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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Paintboxes to Colour Nature

Mother nature is always there to display its technicolor to lull its beloved creatures. It's always eager in spanning its vividly eye-catching wings wide enough to take the life forms into its arms. It's manifested when it starts transforming its lush green summer colours into  colourful autumn foliage full of reds, golden yellows and brown.

Is there any world in the entire universe which is more colourful and attractive than the planet earth? Are there any mega smoky factories to supply harmful paints to colour this planet earth? Is there any tourism department to paint foliage and flowers to make the landscape beautiful? Is there any great architect destined to plan and design varied patterns of colours in the natural scapes? If any little inquisitive kid ask us these questions, then what would be our answer? As elders we simply laugh and say, "No, dear, that's by nature itsef."

If it were needed to colour all nature 
and plants in the world, one can guess how many petroleum rigs, petrochemical refineries and paint factories would be required and how much air and water bodies would have to be spoilt, is beyond anybody's calculation. But the nature isn't so foolish. It generates so many colours and their  mixtures without releasing any harmful fumes into air and effluents into water to endanger the lives of fishes, birds and other animals. The nature produces everything with an intention of doing benefit to its entire living community unlike that of the human kind who wants to show his talent with the sole aim of gaining falseprestige and business profits irrespective of the damage caused to the nature through obnoxious chemicals.

The natural wonder with concentric rainbow colours around the Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic hot spring is a reflection of a myriad of pigments in different microscopic cules. The beauty of watermelon snow, pink snow, red snow, or blood snow over the alpine and coastal polar regions during summer is  nothing but the hues of astaxanthin pigment exhibited by an alga called Chlamydomonas nivalis. The Red Sea get its shade due to an another alga called Trichodesmium erythraeum.The most beautiful river in the world “the river of five colours” in Colorado get its vibrant colours due to red plants called  Macarenia clavigera, the yellow and green sand, the blue water and all the shades in between. Even the hot chillies exhibit green, yellow and red shades as they pass through unripened to ripened stages.

Every plant, tiny or mighty, has billions of tiny paint factories, hidden deep in their bodies, to produce myriad of colours and their mixtures. These factories are called plastids. Some describe them as microscopic paintboxes too. But majority of these paintboxes are green and are called chloroplasts. Green paintboxes produce green pigments called chlorophylls. A chlorophyll is a tiny molecular solar cell that traps sunlight to produce food not only for its own plant body but also for the guest animals which depend on it. Obligations won't stop here, but increase further to raise a green canvas spacious enough to be splashed with ever changing  interesting patterns according to the days and seasons. Same thing is with respect to animals and their body complexion. No any fixed monotonous pattern to disgust its frequent visitors like insects,birds and other animals. That's how the nature is creative and interesting!

By the way the microscopic paintboxes that produce pigments of different colours are called chromoplasts. Each paintbox is filled with a colourful pigment or a mixture of different pigments. But in the case of flowers microscopic paint sachets containing anthocyanins are available which are called vacuoles. Even a mega paint company fail to present a catalogue with such a huge range of hues and shades. And no one architect or a painter dare to create the  aura of colours and their mixtures as so we visualize in the natural world. The colourful pigments are always there beside the green pigments either to protect green pigments or to radiate an additional quanta of light particles to enhance their food manufacturing capacity. In addition to providing a beautiful look to the landscape they lure a number of pollinators to come, pollinate, fertilize and produce seeds and fruits.

Red, orange and yellow colours of carotenoids; blue, purple or burgundy colours of anthocyanins; and red and yellow shades of betalins are always available without a no stock board! While carotenoids paint carrots, papayas and yellow flowers;  betalins colour beetroots; apocarotenoids  paintoranges; and anthocyanins paint red, pink, purple, violet and blue flowers and apples.

But the pigments synthesised in plants are not pollutants in contrast to those manufactured in paint factories.  Plant pigments are multipurpose in the sense that they are not only aesthetic with everchanging patterns but also synthetic in producing oxygen, food, medicines, fruits and vegetables unlike that of artificial paints which give fixed monotonous aesthetic sense along with suffocating gases and carcinogenic effluents. 

If it's so then where's the need for importing barrels of petroleum, petrochemicals and paints. Is it must to choke the breathing systems of workers in factories and on high walls of buildingsto create the fake and fading complicated designs? Can't we habituate  ourselves to live in smaller houses surrounded by bigger colourful gardens all around? Why shouldn't we enjoy the colours in the perpetual ever-changing garden rather on the ever fading saddened walls? A twist is urgently needed to be given to the never quenching economic greed an ever charming philanthropic lead!
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