The Navratri Colour Code united women in a tight Sisterhood. It is meant to be celebrated, not imposed.
Twelve years back when I had re-entered the formal workforce after a break, amidst lots of discussion and banter, the “colour code” for Navratri was written out and posted on the office noticeboard. Those were days when I was going through a monochromatic phase, so on the first day, I wore red earrings with my black shirt and indigo jeans. On the second day, feeling festive, I draped a blue stole over my white shirt and faded jeans. The next day when I had to go to office, the colour was ‘cyan’, and since I happened to have a dressy cyan and purple kurta, that’s what I wore. On the way to work, I noticed something strange- almost all the women in my railway carriage were in cyan. Thinking back, I realised that most of the women had been in red and blue the previous two days too, but since they were common festive colours I hadn’t noticed. But cyan? An entire city of women in cyan, when most people don’t even own a single piece of clothing in that colour. That was my first introduction to the famous “Navaratri colour code”.
When I asked, I was told that a different manifestation of the goddess was worshipped on each day, and the colour was dedicated to her. For the next couple of years, I worked out of a home office, so the Navratri colour code was something I was only vaguely aware of, but I did notice something strange. The order in which the Goddesses were worshipped remained the same, but the order of colours changed from year to year. Clearly, the colours were not associated with the Goddesses!
Then someone then told me that the colours were decided by the Nakshatrams, but even that didn’t explain why some colours remained constant year on year, but others changed. What was also not explained was why the order of colours was never the same. Finally, I realised that even people who have been participating in the Navratri Colour Code for years have no clue where the colours came from, so I took to google to seek answers.
The mystery was finally solved. There is no religious significance to the colours. The Maharashtra Times first introduced the Navratri colour code in order to engage with the female readers and boost their circulation figures. The Navratri colour code proved to be so popular, it spread across the state, and through saree pacts spread across the nation and even abroad. Navratri Check out the popularity of Instagram or Facebook and you see how people plan their wardrobe well in advance so they can be a part of the global “Navratri colours” hashtags.
But what are these colours? Do they have any significance?
They do. The days of the week are named after the Sun, the Moon and five planets, each of which is associated with a particular colour. These are the colours that form the base of the Navratri Colour Code.