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The Paintbrush - Part 2

by Geetashree Chatterjee
(New Delhi)

The Lost Brush

The Lost Brush

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Thereafter ensued a spate of conspiracy. Every morning at a fixed hour I'd hold the brush on the drawing book and wish forms, figures, landscapes, Nature's Gifts, vivid and varied flora and fauna and they'd all come alive on the pristine pages with the swish of the wand - perfection personified in line, content, texture, hue, interplay of light and shadow - they were just remarkably true to life, nay, they were as though live, captured in the pages of my drawing book. Endless hours I would spend gazing at them with awestruck eyes savouring their vibrant beauty and magical imagery!

But I had still not shown the paintings to anyone fearful that magic made public might rob the quill of its power. But the temptation was too strong. The greed for applause too overpowering! So, I decided to give a final try to bring to life something which was supposed to be the most difficult task even for an accomplished artiste. I selected one of my late father's photographs and prayed hard. This time I'd give it a try myself and see how far the brush would help me.

I held the brush in my fingers and drew the lines..'stilted as ever' not in sync or symmetry with each other' the portray was a massacre. I burst out sobbing on the drawing book blotching the lines already gone awry. A little while later, composing myself, I left the room in a fit of sulk.

That night I saw him in my dreams as he would always appear in my mind's eye - a fragile, forlorn figure in a mouse brown Kashmiri 'loyee' (Gent's shawl), bespectacled, grave and a little sad. But this time there was a slight difference. He looked pained, deeply disturbed. His lips moved and the sonorous voice came floating from far, far away, 'Why do you call me now?'

'Father! I am so lonely, father!' I whimpered.

'But I can't come, child!, He said, pain etched in his tone, 'I am far away than you can possibly imagine. It is impossible for me to return. It is painful to travel such long distances.' His words were almost a whisper now.

'But father, father?' I raised my arms to call him back. His form was becoming nebulous, receding gradually into a mist which rose from the depths of a valley whose contours were very quickly getting lost in the wilderness. I wanted to clutch the flailing end of his wrapper. But before I could do so he melted into infinity.

Next morning I woke up with a head ache. Finishing my day's chores in a daze I entered my study. The drawing book lay askew but the brush was gone. I shuffled the pages of the book, they were empty. Gone were the picturesque images too and the papyrus lay bare as it had been for a very long, long time.

Needless to say, I brought the whole house down in a panicked and frantic searching spree but the brush was nowhere to be found. Even the intricately carved box holding the brush had vanished into thin air leaving behind only wisps of fond imagery and remembrances as ephemeral as time.

***
My nephew rang up, 'So how is your painting sessions going?' He asked affably.

'They have stopped,' I blurted, 'I have lost the brush.'

'How?' He asked crestfallen.

'I don't know. One minute it was there. The next minute it was gone!' I couldn't hide the ring of sadness from my tone though I tried hard.

There was a lot of disturbances on the line.

'Now I can't even get you another one,' said my nephew. 'The shop has closed down too.'

Somehow I expected this.

'Where did you locate the shop?' I asked.

'Just off MG Road.' He replied with a strange note in his voice. 'It was owned by a Chinese. Queer! When I went there the next time it was not there as though it were never there ever before. I asked Mannu Uncle (a resident of Bangalore from infancy) about the location. He said he had never heard of the shop either!

'What attracted you to the shop?' I tried to sound casual.

'The name.' His voice sounded distant. The whirring noise on the line had increased.

'Of course it was in Chinese but the shop owner translated it for me.'

'And what was that..?', I held my breath.

'Something very funny 'something like the dreams that never come true.' The line went dead.

I sighed and kept back the receiver in its cradle.


The End









Comments for The Paintbrush - Part 2

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May 05, 2011
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Thanks Safiah
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Thanks for the suggestion, Safiah

May 03, 2011
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Keep writing!
by: Safia.A.R.

Hi Geeta Shree.

I too feel,if you could make this story more positive it would be nice:-))
Keep Writing!:-))

Apr 01, 2011
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MATHUR SAHAB!
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Thanks Mathur Sahab for taking out time and reading this short story. Since the day you have told me about your choice of writing, I am trying hard to pen one. Soon I'd be coming up with something different. I know I have to come out of this atmosphere of gloom and desertion myself to create something which emanates happiness and optimism. Believe me I am trying hard, very hard at it. Regards

Mar 31, 2011
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Admirable
by: Jitendra Mathur

Geeta Ji,

Namaskar.

I have read the story in full and while conveying my sincere thanks to you for intimating me of its posting, let me admire it wholeheartedly. You are a gifted writer with the imagination being your basis talent coupled with the superfine English being the icing on the cake.

However, for most of your creations, I had a somewhat common experience after reading. They left an air of emptiness and gloom in my heart. Perhaps it is because of the genre your writings belong to or because I am an over-sensitive person.

Compliments for the good work.

Jitendra

Mar 30, 2011
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A NOTE OF THANKS
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Thanks a lot Indi for taking such a lot of pain to read my story. I'd very much appreciate your views and stand corrected in so far as language and expressions are concerned. I'd also appreciate if you stop by now and then read some of my posts uploaded here. Thanks once again. Best Regards

Mar 30, 2011
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Myriad Possibilities
by: Indi

Geeta,
Having now reached the end of this piece I am left with a number directions I can travel when composing this reply. I will indulge myself and ask your forbearance for the length of reply that may ensue.
First I will admit I read the other comment left prior to mine but only after the story itself. Because you are so fluent and gifted as writer I was keenly aware that I never even really considered the impact of that as an ability that adds dimension to the awe that is slowly igniting. I can ONLY speak my native language, and when writing have a mere modicum grasp of of English compositional knowledge.
There are a couple of places where if you are interested I can help to share what an American would use for certain terms but the post itself is well composed. I wasn't reading with an eye to critique because the story led me along in such manner that they would have need to stand out in bold print or incredibly poor syntax to divert my attention.
When it regards content I was enjoying the creative nature and hadn't expected the didactic ending. There is a well derived message that isn't difficult to spot, you have made your point quite clear. (IMO) I won't influence another's interpretation by sharing mine here but know I fully believe your intentions were well accomplished.
If I return this way again I will be sure to stop in to see what may have been posted in my absence. Good writing here ... Indi


Mar 30, 2011
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A NOTE OF THANKS
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Thank you Vimla for reading this story. I am glad that I could convey my fantasy to my readers. But I also wanted to convey a hidden message too in the garb of the magic spell. I am sure with your keen and sharp intellect you have already deciphered that. Thanks once again.

Mar 30, 2011
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strange fantasy
by: vimala ramu

My God, Geeta you are really blessed with not only fantasy but also the language to put it across to others.

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