The Red Dress

                         Authored by: Dr Qaisar Rashid

It is the red colour that signifies a dress in one particular way. For instance, the red dress
is a dress of a bride in the subcontinent. So, if a person hailing from that area considers
that the selection of the topic of the red dress for writing purposes reflects a feminine
approach, he may be right. Anyway, a dress is a dress whether red or not.

Red is a colour of excitation and warmth – and perhaps of war. A bull is also on war when
shown a red rag. It is yet not decipherable what excites a bull: the red colour or the rag –
perhaps both, one can argue. It is also not known whether a bull can differentiate between
the red dress and the red rag. If it cannot, a bride should avoid passing in front of a bull. If
it is very necessary to do so, then the bridegroom should offer a cover. If the risk is so
great, the army of in-laws can be asked to march past a bull – in case the bull knows that it
has to be excited on the very first sight of the red dress. Anyway, what if the bull would
have got excited on the second sight of the red dress, when the bridegroom providing a
cover to his bride attempts to pass the bull? Who knows the number game fixed in the mind
of the bull? When to act and when to react? In that case, the army of the in-laws from both
sides, the bride and the bridegroom, can be sacrificed at the altar of the policy of
population control. Like the love at first sight, the bull may be excited at the first sight of the
red dresses of the in-laws, in order to save both the bride and the bridegroom. In this way,
by implications, the red dress can be used for population control. But then, why is the bull
not mentioned in the Malthusian theory of population control? The bull is also a nature’s
product and it can be programmed to become nature’s catastrophe – perhaps, it was not
known to Malthus or may be Malthus did not know the importance of the red dress in this

Another dilemma with the red dress is that there is no mentioning of the shoes to
complement it. Of course, one cannot walk bare foot if one is wearing the red dress.
Should the shoes be matching like the red shoes or otherwise? The otherwise of white is
black; interestingly, the otherwise of red has not yet been discovered. This aspect also
reveals that the red dress lacks its contrast: what colour should be its contrast? In the
subcontinent, a bridegroom wears the white dress. Can the white coloured dress be
declared a contrast to the red dress of a bride? If yes, then will it not be an act of injustice
to the black colour? What about one colour having two contrasts: can the contrast of the
white colour be both the red and the black colour?

In the context of the subcontinent, it may be acceptable, where a bridegroom can have two
brides as wives. But then there emerges another problem. If a bridegroom wants to opt for
four brides as his wives, what other colours should be declared contrast to white. What
about the colours yellow and green? May be, but it leads to another problem: red, yellow
and green are already known colours used as a traffic signal. This aspect isolates both
white and black once again. It is better is to leave both white and black as perfect contrast
and just focus on the rest of the three colours can be a suggestion from across the
discussion table. As the problem emerged not only owing to the red dress of a bride but
also owing to the colour of the dress of the bridegroom, what about changing the colour of
his dress to a yellow one? But then, the yellow colour is the colour depicting jaundice and
the green is the colour of foliage. With jaundice, hepatitis comes to one’s mind quickly, and
with foliage, again the bull visits one’s mind swiftly, though not physically fortunately. It
means that the bull is attracted to the red colour due to the excitation effect and is driven
towards the green colour due to the hunger effect.

As the bull has attained the central stage in the ongoing story, a solution lies in introducing
the green colour as the dress colour of a bride. It is to offer equal opportunities to the bull
to respond to each colour, red or green, whenever it likes – the question is not about ‘if’
here. Another solution could be that a bride is dressed neither in the red colour nor in the
green colour clothes (It does not mean that no dress should be there). But then, that would
be a great injustice to the bull: it will be tantamount to rendering the bull inactive
deliberately which is against the spirit of Animal Rights. The solution is, exclude the bull
from the problem and include the bridegroom instead, and then make the bridegroom part
of the solution.

If this round of omission and commission (inclusion) is also unacceptable, it is better to ask
the person who chose the topic, the red dress: what was at the back of her mind, the bull
or the bridegroom? I can bet what it was, but don’t ask me, I am not the bull though I like
the red dress, nay the person wearing the red dress, pardon me. Guess, who am I? Yes,
masculine, but who? No, again, not the bull! Guess again.
The write-up given below will give you a fair idea if lateral thinking is applied in generating
a piece of writing, what kind of writing can be produced.

The following story was read at a writing club in Glasgow in 2007. Kindly read the following
story and see if you identify the areas where lateral thinking has been applied.
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Where are the horns of the bull?