by Sameer Iqbal
Hello, it’s Sameer here, with this week’s youth segment of Thursday Connectors. It’s a colourful day at Write On! Extra. I mean this literally, because we’re talking about colours and our colourful personalities.
I’ve recently learnt that being able to describe what we see and what our eyes behold, is an important tool in creating imagery in our writing. I, for one, find it hard to describe my feelings. The’ colour adventures’ we’re embarking on today should help me combat this.
Colour is connected with our moods, after all. It is also often what dictates our days and events. For some, if the sun is out and it looks like ideal beach weather, it’s a time for cheer. But for somebody else, the sun being out could mean all sorts of negatives; a spell of high pollen, for instance (often associated with good weather), might spoil the whole summer. Being a hay-fever sufferer myself, I tend to prefer the grey skies and the chillier months.
But isn’t it interesting how we are each able to identify with a particular colour? In fact, the hues and tones we prefer as individuals offer a whole kaleidoscope of colours!
My mum told me about an exercise they ran in an English lesson when she was at school. The pupils were asked to suggest a colour which best described the person sitting next to them. According to my mum, her friend described her as orange because of her bouncy and bubbly personality. My mum smiles and laughs all the time; even though for most of it, she isn’t particularly sure what she’s happy about. Anyway, her friend said, because she was so friendly, my mum was a joy to have as a friend and, as orange appeared to be the colour for happiness, it was therefore the best colour for my mum.
I got thinking about this and stared at my mum for a few seconds before realising that she is most definitely an orange!
However, orange can also be interpreted as reflecting a completely different emotion and personality. In traffic lights, it is used as a warning – a ‘get-ready’. Orange can also mean being careful, alert and prepared. It might also, therefore , be the perfect colour for representing an anxious person. But my mum isn’t anxious.Most days, she’s pretty calm, collected and funny!
Therefore, as a fun task for today’s ‘Connectors’ and to explore the relationship with colour and mood further, I’ve been asking friends and colleagues about the colour that best describes them. They represent a colourful bunch of people spread across ages and geographies, all up for talking colour with me.
I begin with Claire Buss, Eithne Cullen and Madeleine White, from among the colleagues at Write On! Extra:
I am blue.
The inky dark depths of the ocean deep.
The hopeful azure of good things to come.
The royal set of a stiff upper lip.
The cerulean dream of beach life.
The electric spark of ideas.
The duck egg of soothing moods.
I am blue.
The green of leaves reflecting ripples in still forest pools –
Green is my colour.
The sunlight streaming through seaweed tossed waves as they crest towards the shore –
Green is my colour.
The stillness held in the kaleidoscope of blue and yellow that colours my world –
Green is my colour.
I need no more.
Blue, blue, blue… Calm, interesting with hidden depths and many shades.
And now for youth connectors from abroad: Iqra from France and Raniya and Fatima from Pakistan. We also connect with Safa and Sara from Doha in Qatar.
Iqra Fazal, aged 21, connects from Paris in France:
I am the golden colour. All colours need the sunlight to shine brightly but the light from gold is enough for it to stand alone and shine by itself. It could be dark in a room and gold will still glow; a lot like me. Being an only child, I’ve had to rely on myself to shine throughout my life. To my parents, I am precious, more than any jewel or possession. To them, I am their only star, their only piece of gold.
Like the stars of Hollywood, I am here to shine. Gold is my colour. Gold is who I am.
Syeda Raniya Hussain aged 14, connects from Karachi in Pakistan:
Lilac would describe me best; the pastel and pretty shade of purple you get while mixing red and blue. Just like the shade, I am a free and emotional soul. With the slight pink to the tint making lilac appear so young, I tend to be a little childish as well. But like the strong purple influence, I know when to be the life of the party or the parent of the group.
Lilac represents friendliness, a helping hand and joy, both qualities I strive towards. Similar to the gentle hue that is lilac, I’ve learned my emotions are what make me human and I’ve been trying to love myself as I am. In conclusion, my outgoing, playful self can be summarised by the colour lilac.
Fatima Ahmed, aged 16, connects from Karachi in Pakistan:
You always feel connected to natural beauty in one way or another. The various colours of the world intrigue, making you think you have something in common with them. The colour that describes my nature is green, like the forests.
Being a source of happiness for someone and to make them feel joyful has always been my passion. I think greenery makes our inner soul active and gives us hope that anything is possible; the way trees shed their leaves in autumn and then grow back in spring. They are the habitat of different animals, and animals have always been close to my heart. Colours have various meanings, I think it’s our perspective that makes them different from one another.
