Aditi saw her for the first time as she cycled back home. It was the same route every day and she could do it with her eyes closed. In fact even though they remained open, nothing really registered for most of the time it was in another world that she found herself. But just as she swung her cycle into the turn leading to her house, a splash of colour crossed her way at the last minute, making her swear and swerve. Having regained balance of mind and body, she turned to glare at the offender, and the last thing she expected was to find her senses draw into themselves – whoosh… that’s the sound her heart seemed to make. The splash stared straight at her, apologetic and more, holding her glance for the longest couple of seconds. She had to face forward again lest she herself became the offender and ensuring all was clear on the road ahead, she looked behind once more to find… nothing. One would have expected the whoosh to be sucked out of her with disappointment but it wasn’t so. On the contrary, she felt elated, as if she had discovered some secret that would change her life forever. With a singing heart and a beaming smile she whizzed back to her house. The rest of the evening passed in a haze. The night even more so. By morning she knew what she had to do.
Rummaging through her cupboard, she dug out long-forgotten brushes, bristles hard with left over paint. A solitary canvas tucked under her bed made its way out into the fresh air in the balcony overlooking the sea. Easel, turpentine, palette, faded t and shorts – Aditi looked like one possessed. One may wonder at this point what she would have drawn or painted? She barely saw the girl. She didn’t even remember how long her hair may have been or the contours of her body. She didn’t see the eyes, she didn’t remember the mouth. What then had she set out to do? Aditi herself perhaps had no answers to this but just a very compelling need – it happens sometimes when we feel something so strongly that no matter what the odds may be, we just have to deal in a concrete way with whatever it is that is making us spin. She needed to stop the spin and intuitively knew that painting would be the answer.
The whole day went by in a flurry of movement. The mind ceased to interfere, awed as it were at the force with which some other part of her being had taken over. The body felt nothing – no heat, no fatigue, no thirst… hungering solely for a vision to unfold. And just as dusk came calling, when one colour begins to masquerade as another, she stood for a long still moment, absorbing the energy that bathed the canvas before her. She smiled inwardly at her muse and picking her in her arms, gingerly, lovingly, she carried her into the house, like an old friend, a familiar heart beat, a love that never was but always will be.