What are you most proud of?
Pensive for a moment or two, he then starts to talk to us about his work. “Very few people can create a colour using only the naked eye.”
Surrounded by piles of coloured fabric, Mr Promod Kumar inspects a sample. Artfully, he examines its colour before opening up the numerous pots of powder on his workbench, delicately spooning specific amounts into an old set of scales.
Mr Kumar works at a screen-printing workshop. The other workers call him ‘The Colour Master’ and it’s clear to see why. “I learned the art of colour from a guru, a master. This is my passion. I’ve been doing it for 20 years.” Imagine being able to look at any colour and to recreate it, without help, without research, to just know. For it to be almost like an instinct. We couldn’t, and still can’t, quite fathom how he does it.
Using only powdered dyes, made from natural pigments, and a sharp eye, Mr Kumar creates colour without the help of computers. His mind, like an encyclopaedic web of colour, is his primary reference tool. Only a handful of equations does he jot down in his notebook, guarding them like cherished recipes. “When particularly kaleidoscopic work comes in, or I have to make multiple colours and I create the exact match, I feel so much pride.”
Friendly and cheerful, when asked about is wife he gives us a cheeky smile. “My favourite food is pakora – my wife makes it when she wants me to be romantic.”
Mr Promod Kumar, colour master, 38