Stop Chasing Yellow. Let It Chase You


Creative India gives Anandi Paliwal a day to see the colour. Here is a look at what she returns with.


What is basant’s sweetest revenge on its lovers? The appetite for yellow. ‘Genda phool’ and mustard, their dizzying-sweet fragrance, breeze into sunlight. The craving – to wrap, drape, see, wear, absorb and soak yellow, soars. Why do yellows overpower the palette so easily in basant? You will not know, until you allow yourself to be touched by the warmth. Yellows – flowing into different elements and textures, melting into cloth, stitches and folds, hammer-beaten, borrowing the brilliance of brass, gold’s glitter, the powdery cheer of turmeric, paired with pale; overflowing, stopping at the seams and outlines, knotted into accessories, and bursting, from pollen into honey. This basant, I see how millennials pick up from where their elders left, following their heart and going back to roots, they choose a wide range of elements. My chase for yellow makes me see the colour in a different light.



The Giver. The Mother. A glimpse of  Goddess Saraswati on this Jain Travelling Temple from Kinche gives basant and its association with learning, knowledge, creativity, awareness and practice a marvellous visual representation. Depicted here is great Jain saint Yashovijayji, seeking blessings from the Goddess. The circular brass box shimmers. The piece opens to a mirror on the lid’s inside. The lid comes with foliage design. The base reveals miniature art enhanced with gold, glass, seed pearls and gesso. Say a prayer.



Honey — rasa of basant, its flowing gold. I pick the multi-floral honey or Pushp Ri Mao from Jessica Jayne of Pahadi Local for a healthy start to my mornings. Extracted from wild flowers of the Shivalik range, this is nectar from the hills. Fresh fragrances and distinct floral notes can be tasted. For entrepreneur Jessica Jayne, the honey invokes comfort and keeps seasonal allergies away. Let me breathe it a little longer, please.



Are you struck by yellow and want to be wrapped by it? Padma and Aastha, the talented women of Fayakun Design Studio make mustard fields the inspiration for their earthy outfits for their upcoming spring collection. Padma is blissfully soaking the morning sun at her grandmother’s village where mustard flowers meet the sky in peace. She throws what she absorbs into Fayakun’s collection — an unusual blend of haldi (turmeric yellow) and ochre. Having grown up looking at yellow on seekers, Padma and Aastha embrace it in their work. The fall and texture of the hand-spun and hand-woven Khadi gives their work elegance and character.



Haldi, the colour, does justice to desi tussar and reminds a lot of women of their grandmother’s sarees, believes Pradeep Pillai. His Nalanda Desi Tussar Silk saree is nostalgia woven in yellow. Pillai specialises in a primitive form of the supplementary-weft weaving technique. He has used the traditional weave with desi tussar yarn, giving the classic a fashionable twist. He has been trying to give a new lease of life to the Bawan Booti saree (52 bootis), reintroducing newer motifs. The saree is named ‘Sarnath’. Its inspiration comes from a four petalled flower seen at Sarnath. The yarn is sourced from Bihar and Jharkhand and woven into sarees in Nalanda.



Miranika artist Shalini Anand takes sringar to a poetic level.  She has designed whimsical hair accessories with 92.5% rhodium and gold plated silver decorated in orange vitreous enamel with a yellow citrine stone. The colour, according to Anand, symbolises beauty and spring, a new lease of life, courage and vigour in a woman who is about to embark on a personal journey. Decorating her hair, she holds them in place with ornate hairpins.




Some spunk. Some knots for the hair. Some fun quotient. A real burst of canary yellow in an accent piece to uplift the mood. Created by Pure Ghee Designs with colourful flowers on the sling, there is too much basant you can bag. The canary yellow reminds Aditi Prakash, the designer, of festivities, crackling sunlight and new beginnings.



Look at how black pales. Yellow is, definitely, the new black in these Bandhgala buttons in silver.  Blocked with black enamelling, flattened by its overpowering presence, yellow rises to show itself. As per Divya Shekhawat, co-owner, Kesya, the motif is a contemporary depiction of the traditional floor patterns, frescoes and motifs found in the palaces and forts of Rajasthan.



The bold Suket Dhir outfit which includes yellow gabardine pants, linen kurta with a floral shirt and double sided scarf, pulls you to the outdoors. As proposed in the picture, the styling is done for a man who is not looking for approval. Look. Look longer at this true tribute to the season. Which yellow does your heart skip a beat on?



I stop to admire the morning sun seeping through the window panes, breathing life into Kurma’s home accessories, in yellows and orange. Colours and motifs meet screen and block prints on handspun organic cotton. Styled with fresh pine cones, sparrows (very comforting if you do not see the bird hopping around anymore), and oak leaves strewn on cushion covers and runner, the store and its collection chirp spring.



Ira Studio’s hand-beaten brass overhead lamp and two small brass tables are handcrafted by a master artisan in Mangalore who specialises in fine silver and brass-beaten work. Brass lends warmth to the corners. The yellow glows, filling spaces, making room for light. A splash of marigold and desi rose on the table, leaving them to dry, as basant turns away soon into more festivities and colours, is perhaps good for a conversation with the petals.

Pick your yellow. Begin with genda phool.