“Lofty, grand purplish mountains with shades of smooth bold strokes of brown touched the bluish sky as different hues of color green made the dense undergrowth covering the areas closer to the base of the mountain. Within the undergrowth one could see a clearing occupied by a set of parallel rails on which ran a train with a red engine and blue coaches. As the train was nearing its halt one could see groups of differently colored villagers stacked with luggage”
And so the painting described itself. I could already feel the pulse, the enthusiasm of a 9 yr old getting ready for his Sunday weekly drawing classes. How I loved them and my teachers and friends over there. The feeling of reaching first, occupying your favorite seat and patiently waiting for the teacher to throw the topic was incomparable. I just loved the 2 hrs I spent there, creating the sketches and playing with colors as we used away papers of our drawing book desperately trying to have the best stroke and shade. And once I was done I ran to the teacher got it signed, made sure I got a good remark from him, and ran straight to my home which was 4 blocks away. I so wanted to show my painting to my didi and ma that I used to run to home with the book opened in my hands so that the paint could dry on the way. As I hurriedly made my way all hippy and happy I was stopped by passing by people who saw and exclaimed in appreciation without fail and I was like- ‘thankyou but leave me I need to run to my home, don’t waste my time’ :P
Drawing to me was like food which fed the weekly hunger of creativity in me.
And now after 11 yrs since that day, I was here deeply engrossed in my once so much cherished drawing book which I incidentally found lying in my old cupboard. Somewhere between those pages I remembered this conversation which took place between the then me and an equally little girl, Megha(strange I still remember her name) who was having her very first class in the drawing class.
She walked in with a transparent white bag with a picture of Barbie drawn with white on it. A pink dress and an equally pink cherry face she had. One could see the sets of paint boxes, brushes and a drawing book kept inside the see-through bag carefully tucked on her back. Looking all confused she walked in with her small pink pumshoes. The teacher asked her whereabouts and made her sit a bench away from me. Me and my friends were all conscious about the new member of the class, as we all waited for the teacher to give us the topic.
“Ok students todays class will be performed in groups of two. You will all form groups with students sitting on the bench next to you”
Wait a minute, this was unexpected. A group task and that too on a day when my best classmate friend,sid had still not arrived. And besides I didn’t even know this new girl sitting on my friends place.
As the whole class clapped and joyously made groups, I was the only one not happy to have sidd around. To make matters worse for the 9yr old in me the teacher said-
“And todays topic shall be decided by your partner, which means you will have to draw what you partner asks you too”
Even more clappings and even more sordid expressions arose in me.
I rose from my bench and got seated beside her.
“Hi, I am Aditya”
“I am Megha”
“You know you are sitting on sidd’s place, my best buddy. Better not sit here from the next class. I excuse you for today since you’re new and also because sidd is absent”
She smiles… doesn’t reply. I feel a bit bad for my straight-cut rudeness.
“Anyways you heard the teacher right. So let’s exchange our books. Here’s mine. Take-“
She obeyed me like a student does to a teacher. She took out her new copy all smelling of fresh white crispy pages and handed over to me.
“Don’t wory soon you will get accustomed and maybe you will have good friends like me and sidd are”
the 9 yr old in me tried the best to console this new being.
“So what would you have me draw”
In my heart I was saying, desperately wishing she doesn’t ask me to draw her face. I seriously couldn’t draw any face, leave aside that beautiful pink face, I knew I couldn’t. The best I would then do would be to paint the sheet a light pink with a red dot at the centre symbolizing her nose.
“Hmmm…. Paint me a rose, will you?”
She said with a cute little smile. A smile one could die for.
“A Rose, a Red Rose”
I turned around and saw nobody hear this. My prying eyes found no book with a flower on it. All I could see was sceneries, vases, and parks.
“Ohkay… I will give it a try. I wont promise a perfect one but still I would try my best.”
She replied with a smile(yeah the one you could die for ;) )
“And what would you have me draw? “
She asked quizzically with a concerned look. I tried to be a bit lenient seeing the concerned look. Comforting her I said -
“draw anything you wish. I wont mind. Its your first class. Take it easy”
And she once again replied with a smile. :)
I picked up my tools-The brushes, the paint box and the best sharpened pencils. A rough sketch was made within a bit of time finalizing all the colors and shades. I then drew the final pencil sketch, looked it at from a distance appreciated myself and took out the paint box. At this juncture I gave a look to my new partner, all the while she had patiently seen all the technicalities done by me. Not that I didn’t like it but I wanted none to see my painting until it was ready. You see all great painters had their own little methods of superstitions. So I said
“Why don’t you draw too. You haven’t drawn anything yet on my copy”
By now she was more open and did reply with words rather than a mere smile.
“I will don’t you worry. I will finish before you. You’ll see.”
And so I went on with the painting part. Carefully painting each strand of the rose. The delicately coloured small green leaves of the rose which rest below the bud and the small brown thorns below it. The swirl at the top of the bud was the hardest part, as I used shades of red, maroon and black in it.
By the time I was done, not only megha but the whole class was done. I looked up giving the final stroke. Appreciated myself and aptly showed it to megha. She exclaimed with a smile. A pure, ecstatic moment of joy was what I got as a payment.
“You like it? “
“Ofcourse I do, I didn’t know you could really draw so well”
“My parents would never believe me if i showed them this. Such a nice painting on the very first day”
“Well even my parents wont believe me when I show them what you’ve drawn for me. I am sure “. I chuckled I knew her drawing was a definite bad :P
I took my book from her and without seeing flipped it over in the bag. For me my todays painting was done for someone else in someone else’s book.
I bid a goodbye to all my friends, received a pat on the back from the teacher and ran home straight.
That night as I lay on my bed, and quickly rewind-played the whole episode in my mind, I was startled. I had still not seen her painting drawn for me. I jumped out of the bed, made way into my study room,lit the lamp, took out the drawing-book and flipped over the pages.
In the very last page I could see a painting. As soon as I saw it I chuckled and saw the painting more minutely than the previous times. Sure enough the picture wasn’t superb, but it had something magical and interactive in it. I could almost see her face and the expressions put down into the painting.
P.S.:It had 3 stickmen, figures representing people. Two of them were guys, hands in necks walking away laughingly, while in the corner sat a girl with a red rose. The figures were aptly labeled- adi,sidd and Megha.