I stood awkwardly at the doorstep, re-guessing myself if I made the wrong decision to come here in the first place. I was new to the city and my colleague had invited me to his son’s birthday party. I knew Raj slightly. I knew him because he sat in a cubicle opposite to mine. He always greeted everyone with a smile. Raj was the first one in the office to make me feel welcome.
So here I was, at his door. I was sure I would not know anyone else who might be there. I had no idea how old his son was, so I brought a book and some flowers as gifts for the boy.
Just as I was hesitating, the door opened and Raj welcomed me into the house with a warm smile. As I stepped in, the house was neatly decorated with streamers and balloons. The warm lighting was pleasing. There were some people already gathered.
I settled down on the settee and looked around. The walls were decorated with many paintings. All of them were paintings of the sky in different shades of blue, and of different times of the day.
There was the morning sky, with splashes of gold, orange, yellow and pink. There was the afternoon sky with a bright blue and light clouds. One was an evening sky with the colours of the setting sun and one of the deep blue of the sky just after the sundown. These paintings drew me in and I was lost in their beauty.
I never knew the colour blue had so many shades in it. Turquoise, azure, light blue, deep blue, blackish-blue, navy blue, cerulean, cobalt, powder, prussian, royal, saphire, blue-gray, violet, lilac, indigo all these blues soaked my senses and I was totally mesmerised. I wondered about the artist and the depth of his/her perception.
“Looking at my son’s artwork?” I heard behind me.
I turned and saw Raj, holding out a drink for me.
“Thank you” I said, taking the drink from him. “Your son is a genius! My God, these paintings are absolutely amazing.”
“Thank you, yes, he does paint well”
We continued to look at the paintings for a long time.
“Did you notice, my son paints only the sky?” Raj asked suddenly.
Now that he pointed it out, I too noticed that all the paintings were of the sky.
“Yeah, now that you say, yes, I see they are all of the sky” I said.
“That is because, the sky is what is seen from his window.”
As I looked askance at him, he continued, “3 years ago, we were in an accident. He was injured badly leaving him immobile on his bed for a long time. The sky has kept him company through his ordeal. He says the sky and its shades of blue give meaning to every shade of emotions that we experience. Melancholy, joy, sadness, ecstasy, anger all these can be depicted in blue.
Today is not just his birthday, it is also the day he sat up on his own. I feel today the shade of blue should be that of hope”
There were tears of joy and pride in Raj’s eyes.
My eyes teared up too. I was now eager to meet this great artist.