Saturday, July 28, 2012

SOULMATE - Part Three

We met regularly at all hours of the day consulting each other, working side by side in each other’s studio. Our bond grew as with twins who could not stay apart, as if we were incomplete without the other. Many shows came and went, leaves bloomed and fell several times over and our friendship grew. Her parents flew in for one of her shows and mine for another, each accepting the other as a new family member. As our names skirted the world, our art travelled across the ocean beckoning us to follow, we found our wings and flew to galleries over the continents. Our time together became scarcer, our inspiration ebbed, our creations reduced.

In an effort to revive, we decided a joint show in our own city that was home to both of us now. We worked long hours in our corners in the shared studio, convened for meals or snacks at odd hours, critiqued and helped move creations forward warding off any artist blocks. Our best work on display side by side night before the opening, the gallery gleamed just as our eyes. Her parents arrived first, took their time to get over the jet lag and were fresh for the evening. My parents were delayed and made it in time just after the opening.

Busy with guests, fans, investors, Divya and I left our parents to their own devices. They mingled, walked the hallways, contemplated our artwork and we did not see them. The evening came to an end; we assembled in the lobby encircled by fellow artists and admirers. My mother patted me on the shoulder and pulled me aside begging to be excused for the evening. Confused, I inquired why but she shook her head, flustered and pleaded that she just could not face him. I asked who and she shook her head again and walked away. Avoiding a scene I followed her quietly, whispering my queries. I reminded her that she hadn’t been introduced to Divya’s parents yet and she and I had made plans for dinner together with the two families. This upset her more and she repeated no several times. Frustrated, I told her I was going to get my answers from dad to which she leaped and grabbed my arm and held me there. I could feel stares on my back from the crowd, so I put an arm around mom’s shoulder and tried to comfort her. We slowly walked back to the crowd as she kept her head down.

If she had been trying discretion, she had succeeded in doing the opposite. Everybody looked up with inquiring eyes but polite smiles. The only look I noticed that was different, that of shock was from Divya’s father. I signaled my friend to distract the crowd, move them away and wrap up the evening. With the help of our agents, the crowd dissipated and our two families discretely left the gallery, in separate cabs.

To Be Continued.....

Sunday, July 22, 2012


The next day, late in the afternoon I walked into the coffee shop that had once been a train depot. It was close to Divya’s apartment and easy for her to find. Our coffee turned into dinner as neither wanted to leave the other’s company. She was new in town lost in a big city while I was equally lost despite having lived here for over a decade. My collection of friends was few and seasonal as I preferred the company of my paintbrush, the palette, and the canvases. Something in her look and simplicity that kept me entranced preferring for the first time company of another person than my painting tools. She was new to the artist circle, new to the city and even the country, and unsteady in her new found big shoes. Her show had been a grand success and for some reason she had reached out to me for guidance. Over the course of the evening we learned that we shared a birthday and even the year of our birth across the continent. As like mine, her talent had directed her life since early childhood, driven her beyond the norm and ruled her above all. Her inspiration, like mine came from simple details in life but if we were not creating we were not alive, there was no life.

Later that night I sat in my room and pondered the events of the past days. I had ordered coffee, she had tea, I lived in my jeans and t-shirt while she wore long flowing skirts, and I preferred my sparkling water while she confessed to enjoying her wine with dinner. What had driven two people towards each other who had nothing in common other than their love for creating massive pieces of art? Why had she reached out so suddenly and why was I drawn? I walked over to my canvases and started to dab a kaleidoscope of colors with my soft brush, the wooden handle of the back of the brush, my blunt knife and various other tools. An hour later I stood back, examined my handy work, and found myself staring into an obscure but familiar face enveloped in emerald green.

To Be Continued.....

Monday, July 16, 2012


She was dressed in a sari the first time I saw her. An emerald green silk draped neatly across her left shoulder, its scarf flowing gracefully behind her. She glided from room to room, champagne glass in hand, rosy lips spread wide into a smile, and short dark hair accentuating her bare back. My agent patted my shoulder and I lost her to the crowd. Several introductions, multitude of small talk, and many polite laughs later I walked to refresh my glass courted by a handsome young aspiring artist. My eyes scanned the room while making sure to nod and smile at appropriate comments and compliments.

