Watch | This new experience at Chennai’s Jalato encourages you to paint in a colourless environment
My vermilion red top is stripped off its colour. So is my multi-coloured wristlet. At Jalato’s experience centre on Radha Krishnan Salai, there is a room that turns everything monotone. An amber light on the ceiling throws its warm glow around the room while also altering your perception of colour. But not in a depressing way. It is all rather intriguing and makes you feel like you have stepped into another portal.
Inside the room is a table set with aprons, square-shaped canvases, paint brushes, palettes, paper tapes and bottles of colour — these have also mysteriously assumed a monotone identity. “It’s fun seeing people trying to figure out the colours. We call this experience Dude! Where’s The Colour?” says Indrajala Moturi Kandimalla, who started Jalato in August last year.
“At Jalato we want to offer new and unique experiences every six months with activities that spark curiosity,” says Indrajala. The first one was called Art in the Dark where participants got to paint using glow in the dark colours, in a dark environment.
“All our concepts are built from scratch. We have months of product testing, and have trademarked everything,” adds Indrajala. Here, the idea is to make people slow down, stay away from their phones, destress, and focus on all things sensory.
The team often brainstorms for new concepts. “Dude! Where’s the colour? came from a question we were asking each other: why not paint without colour?” she says, adding that with this she wants people to explore their relationship with colour in a colourless environment.
The activity room can seat 28 people. “People often book it for birthdays, get togethers, family activities. We have one more room and on the whole we can accommodate 48 people,” she says.
As I apron up and settle down for the hour-long session, Jalato’s experience specialists ask me what I would like to paint and guide me with valuable tips and tricks. I use around five colours but all of them look the same for now. When I finally finish my work of art and the lights come on for the big reveal, my canvas is covered in blue, red, yellow, purple and white. What I assumed to be green paint turns out to be purple, the white is actually yellow, and black is red. “The magic lies in the uncertainty,” says Indrajala, who enjoys the look of surprise on every face, each time the colour reveal happens. Plus, she says, there is the unparalleled joy and pride of having created something from scratch that you can take back with you.
For details, log on to jalato.co. Sessions take place on alternate Sundays, 10.30am to 11.30am. Priced at ₹1,500 plus taxes.