He Began To Live A Little Late
He Began To Live A Little Late
George - An Indian guy from a Christian family.
Shrivaani - An Indian girl from a Brahmin family.
"Where are we going Dadu (grandfather)" Harry's grandson asked him while passing a street.
"We are going to see a really big man, and when you see him, remember you have to greet him nicely."
"Will he give me chocolates, Do they have TV in their house like my classmate Sanket?" he asked excitedly.
"Shh. We are about to reach. Dont be naughty in his house." Harry said in a serious tone.
After a minute or two they both reached George's place. George opened the door and welcomed them.
George is a 75 year old man, who stays alone in 8,000 sq. feet bungalow. Harry, whose real name is Haridas, is a 65 years old man and he spends his time with George in his bungalow on weekends. Haridas once used to stay with George when he was his driver. But when Haridas completed his 60th birthday, he asked George's permission to quit the job. That time he said, "Master, I have spent a lot of time working for you, now I want to get retired and shift to my father's old house. I want to spend my time with my family, especially with my grand children." George couldn't deny and agreed. Harry requested George to call him whenever he needs anything. He said, "Its because of you what I am today, anytime you need me, please freely call me, I would like to serve you. You have done a lot of favors for our family." And George agreed with a smile and arranged a farewell for him.
Haridas greeted his master cum friend and apologized him for troubling him to the door. Meanwhile Haridas's grandson raised his left hand toward George and said, "HELLO". George without listening any of what Haridas said, nodded to him. George eyes were focused the hand of kid, he was lost for a moment. He found the moment beautiful. He felt the warmth of spring around him. His eyes were stuck, looking at the little hand. And suddenly Haridas breaking the silence tapped on the right shoulder of his grandson and said, "use this hand." The kid instantly took his left hand behind and raised the other hand toward George. George now blinked his eyes smoothly and gave a pleasant smile. They both shook the hand and came inside.
Haridas went to the kitchen and served soft drinks on the table for George and his grandson. After this he straightly went to the end room of the corridor on the first floor whose door was hardly visible from the living area on ground floor. The kid eyes were moving along with his grandfather and as his grandfather was no more visible he started looking here and there. His mind was now full of questions, he begin to ask himself,
" Is he friend of Grandpa ?"
" How he is so rich ?"
" Why its only one person in such a big house ?"
" Do they have swimming pool too ?"
" Will he get angry I move and look around the house ?"
" What is grandpa doing ? Why he is not coming back ?"
"What's your name ?" George asked the kid.
"Shridhar." kid replied humbly. George instantly thought of his wife as he used to call her Shree and name of Haridas's grandson sounded similar.
"What are your hobbies ?" George threw another question. Shridhar became confused. He didn't knew the meaning of hobbies. George asked him again with the simple words, " What do you love doing most of your time ?"
"I Love playing cricket and hide and seek. And I love coloring." Shridhar replied.
They continued talking for next five minutes in which most of the time George was asking and Shridhar was answering. Haridas placed fresh canvas on easel and brought all the stuff downstairs that George usually needs and asks for. He placed all the brushes on a tray and on another tray he sequenced all the color tubes sequence wise.
George spend most of the time in his balcony on an old wooden chair. George lost his one eye in an accident when he was young and with other, he could barely see things. The world around him is mostly blur with very few colors in it. Stress and age has made him color blind. Once he was a famous artist and people used to queue in thousands for a ticket to see his Paintings and Artworks. But as he lost his one eye, he decided to not showcase his work anymore and people too forgot him after a while. Whenever his old friend Haridas visit him, he helps him to paint. Haridas believe that painting is the only thing that can release some stress of George. He also believes that only the essence of paint can keep George alive. Every acrylic paint has got its code, George asks Haridas and he passes him colors. Its been long that George is painting with the help of Haridas like this.
Shreedhar was happy and excited when he saw canvas and for him now George was really a big man, cause he knew how to paint. Today it took George, two and a half hours to complete the artwork and meanwhile Shreedhar was slept. After George completed painting, he started laughing madly, like he was insane. Also his eyes had tears in them. He was happy for sure. He looked toward Haridas and said, " When you brought Shree in, I felt life. I am dying old man Harry(Haridas), so as you. But when I saw those little fingers which are small as bud, just like an initial stage of a blooming flower. I felt life in it. Thanks for bringing him with you. All my life I hated being alive. I wished they would have killed me too. It was not only her who walked against stereotypes, I performed equally in that inter-cast marriage. I always wondered why just her had to die. Since that day, every day I have thought of it, that how my life would have been if Shrivaani was alive. I thought of my kids, my grand-kids and more. I lived in trauma and didn't cherished what I was left with. Because for me I was dead with her, my dreams were meaning less and worthless without Shree(Shrivaani). I miss her. I think I missed living all these years. I have wasted my life in sorrow, but i do not regret it. I lived it today in a single moment. Thanks to you. Bring Shree(Shridhar) more often with you." Haridas eyes were full by now too and he smiled as he cleared his tears up with his hands. George turned the canvas around to Harry and Harry was even more happy now. George painted Shridhar with a raised hand, like offering to help, which felt like life showing its beauty and asking someone to cherish it.
After a month George opened his gallery and named it VAANI . He placed 500 of his paintings there out of 3021, which he painted all his life. He decided to paint his last canvas after the opening of his gallery. He painted his wife, without taking help of Haridas. It happened to be a colorful Painting as he picked the colors by himself for his last painting. As soon he found the canvas was dry, he pasted a note on the corner of it, "I am sorry for giving up and wasting life." I believe these were his last words for the lady he gave up his life. He decided to move on and live, who cares if at age 75.
He also decided to write a book before he died about his life and a book to mention story behind every painting of his collection that numbered 3021.