My first big show a fabulous success, I allowed a skip or two as I slipped out of the gallery towards the restroom. A voice stopped me followed by a breathless greeting escaping rosy lips. Emerald green had been enamored with my artwork, impressed with the composition and technique and awed at the size of my canvases. She spoke perceptively of details unnoticed by even some of the masters present at the show. Melting in flattery and impressed with her depth, I inquired if she were an artist. She nodded and removed a hand from within the folds of her sari. In it she held a colorful postcard which she handed out to me. I took it, studied it and smiled back at her promising to be present. Half of the postcard featured an exquisite, elongated vase in vibrant earthy hues. The other half had a time and place, for a debut exhibition featuring pottery and other earthenware by an up and coming artist, Divya.

Back in my lonely apartment, city lights flashing intermittently through my windows, sirens blaring 40 stories below, I sat in darkness. Through closed eyelids I travelled back into the gallery walking from room to room. I did not see the massive paintings on the walls that were my babies. Nor did I notice the vivid hues or the striking slashes with contrasting paints. Most of the work sold that night which made my agent happy. Even in this state of dream my eyes sought emerald green, Divya. Something unexplained connected us, her manner of speaking or the way she carried herself with a straight back and head held high, or the fact she was a fellow artist.

A week later we met again, at her show. She looked as glamorous as our previous meeting, in midnight blue silk dress. A diamond shone from her nose, perhaps it was there before too I could not recall, matching her earrings. I walked through the exhibition fascinated by massiveness of her vases with their interesting structure, delightful shapes and unconventional forms. Earthy tones grounded the pots that stood tall and sturdy. After congratulating her on her success, I stood awkwardly, glass of sparkling water in hand. She smiled warmly, thanked me for coming and proceeded to introduce me to her agent and other acquaintances in her circle. After polite minutes, I started my farewell when she put a hand on my arm, leaned closer and asked if we could meet for coffee.

To Be Continued.....

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Tempest Within

His eyelids snapped open to stare at the dark ceiling above him. Water dripped from a tap in the bathroom in a rhythmic decline to disappear down the drain into an abyss. A flash of lightening blazed the room with fleeting brightness followed by the loud boom of thunder near enough to rock the ground.

His arms gripped the sides of his bed as his body lay frozen under the covers. He tried to close his eyes to hide from the tempest outside but the storm inside him raged louder conjuring up images too unnerving to allow sleep. Another boom and he felt pieces rain in from the window as its pane shattered, bringing in wetness with the glass. He screamed unsure if the storm from inside him had escaped and started to live out loud around him. He was becoming buried from within and crushed from outside. The whirlwind surrounded him penetrated him as if it were a ghost elevating him in the air to toss and turn like a toy. He clung to his bed feeling the wetness on his face, tasting its salty flavors, shaking his head to shower away the sprinkles.

His mind travelled faraway, floating over the ocean, flying above a long desert, speeding past the birds, racing with the jet bombers over high peaks. He saw shattered homes below, tattered clothes of dwellers, a deluge of refugees with hunger and loss painted on their faces. He reached out to a child, lost among the forlorn, dried blood caked on its head, dried tears stained on its cheeks. He held on to its little finger to help guide it out of the commotion towards a sanctuary only to be blocked by bureaucracy. Abandoning the tiny, delicate, helpless hand he ran and flew away to safety watching a cloud of dust rise behind him and thunderous uproars pulsate through the sky until the land was flat.

The thunderous roar shuddered through his room, his body quivering from the memory. Another lightening flash pierced its brightness as prelude to the promised boom. The room whirled around him with images never to be forgotten under the cloud of explosive rumble.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lily in a Pond

Elegant in its serenity
smiling in its grace,

Open in its full bloom;

artistic in its haven
listening to melodic tunes,

Oblivious to its home of gloom;

aesthetic in its preserve
shining in its ambience,

Obliged to be stuck in doom;

exquisite in its tranquility
swimming within peace,

Alive in its foul room;

A lily is not a flower
its pad not its boat
its home not the murky water
its beauty not remote

A water lily is inspiration
delicate beauty so fine
of petals so tender
with a glow sublime.