The window is splattered with paint, yellow, blue and green. I stare at it intently trying to figure out what the artist really was trying to do when he took a paint brush, dipped it in paint and swung it about. I notice the people standing beside me looking at it with vehement reverence as though it holds the key to the universe.
One woman in particular seems to be in such a vulnerable state that I feel like a violator just looking at her. I never really was one for art. Yet, even I can sense the buzz of energy around me. I use the time to study the room itself. The white ceiling has browned with age and the walls too seem a little dirty.
My thoughts though, refuse to digress from the painting. I imagine an old man wearing an old robe splattered with paint. He stares out of the window, looking at the pedestrians and thinking perhaps like I am right now. I think he meant to convey looking out of the windows of one’s soul when he did that painting. ‘Eyes are the windows of your soul’ I remember. At the thought of that, I imagine a woman with psychedelic eyes looking at me.
I don’t know why but the thought scares me. In the meantime a man walks up to me. “Are you enjoying the gallery? He asks. I am quiet startled by his appearance; for he is wearing a suit and a tie yet his eyes glow with a refreshing naïveté. “Hi I’m Rajesh.” He says stretching out his hand. I smile and shake it, “Hello I’m Anjali.” His face is fixed into a permanent grin and his eyes too are twinkling. He is so starkly different to the all the rest of the visitors. The rest of them seem as if they have come here for solace but he alone looks like he has come here to enjoy.
“There is something about galleries that makes me so happy!” he beams gregariously. Can one really call art galleries ‘happy’? I smile politely, “I wouldn’t really know, this is the first art gallery I am visiting.” His eyes widen. “Really? What does it feel like?”
I shrug, “I guess, it just makes you think doesn’t it? Although, I don’t really understand what the painter means I still feel in touch with some sort of higher entity.” He nods understandingly and then grins mischievously. “I’ll tell you a secret. I have been going to galleries since I was twelve years old and I still don’t completely understand what the painter really means.” I grin; I’m not that far behind him then. “So what do you say when people inquire about the gallery you have gone to?” “I tell them whatever comes to my mind when I think about the painting,” The image of woman with the psychedelic flashes before my eyes when he says that.
“But then don’t people realise that you don’t really understand the painter?” he chuckles again. “No, they think I am uttering something enormously transcendent.” “So what do you think when you look at this painting?” I inquire jokingly. “I imagine a house with translucent windows out of all of which a man is trying to look with no avail.” His cheeks colour when he says it and his voice is passionate.
“You do sound transcendent.” I note. “What do you think when you look at this painting?” he asks me. “I think of a woman with psychedelic eyes.” I reveal. “I guess there isn’t any right or wrong answer is there?” I add. He nods, “That’s why I’m good at art and horrendous at math.” He says. I smile; being an accountant I can’t really say the same.
“My friend should be arriving any minute.” I tell him. “I will leave you to staring at the ceiling a little longer then, I find that it is hard to do important things like that when there is company.” I smile, “It was nice talking to you Rajesh.” I say waving at his retreating figure. “Remember the eyes Anjali. Ta-da!” he says before springing away. What an interesting man! Right then I notice Sunanda, my friend waving at me with a curious look on her face. “Do you know that man?” she asks. “I just met him. Why?” I reply. “These are all his paintings.” She informs me. How could this convivial man be a painter? I look at the paintings and sure enough on the right corner there is Rajesh written calligraphically. I look at him in astonishment as he hops about the room, socialising with everyone present there. He catches my eyes and smiles and then motions at his eyes and whispers, “Remember the eyes Anjali.” And although I can’t hear him I can make out what he is trying to say.