visiting our village every summer and winter vacations and enjoying all homegrown foods. In summer there were plenty of litchis as you see in this picture (I never thought while playing in the litchi garden that I will be writing blogs mentioning it!!). In winter, it was a must for all of the family members to visit orange garden which was little far from home, to have a picnic there. We use to enjoy the orange coloured juicy sweet oranges directly from the trees and play non stop. My dad and his siblings and my elder brothers used to swim in the nearby pond after having plenty of fresh orange juices down to their stomachs. They used to swim to feel hungry to have those cooked and roasted food again. Those were the innocent days without the show-offs, most activities were done with a pure heart when people used to become happy with good platters only. Those were the days of my life, which created unforgettable memories especially when the style of living has changed so much, the time has moved so fast, the scent of nature, the earth, the soil, the pure water and foods are missing.
Moving down the memory lane, I met my aunt who is now octagenarian but still living a city life among the cacophony. She has a special flair for not wasting any part of fruits and vegetables. An innovative cook herself, I remember tasting so many kinds of new dishes cooked by her. Many times she waits to see our jaw dropped with awesome taste and cluelessness about the ingredients. After we express our wonder she used to ask always ” Tell me, what are you eating?” We all siblings tried every time hard to answer correctly, but failed miserably because the ingredients were always beyond our imagination! I saw her keeping the orange peels under the sun to dry them up and then keeping them in glass bottles. She used them in various items and while preparing cakes for the orange flavour. She used to prepare orange squashes and storing them for summer. Now I feel that this generation women do not have that patience of collecting the peels and using them differently to showcase their culinary art. We are a lazy generation.
The orange teas are so special. Whether icy or little warm, both have wonderful taste. I can remember when I carried Orange Peko Darjeeling tea all the way from here to the USA for my elder brother. So, orange had played different roles in different times in my life.
Thanks to the prompt word which helped me to write a memoir on ORANGE!!
The journey with Orange will continue!