Safa, aged 11, connects from Doha in Qatar:
I identify as yellow. It’s my favourite colour because it reminds me of the beautiful, lush sand of the amazing beaches here. Yellow is the sunset and yellow is daybreak. Yellow is peaceful and yellow is adventure and fun. My house is decorated with yellow ornaments and yellow cushions. My favourite chair is also yellow.
I am yellow because I am bright and cheerful, like a glass of orange juice, a juicy melon and a ripe mango.
Sara, aged 8, connects from Doha in Qatar:
I am blue because I like the sky when it is clear and without a cloud. I am like the blue sea, fun to play in and fun to swim in. My pool is also blue, as is my swimming costume! I like to swim in the blue water because when I swim, I feel free and have a lot of fun. I like the dolphins which are blue too. Like them, I am clever and funny. Blue will be my favourite colour forever.
What wonderful descriptions and powerful imagery of colour from all the above connectors from abroad! And now for some more colourful reflections. Let’s connect with youth living much closer to home and find out what colour best describes them:
Bilal, aged 19, from Manor Park, UK:
Red embodies my personality perfectly, showing my burning passion and power for things that I love, but it also contains the element of rage I try to keep in check!
Saniya Iqbal, aged 12 from Dagenham, UK:
I like the summer season the most. Therefore, I like colours that remind me of long summer days: green, orange, purple, pink, violet and rose. Sometimes, I am bright yellow, like a tall sunflower swaying in a field of bright green grass. Sometimes, I am bright red, like the geraniums in our front garden that never seem to wither, even in the winter months. Sometimes, I am brown, like the crispy, rusty leaves of autumn. These are the days I don’t want to get out of my cosy bed and go to school. Sometimes, I am blue, like the springtime skies. This is when I wish nothing more than to sit in my garden with snacks, a good book and some peace (away from my older brothers)! Sometimes, I am all the colours of the rainbow. This is when I am most happy and cheerful.
Luqmaan Said, aged 19, from Barking, UK:
I’m a strong royal blue. I resemble character and strong tones. But I can be used to show sadness and dark spells. Blue has always been my colour. From football gear to everyday clothing, everything about me is blue. I could have been a light blue, but I’m too proud not to be royal. The sophisticated, yet honest and faithful nature of this colour sums me up. I’m entirely blue.
Fahad, aged 20, from Ilford, UK:
Black describes me beautifully because it is the colour of night, full of secrets and mysteries. It is both dominant and powerful, while containing hidden aspects that even the most discerning eyes cannot fathom.
Maryum, aged 10, from East Ham, UK:
I am purple. It’s definitely my favourite colour. It reminds me of royalty and luxury. It’s a colour the princesses like Rapunzel, Anna from Frozen and Sleeping Beauty wear. It’s also the colour of queens, like Maleficent and the Raven Queen. My mum’s garden is full of flowers and the purple ones are my favourite ones of all. I love how the busy bees go towards the purple flowers first and then the rest. To me this means that purple is a friendly and bright colour; just how I want to be.
Yasir, aged 18, from East Ham, UK:
Silver is a reflective; a colour that mirrors my personality (excuse the pun) because I am exactly as I appear to be, in other words I ‘wear my heart on my sleeve’.
Black by Emmanuel, aged 18, a tribute to Chadwick Boseman’s passing.
Thank you for your lovely descriptions. It’s been a joy reading them and connecting with you. Some colours are more popular than others. It’s interesting how blue is linked to calm as well as fun and adventurous personalities, whereas the greens are more representative of earthy and natural personalities. While the purples are all about princesses and being friendly, the yellows and oranges are about being cheerful and bright. Reds, of course, are fiery and passionate and the golds and silvers are all about having star-like qualities!
Before I say goodbye to this week’s colourful edition, though, I still have my own colour and personality to reflect on. So, last but not least, here it is:
Sameer Iqbal, aged 19, from Dagenham, UK:
I am brown. Brown accurately describes me, perfectly reflecting my down-to-earth nature with its earthly connotations. It represents life through Adam, the first being on Earth, said to be carved from mud. Brown describes me because I’m full of life and can bring a silent, dead room to life by injecting laughter and joyousness into it. Brown represents a pleasant warmth through the wood in your fireplace in the bleak midwinter climate. It brings to mind feelings of warmth, comfort and security and is often described as natural, down-to-earth and conventional. But brown can also be sophisticated, another facet of my personality.
I hope you enjoyed our colourful personalities today. See you again very soon.
I’ve recently learnt that being able to describe what we see and what our eyes behold, is such an important tool in creating imagery in our writing.