Pumpkin orange, the Samurai and a billboard

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Maiyan Karidi

A few years and 3 cyclones ago, on a small tropical island in the Indian Ocean, where chaos exists in slow motion, a strange convergence transpired.

A burning inspiration to paint my little art shop with happy, deep and meaningful colours led me to my dream scenario, choosing from a display of four thousand five hundred color tones and shades. Selecting the right colour for our outside wall, for me, was of utmost importance, an investment in our spiritual existence. It only took me two hours of rumination before making my final fateful decision.

Wintergreen for the inside and Pumpkin orange for the outside. I will save you the philosophical proofs of why these carefully selected colors where based on actual universal truths exactly in tune with our consequential venture into
the unknown.

I felt complete, balanced, safe in the knowledge that later that day I would be merrily painting my wall to the sound waves of Vivaldi’s Summer floating out of my little shop window. I laid my Wintergreen behind the drivers seat of my bright red Samurai jeep and the Pumpkin orange behind the passengers seat.

“All set, let’s do it!” I grinned triumphantly to my husband who is my best team mate in these situations. He drove off while I sat, a happy passenger visualizing my little shop coming alive by sunset. Along the highway we discussed the finer details, it would be beautiful, without a doubt.

We entered the traffic circle and I heard a boom, turned around and “Aaaargh…….nooooo, stop!”.

The Pumpkin orange was bursting out of the five liter container with glee. It was flowing like volcanic lava under the seat and onto my feet, as Tovi stopped the Samurai in mid flight. I opened the door and the lava flowed out onto the road, apparently cheerful to be ‘uncontained’. Panic. I grabbed a piece of cardboard and began trying to scoop whatever I could back into the container. Cars were starting to hoot. “Can’t they SEE what’s happening?!” My feet were sliding in my shoes, the red jeep was transforming into orange.

As I lifted my head with desperation, I saw the billboard. It was right in front of the traffic circle. An advertisement for the paint company, with a giant digitally manipulated PUMPKIN ORANGE splash, for all to see.  ‘WE HAVE YOUR COLOUR’ — it shouted at me.

This is a clear sign, I thought. The planets are aligned, all is well. We are exactly were we are supposed to be. How else could one possibly explain this. We did paint the shop by sunset, with a lot less paint, and it really did look beautiful.

By Maiyan Karidi

The Karidis are an Israeli/South African artist family who have lived and worked in South Africa, Israel, Mauritius and Fiji.
These stories form part of a series of experiences of Jewish identity in extraordinary locations.

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