Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Painter of Clouds

It was a sunny day with no clouds in sight, the birds were chirping, the bright yellow buds had blossomed into beautiful wildflowers harnessing the sun as if it would never come out again for a long time because that was an undeniable fact the sun was a rare thing in those parts. The painter was sitting on the porch of the log cabin he had recently rented from the frail old man who claimed to be a writer, a writer of dark stories most likely because the atmosphere in the village was always dark and gloomy and there could not have been much inspiration for anything else. The painter didn’t much appreciate the lively weather for he had forgotten to appreciate all things because of his past pain and sufferings. He was an outsider in the small village where everyone knew everyone else and the only companion of his empty soul was the little Sheppard boy Corsair who used to sometimes stop and talk to the painter while tending his flock. Hoping and waiting for Corsair to come he observed the scene around him with a painters mind, He tried to imagine what was making the wildflowers blossom so gaily, why most of the birds were sitting on a certain tree, why one passing villager was smiling to himself while the other was trying to hide his tears, for even though the man did not have any tears the painter could see the anguish in his eyes. Although he looked at things around him and reasoned he never did that with himself. He never gave any thought as to why he had forgotten to be happy, why he was bitter and lonely and lived a dark life in total isolation from everyone else even though he liked Corsair’s company. He never thought why he a famous painter was sitting idly waiting for dark clouds when he could paint the rare amazing landscape of light and shadow and give it a different life on his canvas.

The lone companion of the painter, Corsair, had noticed in his innocence that this strange young painter who had just moved to his village was full of darkness, but he also noticed a glint of light in the painters eyes which to him showed that not all was lost, hope was the seed the boy wanted to transform into a blossoming tree. He wanted to turn the painter of dark stormy clouds into one who could not only see and paint the light but could also transform and give a positive spin to the darkness. On that particular day when Corsair saw the painter sitting sullenly he decided that he should force the painter into submission and have him paint the amazing colors that were taking shape because of the light. He knew the painter would be reluctant but in his naïve wisdom he also knew that he was the painters only companion and the painter would think hard before isolating himself totally. The boy conspired with the elements and the sun along with the lush green grass, the tall leafy trees, the bright yellow wildflowers, the birds as well as the squirrels all conspired to provide a landscape which could be brought to life again on the painters canvas.

The painter who had forgotten how to paint light finally agreed to at least try. The painter’s hands even with all the colors and life around him could not as much as he tried paint a picture because his heart was cold and his mind turned the prettiest picture into a nightmare. It wasn’t the painter’s fault he tried but his life as far as he could remember was dark and he had forgotten all about light. He had forgotten how to paint a happy picture because the only recent recollection of any happiness that he had was time spent with Corsair who was also trying hard to push the darkness out of the painter’s life.

The painter kept trying, the boy kept trying, even the elements were curious and wanted to see the outcome of the boys effort, clouds shied away for a long time, the birds and butterflies fluttered their wings cherishing every moment of sunlight they could get. Every morning the boy would come and help the painter paint the picture he had forgotten to paint, and finally the painter finished one of his most beautiful paintings ever. The boy loved it, the bright sun set happily behind the mountains, not knowing that the happiness he had witnessed was short lived, the painter who had not seen such vibrant colors, such life and who was not used to it put the painting in his attic and told the boy never to mention it again and never to ask him to paint another one.

The boy with tears flowing out of his eyes and the heaviest heart a boy his size could have, walked away into the misty night towards the sleeping village. The elements became angered, the next morning there was no Corsair, there was no life, there was only cold howling wind, dark gray clouds and unforgiving lightning, the clouds had overpowered the sun that only last night had set smiling, and the painter with no name sat in his den, looking at the embers from the fire in his fireplace, that was fed with logs from the young tree of hope the seeds of which were planted by Corsair and which had instead of blossoming with flowers, died and become firewood.

13 comments:

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Beautifuulllllllllll! Absolutely amazing writing!

What a symbolic piece...you give us readers hope then you shatter it in the end.

Welcome back and keep writing!

ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Destitute Rebel said...

Lol, thanks Shaira, not everything ends positively because if everything did we wouldn't know how good good really is.

sidrah said...

brilliant :) love it :)

such wonderful elements of magical realism, love it very much. its pokerfaced, as if told in one complete breath, and you've got the simple details done very very well. this is the kind of work i love to read and (attempt to) emulate. i wish it could be longer though!

Destitute Rebel said...

Thanks Sidrah, Figured might as well try writing something, although I do not think I am capable of writing anything longer then this.

BuJ said...

hello Rebel.. I was wondering what do u think of the latest tragedy in Pakistan? Of course my sincerest condolences, wallah it's not fair at all. May her soul rest in peace.

On another subject, why did u stop blogging?

EXSENO said...

Very nicely written and a very realistic view of life. But I was hoping that he would change right to the end. Very good, you pulled me in then shot me down, I'm heart broken.

Radha said...

lovely!!

Destitute Rebel said...

@ Buj the latest tragedy is just one small part of tragedies which have been and are haunting Pakistan and I do not have the energy to write about any of it. Who told you I stopped blogging, I'v just been awfully busy with some personal stuff and havent had the time.

@ Exseno, Thanks for your encouragement, as to the heartbreak :-) Heart break is what the story was meant to cause.

@ Thanks Radha, thanks for stopping by.

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kaya said...

Welcome back Dreb. Almost gave up hope on you. :D

BuJ said...

oye!! aunti kaya.. it's me who almost lost hope on you :P

what's this with your bmw display picture.. you realise bmw's were built on a monday?

sidrah said...

heya heya