Art and Time
by Praveen Dev
Young Prakash was an introvert. He loved to live in the world of fantasy. He was five feet tall, with a lean build. The specs with black frame always rested a little below his eyebrows. It was his habit to look out alternatively through the lens of the specs and above the specs.
Prakash was doing his degree with psychology as main. This was the third year. He was immersed in study this evening in his hostel room. He was an ardent admirer of Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychologist. He took up his ipad and started googling for ‘synchronicity’, one of Jung’s famous theories. ‘Synchronicity is the occurrence of two or more events that appear to be meaningfully related but not causally related. Synchronicity holds that such events are ‘meaningful
Through the window in front Prakash looked at the corner of the campus illumined by the rays of the setting Sun. ‘Is not life a collection of coincidences?’, he mused. ‘Great art, is it not too a matter of synchronicity?’.
A week passed by. Prakash was down with high fever. The results of the blood test were shocking: he had blood cancer! His days were numbered. On the following day his relatives moved him to a specialty hospital. He was given a narrow room with walls painted in white on the upper portion and in green in the lower portion. He stayed there for a few days. He became weaker and weaker. He also suffered from insomnia. It was around midnight. Prakash woke up with a shudder. He had been having a nightmare. He sat up, took his ipad and started flicking through youtube videos. His eyes fell on the last scene of ‘Gladiator’, his favorite film. He clicked at it. Though the hero had beaten the haughty Roman Emperor into pulp in the duel, he was now slipping into death due to bleeding from the wound of the stab by the treacherous Emperor while in his cell.
Eyes gradually closing, the hero slowly raises his right arm dripping with blood. In the background is heard a woman’s low-pitched singing of a sorrowful song. The next shot focuses on a wooden door in the middle of a mud wall grown pale with the ravages of time. As the hero's palm tries to touch the door, the two panes of the door automatically open. The inside view presents itself like a black and white painting. A mud path leading to a two-storied thousand year old building in Italian style is seen in the distance. On both sides of the path are the flag posts standing in neat rows and moving in the gentle breeze. The bright light illumines the path, the trees and the two-storied house. This sight spreads a gentle smile on the hero’s lips.
Tear-eyed, Prakash wrote the following comment under the youtube video: ‘I am a cancer patient waiting for death. I treasure this film, particularly this scene. This gives me hope and courage. I want to see this video before death closes my eyes for ever’.
A viewer who read this comment replied:’ An unknown friend remembers you a great art lover. You will live for ever in my memory. Peace be to you’.
After four months another viewer wrote: ‘My friend, don’t give up hope. There are several treatments available for cancer now. Keep fighting courageously. All that transpires in this world is recorded in the book of time. Nothing totally perishes. Good luck’.
One person who read the above comment responded: ‘May be Prakash is no more.’ ***