An Illusion: A Story of a Painter
By Aman Mittal
The gloom of the darkness and the heaviness of the rainfall had added another load of misery as he already had one.’People are always happy,’ he thought, carrying the overweight of misery on his shoulders, ‘And they become happier, day by day. And me. My load of miser is only getting more and no less. Even the single droplet of rain is incrementing the load by a ton. And this darkness makes the road hard and uncomfortable to travel. What am I to do? What wrong have I done? Whose fault is this?’
And with a long sigh he took a half crumbled cigarette out of his wet pocket which was half moist due to rain. He observed he had two matchsticks left in the matchbox. No shed and shrewd rain, how in the name of god is he going to light that cigarette? But what you seek is what you get, only you have to make your own way to it. And he stood in front of a glass of a shop where some mannequins were on display inside, wearing wicked hats and fancy dresses. He holds his hands in an oval covering the strike which he was going to make and managed to light the cigarette with both of the matchsticks in one strike. As he took his first puff, he sees a reflection in the glass and then he looked carefully. It was more than the reflection, it was his image with a blurred background of cause of mannequins as the matchsticks were still managing to emit enough light to see. He looked carefully and he saw a man looking old, very old with unshaved facial hair, and the swollen and dry skin as it had been months since a drop of glycerin has been rubbed off his skin. He realized he wore a more wicked hat than those lifeless creatures which were never going to make to life. He said to himself, ‘Shall I go back?’
No was the answer in his ears, mechanically ringing like church bells.
He already knew the answer: abandoned.
‘Abandoned from what?’
Abandoned from love, shelter, and food. The three things a man needs to survive and live happily. But he had none and so unhappy was he.
He throwaway the illusion and those matchsticks on the road which caused a sound ‘psss’ as hot, on fire, as matchsticks made contact with water. He knew the sound was not only the matchsticks but also the illusion which made him see the three different keys of happiness.
‘It must be my fault as I have always avoided consequences and situations in ignorance, and for my own little pleasures which I have been too fond of. I always wanted to paint, but I never paint one. I had canvas, I had colours, I had the idea. But now it’s all gone and I am lost on this road which seems less traveled. Misery is my slut or I am hers’. Which is true, it might be both. And add to the misery, I can’t even make myself lifeless by a monotonous colour as my life is already faded in a single colour. But it’s time to change. Its time to leave this harlot here and go with the wind. Through these black clouds soon there will be a beam of sunlight on my face which will bring back all the glycerin on my skin and make it soft as it was soft in my offspring, and take away all the dryness. With morning light I’ll follow till my destination arrives and my departure from this world of Hades’ be confirmed. My life would be my canvas as I’ll paint it and fill each and every colour that is in existence of nature. Thus, now I shall dream of paint and then I’ll paint my dream.’