Cultural creativity we almost miss.

Mud buildings, painted with pastel blues and pinks and greens, paint so watered down it gives the illusion of a hint of color, quickly fading by the relentless sun.

Swirls and dips and weaves, women’s cloth embroidered with images that have long lost their meaning. Some with seven colors, some with one. Some with tiny mirrors sewn in, or beads, or sequins, or both. Or none.


Little tin bracelets. Silver cuffs, each marked with tiny designs swirls and flowers and paisleys. Earrings hanging low and heavy, their dangling beads traditional and beloved.

Women’s hands, covered in the temporary ink of the henna plant, handiwork from the imagination of the artist.

City buildings in odd shapes, wooden doors with curls and ornate features. Trucks painted in brilliant and outrageous designs. Tiny little metal chains hang from bumpers and frames creating the high-pitched chink chink chink that carries in the wind while the overloaded trucks carry sugar cane or bags of potatoes or cattle or grain.


The unique and singular style of the imam as he calls out prayer sounds different from the imam next door, each creating his own style to call out that ‘God is the greatest…’ The mosques themselves have colors and artistic features that draw one’s eye, a minaret of red, another of grey, the arches pointing to the heavens.

Tiles cover floors, fancy crown moldings, tapestried couches, woven, ancient rugs comforting the aged behinds and feeble legs. Ceramic cups lined with gold, filled with steaming chai, waiting upon a melamine tray with digital flowers printed on it.


Poems and prayers, stories and songs, stringed instruments and the rat-a-tat-tat of the skinned drums. The cadence of the telling of century old stories, the reverence with which a beloved poem is whispered, the irresistible beat of the wedding songs.


Cumin and cardamom, turmeric and cloves, the artistry of biryani, dal and every dish in between wafts through and claims one’s nostrils. The presentation of these dishes, with just the right amount of cilantro sprinkled on top, the small pouring of heated oil, garlic and chili drizzled just right, decorates and delights the senses.

Every day duties and mundane sights become a colorful world for the imagination! Some claim that creativity is not permitted here, but we cannot escape it, it is on us, in us, surrounding us.


Will you stop and note the creativity around you? Architecture, fashion, music, songs, stories, artwork, décor, flavor, makeup, cars, jewelry, patterns and solids, colors, and blanks. Aside from the natural world, what other types of creativity do you usually miss in your day to day? What have I missed?


Written for the #write28days challenge. Join me! All photos from Unsplash.

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