2. Love at First Sight
A five-star hotel, a posh exhibit and lots of demand for the art. I must admit, when I turned toward her, I expected her to be in a little back dress, wearing diamond jewelry and holding a clutch or handbag from a well known designer. Instead I came face to face with the artist.
She was in jeans and a white t-shirt. Well, it was white once I suppose. Now it had splashes of the colors she loved so much. She wore no earrings. On her neck, a simple silver chain hung with a heart shaped locket. The heart surrounded the letter T. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail.
“It already feels quite meaningful,” I said, returning her smile. “It might speak more once it is complete, I suppose.”
She nodded. I think she wanted to continue her work there, but seeing my interest in the painting, she put the brush in a mug.
“I need some calmness around to visualize it actually. But it’s something that people like, apparently. To see the artist at work brings in more customers. Thought I’d give it a shot.”
I laughed. Only then did I realize it might have been rude. But she laughed too.
“Sayuri,” she said, “Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“Ansh”, I replied, “Nice to meet you. I love your work.”
She looked at me quizzically. Was she sizing me up as a customer?
“I don’t know much about art, but I love colors. I am not a customer. Just a new admirer,” I clarified.
She turned away, looked around her. She saw people admiring her paintings. I saw them pretending to. Then she turned back and looked at the easel. Other than me, there wasn’t anyone around that.
“Why did you love this one?”
It wasn’t a question I had expected.
“You say you love colors. There are so many other paintings in the hall. Each shows my abstract art in shades of red, blue, green, yellow… and yet, you spend ten minutes just staring into my unfinished art. I am curious.”
Could love be explained at a moment’s notice? What if what I understood and loved in the painting wasn’t what she had intended to say? Won’t I offend her?
“It called to me, I suppose. I don’t know how to put it to you. You’d understand hidden meanings more than most. The other paintings didn’t call to me with theirs. This, somehow, I felt I could understand. Maybe you could say it was love at first sight,” I told her.
And hearing myself say those last few words, I wondered whether I meant the painting or the painter.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
9th October, 2018)