In an old shack of a building- on the walls there hung beautiful painting of two men playing a game of chess. Their shadows extended showing that it was night, and the light only came from an oil lantern lit beside one of them. There was also a painting of children going to school in a rickshaw, while the man who was pulling the rickshaw- was actually a boy, almost the same age as the other kids who were in the rickshaw.
May be I did not realize what these paintings were about actually- back then. I was busy copying my drawing homework. I usually had to draw a painting off the memory. That part was my nightmare. I was never good at drawing what was in my mind. Not that I wouldn’t try. But it usually made people think- I ought to stop watching Horror shows on TV!
It’s a case where parents think their children can do anything under the sun! Each and every parent believes that their child was a gifted one- that has been a painter, singer, dancer, scholar, a scientist and many other things in her previous birth. They are not to be blamed. Perhaps I’d be just the same when I have a daughter of my own. But the point is I had no real talent in drawing. I admired the paintings. I admired painters! They are such wonderful people. But me- I was not one of them.
Whatever made me stop going to my drawing classes, I do not remember. They were wonderful teachers. But deep down- I wished that if only I could draw! If only I could paint! What a gift it was to give a shape to whatever that you think! I’m trying to think of so many things. Some of those things just exist in me as just a memory. Something only I’ve seen. If I try to explain a huge iron container with one opening at the top to pour in the rice grains and the other- at the bottom to take rice out of it- I wouldn’t be able to explain it. But if I could draw it…
There are just so many things that one wishes to do. Like kids in school dreaming wild about their future! ‘Doctors’ are so out-of-place. I once heard a 6 year old say that she wants to be an Ornithologist! Why- even I have told so many people- I had always wanted to become a bus conductor! The dreams, these kids soon realize are just inane dreams. In fact, it is worse. They begin to believe that having such dreams is a mark that you have not grown. A grown-up knows what he wants. Ornithology becomes a silly dream that a six year olds mother once dreamt of when she was six!
I have silly dreams. Or rather- dreams that people think as silly. Now that would not qualify me as a grown up! I dream of taking off. Just board a bus and go. Carry nothing else but a pen and few sheets of paper. Take a bus- having no idea about the destination and be off! I wish to spend my days amidst sounds closer to Earth. Croaking of frogs, rustling of leaves, pebbles thrown into water.
Sometimes, there are dreams that I think am not meant to have. Rather- dreams that aren’t like me. In this dream, I reside on the 18th floor of a building. The room has a huge window that gives a terribly beautiful view of the world beyond. And I sit on the edge of the window- smoking. There is rain. But no matter how I try to wet my cigarette- the fire won’t go. And I mock the rain- as I pat off the ash.
Crowded autos to work, black and white monitors, coffee at the cafeteria. But somewhere along this humdrum of reality, I have lost myself to my dreams. And no matter how I try to ‘return’, I still prefer the painting of two men, both tired after a day’s work- playing chess while the light from the oil lantern, lengthens their shadows- far and long…
PS: Images used- my Doodles...
5 hours ago