Flight of fantasy

As he got older, the tales his grandmother had told him over the years seemed much wiser than he’d originally thought.

The thought suddenly came to his mind as he smoked over at the roof top of the building of his office. He along with some of his colleagues came here to ramble about their bosses, work related problems, paltry pay and of course, household issues. Today, somehow in middle of all this spider web, he was reminded of those golden words.
” Beta, please remember the money that you run for in your youth will seem to run away from you in the course of lifetime. The only way to keep it with you forever is to do what you love. When you work on your passion, everything else just seems to fall into place regardless of n no. of issues that might appear in course of things.

How embarrassed he feels now on thinking back then, his Grandma was not rational. Those wise words seemed like a curse he couldn’t come out of. As a teenager, he was a boy who played with colors. His paintings would draw gasps from his classmates. The guys would be jealous as he would draw all the attention from the girls. He would draw paintings of beautiful girls and would gift them in return for a shower of love. The passion with which he painted slowly subdued and rather went in q direction where he used it only to attract attention towards himself. He would be in several relationships he never wanted and would act as if they were all his muses.

Soon, the life of college got over and placement season reckoned. His carelessness and his over emphasis on his painting skills made recruiters feel he was not serious about the job being offered. Coupled with a rather rough market conditions, Raman soon found himself without a job and with a degree that was available to millions. Any rational person would have started working on his strengths, ensure that he became thorough with his skills and use it to his advantage. Rather Raman saw it as the reason to everything bad that had happened in his life and left it completely as he looked forward for a job where he could do something tangible and earn good bucks.
After a good six months, Raman found a job of cashier in a private bank. He was broke by then and had lost hope on everything. He took it with both hands and was very happy with himself.
Another six months on, it was a completely different story. Raman grew miserable in his new life. He craved all the attention he once got. In private bank, there were a number of beautiful girls but somehow, being attracted to a cashier was not something they considered. Raman would soon join a group which was well known for passing lewd comments on girls. They would meet on roof top as they would criticize any girl who had rejected their advances. They would make up stories regarding them and share a laugh or two. Raman found this good as finally, he had someone to talk to and then, with his lewd miniatures of all girls, he was a big hit with them.

Time passed, months turned to years and he was soon married to a girl who was ‘OK’ on looks and a bit intelligent. Raman would hardly talk to her, passing only instructions that he felt she should oblige with. His group members left one by one only to be replaced by younger ones with similar thought process. Raman remained. He had graduated to level one officer now with cigarettes replacing lewd paintings as the reason he was in the group. And here he was, after a decade, checking his classmates and ex girlfriends on Facebook and telling his new group, how he had screwed around with most of them. He had a daughter recently, something he lamented as he wanted a son who he could teach to paint.

Grandma’s words haunted him today as he went back to work. He couldn’t concentrate. Back at home, he had same trouble, he couldn’t sleep and woke up mid night as he sat at plastic dining table kept in the drawing room. What could he do to change all this? Was there even a way now to do something about this? Tears were flowing as he realized his misgivings and his heart burned as he thought what a downfall he actually had. What he lamented the most perhaps, was the paintbrush being replaced by ciggarates in his fingers. He went to the small storage room they had. He started searching frantically for the thing he knew he loved. Finally, after twenty minutes, he got his colors and he got his old paintbrush. The colors were rock solid so he went back and got his daughter’s water colors as he took out an old chart paper and started working on it.

In the morning, as his wife searching for him found him asleep in the storage room. She was flummoxed at the beauty lying in front of her: a painting beside his sleeping man. One of a bird flying in the sky among the dark clouds as it rained heavily. Somehow, she could figure a smile on her sleeping husband’s face and went back to kitchen thinking perhaps this was the start of something new.

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