Back to Book Details Report Reviews

I, Painting


Can there be a romantic relationship between the creation and the creator? I know you're thinking about Krishna here. But he was an avatar. I am neither human nor the creator but only a lifeless form.

I won't name him. People have a tendency to judge by name. Let's call him Swain for he is really young. This youth of his is actually reflected in me and I will remain young for the rest of my life. Yes, there will be dullness to my youth in my last days. But that won't change a thing about inner-me. Because I am made this way. To remain an eternal beauty. An eternal beauty filled with sadness.

Just like every other creation, I was blank in the beginning. An empty canvas that reflected no other color than white. White is pure and pious but it is not life, for life is full of colors. Even though invisibly being there for a long time, I was lifeless and empty. In other words, I was like the universe before the big bang. 

But unlike the Universe, I know who led to my creation. Swain did. The young and handsome man with his golden hair curling up on his head like a crown. His eyes were Suns, full of energy, and with a gravity that pulled me towards him. He laughed when he saw the empty canvas - the invisible me. He stared at the empty-me for hours. That was when the creation began.

A simple and swift arch was the first touch. That's it. He just touched and left me. The Sun disappeared and the darkness took over in the room. I was still in the middle of the room uncovered. The night fell hard. I waited for him to come and at least make some progress. The wait started as temptation and grew into exhaustion. I don't know what was in his mind or what physical form he wanted me to acquire, but one thing was very clear. It wasn't going to happen quickly.

Swain came the next morning with a cup of coffee in his hand and a pencil on his ear. He looked at me teasingly. He took a sip and put the cup on the table. Then came the pencil. A tip of it. So close to me that it seemed like I was holding my breath. He made an outline in the thin air. Then he smiled, raised his eyebrow playfully, and grabbed the cup again.

"You'll be as lovely as her," He whispered.

Her? Am I going to be an impression of someone? Of whom? So many questions were there but no way for me to ask them. He just ran his pencil and gave me a shape. A face-outline of would-be-me! It took him hours to do it. He worked less and stared more. The more he stared, the more I fell. Finally, I had a face. Just outline without eyes, nose, lips, or ears. I know how people use the word 'blank-face' and never really mean it. But I was a blank-face without any features that make one express their feelings. Again came the dark night and a long wait for me to see him. I sat there, covered this night, in a dark cell. I loved Swain and I could wait. But he didn't love me back yet. Not until I had my eyes.

Eyes can talk more than lips. I knew it. Though nothing was in my control, I expected him to give me a voice. He could make me smile or cry with my eyes. He could show affection or anger inside me. But it was a relief that I could at least express. But he fooled me and settled for the eyebrows. Eyebrows add the flavor to unspoken words of eyes. He worked his magic and made the thin sharp right eyebrow playfully raised a little. The left one he twitched a bit to balance the things out. That's it.

With eyebrows came the communication. He started to talk with me even when I couldn't reply. I mean I wanted to. I would have spoken so much that he would have to lay back, smile, and wait for his turn. But it wasn’t how nature wanted me. I was happy anyway.

"Tomorrow you talk," He winked. "With your eyes!"

He left me overfilled with joy. The playful eyebrows made me sure that I wasn’t a creation that was to stay sad. I knew he meant to make me happy. Whether he accepted it or not, he loved me. I could see it in his eyes. The love was growing every day. The smile had come and the blush was about too. I spent the night restless waiting for him to come and fulfill his promise.

He came the next day as per the routine. Touched my eyebrows gently and ran his fingers from one point to another embracing them. Then he took the pencil and started drawing the broad almond eyes. It kept him so busy, he had less time to keep staring at me. The raised eyebrow turned out to be the gift of the wink. The left eye was closed completely and the right eye broadened a little more than usual. He went into the details with a perfectly round pupil and a sharp reflecting point inside it, in which I wanted him to draw himself. But he didn't do it. He moved on to the curly eyelashes. The beauty of it was the way he formed my eyelashes gentle and playful like they were real. The eyes were sharp, beautiful, and winking at him. 

"You can talk now, Lily," He said. "Or shall I say we can talk now, Love?"

That's it. He wanted me to be Lily. The girl he loved. He wanted me to be as perfect as she appeared in his dream. I was to be the fragment of his imagination. What did it make me? An impression or a passionate dream? I left the answer for him to figure out for I had all I wanted. Him. 

He left and the night went as it always did. He came early the next day. Uncovered me and put me in front of him and kept looking at me without uttering a word for a few moments. 

"Your nose," he said. "You want to twitch it a little, Lily?"

Why would I like that? A twitched nose? But did I have any choice? 

"Umm...," He chewed the pencil. "Forget it. I'll rather go with the hair."

Go with the hair? I hoped that he wouldn’t just draw hair where a nose was supposed to be! But then, he loved me. So there was nothing for me to worry about. 

He made my hair fly in the wind. I got it then why he said he would go with the hair. A thin string of hair went from the right side, hiding my ear, and passing diagonally from under my right eye to the left cheek and beyond. The tip of the nose was hidden behind it. So he never had to draw it. He just drew the upper line to imitate a nose curtained by the hair and smiled. 

"Perfect! Just like the dreams."

He over-worked that day and drew the left ear. He placed an earring resembling a butterfly on it. 

"You see," He said. "You're half complete. But I can't wait anymore. I will show you to her tomorrow. She's going to love you. Or shall I say love me!?"

