Monday, June 6, 2011

Limited Edition Human

See something?
Take a look at the picture above. You probably see a '49' in there. I see an ordinary piece of paper! Another one:

Which one's the mango milkshake?
Which one's the mango milkshake? That was the question I asked a friend a few months ago in IIT Kharagpur's Veggie's Restaurant. He was so amused by it that he whipped out his phone and took the above picture. So are you, I bet. In fact, even I’m amused.

I'm colourblind. Specifically, I'm deuteranomalous (or deuteranopic, not sure), which is the commonest red-green colour blindness. And I was surprised to know so are 6% of men in the world, which means that, (statistically) I almost certainly know a few people who don't even know they have it.

Let's back up to when I was in class 7. At the time, I didn't know about it, so I thought that the brown cupboard which I saw as green must be my own half-wittedness at work. Going back further, I also remember that I had put labels on all my crayons because I couldn't tell which was which.

Truer than the word of God.
It's amusing to see people's reactions when they discover I can't tell the difference between red and green. Most of them, after a few seconds of open-mouthedness, start pointing at random things and asking me their colours. And boy, do they enjoy seeing me fumble and guess!

I like to think of my disorder as a superpower, though. I'm a "limited edition human", if you will. After all, I get to see the world in a way not seen by others. Oh, and there are perks too. Like this one:
It's not totally pathetic.
Kidding. I get the chemistry teacher to help me out with the titration and salt analysis, which means I'm pretty much guaranteed good marks. And I get to be looked at with awe when people first find out. And I have an excuse to my sisters' frequent questions on which colour looks better. And Wikipedia says I can probably spot camouflage colours that are likely to confuse ordinary mortals (not that that's ever going to matter to me).

I'll end with some "FAQs":

Q. Can't you just learn all these colours?
A. It's hereditary, so I can't do anything about it. And you're talking like my mom.

Q. Can you drive properly, considering you might think a red traffic signal to be green and jump it?
A. Yes, I can. As a matter of fact, I can perfectly see the red and green colours in a traffic signal.

Q. So you can't see only some shades of red and green?
A. That's right. I sometimes confuse shades of other colours too, like dark green-black and pink-gray.

Q. What colour is the background of your blog?
A. You're crossing a line called decency. Scoot before I strangle you, mate.


Unknown said...

oh u sure are a 'limited edition' human .. in many other ways ..

You know I had seen that pie-chart about how people react and I remembered my own response to you telling me about it ... and I almost laughed .. and wondered how u would feel each time people did that.

Good article ... as always .. had fun reading it :D

meshoome said...

A very simple post that reminded me of the time I found out. I pointed out to the chair in Bombay Bakery and asked you what colour paint it was.
You're a limited edition human also cause you're the MacBookAir's human rival: amazingly smart yet so light in weight!

Gourav said...

Cool is the word. For both the article and what it is about.

I say cool because of the "limited edition" thingy. I also say cool for the way your chemistry practicals turned out :P

rom8 said...

amazing article!!