This question is slightly ambiguous. So first let us understand what question is asking. So in a book, we have letters A-Z and each letter is printed twice, so there are 52 letters. Now we have to color each letter, so we need a pair of colors for that, because each letter is printed twice. Also in a pair, both colors can be some. Now condition is that a pair of colors can't be used more than once.
So suppose Mala has 3 colors : Red, Blue, Green. She can color as follows : (A,A) : (Red,Red), (B,B) : (Blue,Blue), (C,C) : (Green,Green), (D,D) : (Red,Blue), (E,E) : (Red,Green), (F,F) : (Blue,Green).
Now we don't have more pairs of colors left, we have used all pairs, but could color only 6 letters out of 26. So question is to find minimum no. of colors, so that we could color all 26 letters.
So if Mala has k colors, she can have k pairs of same colors, thus coloring k letters, then kC2 other pairs of colors, thus coloring kC2 more letters.
So total no. of letters colored = k+kC2=k+k(k−1)2=k(k+1)2.
So we want k(k+1)2≥26 i.e. k(k+1)≥52, so k≥7, so option (C) is correct.