Humming a love tune, he left me in the room again with a dire wish to know who I resembled. I didn't expect him to show me to the world that early. I was incomplete by every standard and shy too of the outer world. 

He came the next day again. He looked dashing in a casual white shirt and blue jeans. The smile broader than usual and instead of a cup of coffee, he had a beautiful red rose in his hand. I wished it was for me, but I knew it wasn't!

He put the rose on the table and kissed me where my smiling lips were supposed to be. I was surprised by such behavior. If I had a heart, it would have burst open at that time. The sensation would have run through my spine. I would have returned the warmth. But again, I couldn't. 

He stood up enthusiastically, grabbed the rose, and hid it behind his back, eagerly looking at the door for her to arrive. He waited long without even blinking before finally she arrived.

Lily. The heavenly beauty. Sparkling eyes. Red hair. And above all the flowery aroma. She was a goddess walking on earth. The only thing she lacked was a smile. The ornament that I wanted to acquire. 

"For you," Swain offered her the rose. She smelled it. Instead of smiling, she looked around in the messed-up room. 

"And this," He said bringing her attention to me. She looked at me as I was something disgusted to look upon. No, she had not my playful eyes. Nor her eyebrows were lifted in amazement. She just compressed them together and looked at the physical features that I resembled with her. 

"Huh," She twitched her mouth. "You've wasted my morning for this? An incomplete painting of mine which hardly looks like me!"

"No, No," He argued. "I just wanted to show you how I picture you in those dreams that we talked about. This is you. Look closer."

"Look," She said handing him the rose back. "We had a good time. But please don't stretch it."

"Why not?" He said and grabbed her hand. "I want it to last forever. You stay with me and I'll keep painting all the colors of your moods. I want to admire your beauty for the rest of my life."

He was on his knee by that time and planted a kiss on her hand. "I love you, Lily! Be mine and we will stay forever like this."

"Like this?" She pulled away her hand rudely. "Starving? Painting does not make you wealthy. I cannot live like this. Besides, Mike has proposed to me earlier. He's rich and handsome too."

"So what?" Swain was shocked. "Does he understand you as I do? Will he be able to pay attention to every small detail of yours like I do? Lily, life's not about money. It's about 'Love'. And I love you more than anything."

"But I don't," She replied. "Love is nothing but amusement. Mike cannot draw me, yes. But he can buy me a thousand portraits like this. That too with every luxury I can point at! Forget me. I've nothing to remember about you but this stinky house."

He was broken. Tears flooded out of his eyes and dripped down to the place where Lily had stood before. I don’t know if I resembled her physical appearance or not. But I have a heart that she lacks.

He stood up and looked at me with his blood-red eyes. However different I was from Lily, he saw me as her impression and nothing else. Lily was part of him and so was I. Just that I never wanted to be the same as her. He shouted like a maniac, threw away the rose, and stormed out of the room. I waited for him after that. For too long!

A month had passed. I had almost forgotten the difference between day and night. Sometimes I had horrible thoughts. Was he fine? Was he alive? What if he decided to never show up? What if he moved away abandoning me in that hell-house? But he didn't. I knew he wouldn't, and so he came one day. 

He was a body without soul. His eyes were completely dried. He was gone only for a month but seemed aged like a decade. The hair were messed up. He had a thick beard with rough mustache that went every way it could. With him came the smell of alcohol. He sat in front of me, completely drunk and filthy. His dirty hands brushed on the canvas, cleaning away the dust that had layered over me. 

"I...," He spoke with hesitation. "I'll complete you. But just so you know, Lily in my dreams has changed now. So will you."

He took up the pencil and looked deep into my eyes. 

"Oh, Lily! What happened to us!?"

He went directly under where the thin string of hair ended. He went for the lips which were supposed to be smiling. But instead, he made me bit my lip. A drop falling off from the side of it. A drop of blood. 

"I'll complete you," he said raising his pencil to my eyes. "I won't rest until I'm done with you... "

A moment of silence stretched in the room.

"And then... and then I'll sell you. To a rich brat. Just the way you sold my love!"

What!? I was devastated. Like the biting lip wasn’t enough, he was going to sell me to someone else. The love that had grown in his eyes gradually had suddenly turned into a look of hatred. Why punish me for someone else's mistake? 

The pencil went to my close eye and I realized what he was doing with me. He made me cry from one eye. 

What happened afterward is totally fuzzy to me. All I knew was the hateful touch of his fingers as he painted me with it instead of the brush. He worked for hours without taking even a minute off. And when I was finally ready, it hit me what I was! 

I was the amalgamation of Lily and Swain. The right half of my hair was red but the left one was golden. The tear that fell off from my closed eye was blood-red. The Lily-part of me resembled her before their breakup. But the part that I got from Swain was that of his agony. 

The face was half happy, but I was completely sad from inside. He completed me like he promised and covered me just to put me away. 

I lost the count of the days before he appeared before me again. He had a guy with him who observed me. 

"Marvelous!" The guy said. "Masterpiece! This painting will not go to auction, my friend. This one goes to my bedroom. I offer you a blank cheque for it."

"Thank You," Swain responded calmly. "You are so generous, Mike!"

So here I am. A portrait of Lily with half her and half Swain inside me, starring Lily right into her eyes as she is trying to recognize where she first met me! 

The question I asked has changed into a new one it seems. Can there be a happy ending to the relationship between the creation and the creator?



Your Rating


Left Menu