There's a particular shade of Indian pink I absolutely love. I have a soft kantha scarf in this colour — entirely beautiful. I bought it from an eBay seller called Pradeep Choudhary. It came all the way from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It smells of India, incense and spice.
I find this colour very hard to describe to other people, though I certainly know it when I see it. Then this morning early I had an epiphany about it, realising that this is the colour of pomegranates.
I love pomegranates. They are very expensive, but at the moment I get through about half a dozen every week.
Pomegranates featured infrequently but significantly in my childhood. My mother was born in early October, when (I believe) pomegranates are in season. When she was a child, she would be given a pomegranate on her birthday — so, only once a year; I expect they were expensive then, too, as well as somewhat exotic on a farm in a Yorkshire village.
She would eat them, she said, with a pin. Seed by seed. Neatly. Daintily. Carefully. Herself eating them with consummate delicacy was as much part of the legend as the actual pomegranate.
Now, when I eat pomegranates, things are not the same. I have to eat mine in the bath, and even then the tiled walls can look unnervingly reminiscent of a crime scene when I'm done. I sit in the bath like a temple baboon, capturing dropped seeds warmed by the water from the bath floor, biting off regiments of jewel seeds exposes in glowing ranks. I cannot tell you how much I love them and what a wonderful playtime it makes of my bath hour.
I got the idea of eating messy things in the bath when I was little. My mother used to feed me a teaspoon of cod liver oil in the bath, and a good thing that was too, because I spilt it often as not. So I eat nectarines in the bath too, and peaches.
And, just at the moment, several times a week, feeding my body and soul and spirit and generating cheerfulness; pomegranates. One of the beautiful colours of India.