Masterpiece3 mins 373 3 mins 373
"Congrats!! " Cheered Nidhi, as she gave me a nice big hug and joined us on the table. Nidhi had been my best friend since school. She's stood by me through thick and thin and all these years wouldn't have been the same without her. We were artists and I had won an opportunity to showcase my work in Ashoka Art Gallery the coming Sunday. My dream had just come true and at the moment, I was too excited to even talk.
On the table, with us, were Aarogya and Vivek. Aarogya was also an artist, like myself, and the most handsome one I'd met. He was a piece of art himself; every feature chiseled out with perfection. He had been a great friend, but I always wished he considered me more than just that. And Vivek, well, the only reason he was with us on the table was because of Nidhi. "He's also an artist!!", she would say. "He makes cartoons!! What would he know of art??" I would argue. To which she would add," But he's kinda cute, right?" ,"He looks just like any cartoon he makes"... And on and on we would continue to argue till she would start taking offense and I would call the argument off.
Just as I got up and waved "Chalo, see you guys...Gotta go, Daddy'll be waiting", Vivek shouted, "Hey! Where's our treat" and Arogya added, "Yeah! We deserve one!!". I thought for a second and said: "OK...why don't you all come home for dinner tonight?". "Sure", answered everyone in quick succession.
As I left the canteen, half of my thoughts were preparing for my show and the other half preparing for the special dinner when I get to make Papa meet Arogya. I drove home in total reflexes that day, with my thoughts juggling and hopping and turning!!
I could see Papa sitting by the window as I parked - still as a statue. I ran up...gave him a big hug and narrated the day's events with super excitement. He didn't smile. Not because he wasn't happy but because he couldn't. The accident, seven years ago, took Mumma and left him in a coma. Ever since he came out of that coma he's been paralyzed. He has improved, from a complete vegetable on the bed to sit with support, light nods and little finger movements. He cannot talk, but there's a lot that he can communicate. I know he's sad when he's hiding the depth of his eyes; And happy by the few extra bites he takes. He could convey his concerns through his shivering lips and requests through his shaky fingers. But one expression that I'd been dying to see was a smile on his face. I could bargain anything for it.
It was an evening soon enough. I laid the table, got dressed and sat next to Papa. "I hope Arogya is the first to come, Papa. So you get a while alone with him" I muttered. "Ding - dong...Ding - dong"... I leapt with joy as though my wish just got fulfilled. I answered the door with an uncontrollable grin which vanished the moment I saw it was Vivek. "Oh! Uh... Hi!" I said as I took him to the living room. "Papa, this is Vivek... And Vivek, my Dad. Have a seat, I'll get you a
drink." I said as I rushed to the kitchen. I return to see Vivek merrily laughing and drawing cartoons on MY canvas.
Furious, I shout, "What are you doing, Vivek?!!... See Papa, he's..." I turn to Papa and in sheer astonishment, I complete "... made you smile!!". With a gush of tears running down my cheek I admire the masterpiece, the marvel created by Vivek.
That moment changed a lot in me. Vivek, who I always felt had no clue about art, taught me that art is not just a skill to draw but a means to touch lives. He proved to be the TRUE artist. He created in minutes what I failed to do for years. I have rather begun to see an artist in all of us, with the capacity to create masterpieces every moment of our existence.