White and Black Canvas

black-and-white

She started with the red, and then went to the blue, then to the orange. The strokes were powerful as always; the picture got intimidating with every stroke, as always. Her heart started racing with every passing stroke that she drew, her confidence was unbreakable, and her passion could be seen in her eyes. She raced herself with each passing stroke, but kept herself vigilant. She mixed colors to get a brown shade she wanted, and was about to draw when, “Samantha…. Samantha, where are you? Kids are screaming. Samantha!”  “Mom, Karan is not giving me my book!” “Mom, It’s my book not hers; Ishita lost the book you had got for both of us.”  “Sam, honey, where are you? I’m getting late for office.” Samantha kept her brush down, sighed and switched off the light and left the room. As always, yet another painting was left incomplete.

“Okay kids, stop fighting. Ishita, I’ll buy you another book. Stop fighting. Go get ready for school.” Samantha settled the fight. “Samantha, I have packed the lunch boxes of everyone.” “Mom, you didn’t have to do it.” She said. “Oh, come on, this is the least I can do. Okay, I got to rush at the NGO, I have a meeting. Beta, can you please deliver these earrings to Savita aunty, today? She wants to wear at a party.” “Sure, mom” “Also, don’t wait for me for dinner. I’ll be late.” “Okay mom, have a good day.” She bid adieu to her mother in law. “Samantha please get my car to the servicing after you drop kids off, it will cease to work anytime, if the servicing is not done.”  Her husband, Krishna said. “Okay, dear.” “Okay, see you at night baby.” Krishna kissed and winked at Samantha, before leaving for work. “Mom, let’s go!” Kids screamed. Samantha dropped kids to school, delivered the earrings to Savita aunty, gave the car for servicing and came home.  While, she was having her lunch phone rang, “Samantha, I need you. Can you come home?” Her, neighbor and friend called. She went at her place to help her bake a cake. She came home, sat on the sofa and got lost in her thoughts. “Mom! I got an A in the last week’s math paper.” Karan screamed. “Mom, I have my history surprise test tomorrow, please help me. I’ll fail otherwise. ” Ishita cried. Samantha helped Ishita with her studies while she cooked dinner. “Hey, I’m back home.” Krishna declared. “Dad, we are going for the Harry Porter movie this weekend, right? You had promised.” Karan asked. “Of course, we are.” “Krishna, I can’t come… I have to…” “Sam, come on, only during weekend we get to spend time together. You can complete that painting of yours, during the week, after we all leave.” Krishna said, Samantha didn’t know what to say. After dinner, Samantha tucked kids in their beds, went to her home where her husband was waiting for her.

After her husband slept, tired Samantha came to the living room to check her phone. She had a voicemail from her friend Pooja, “Samantha, the gallery called again. They said if by this week you’re unable to deliver at least one painting, they are taking your name off… Samantha, this is huge, you realize that, right? This is your dream. Call me when you get time. ” Samantha stared at the phone for nearly fifteen minutes, not knowing what or how to react. “Samantha? You’re still awake?” Her mother-in-law broke her thoughts. “Umm… Yeah, just going to go… to sleep…” She was lost for words. “Samantha, can you please apply this ointment on my back? It hurts a lot. Also, please get my medicines tomorrow. I have a crazy day tomorrow. Samantha? ” Her mother-in-law called. “Umm… Yeah. Sure, mom” Samantha was lost.

Samantha got up at 5:00 am like every day, cooked lunch , and then went to the room where she used to paint. Switched on the light and stared at her twenty incomplete paintings. Samantha could never get the same inspiration again to complete her work, which she had got at the beginning of each painting. She took a fresh canvas, stared at it for ten minutes. She knew she didn’t have much time, before everyone woke up, yet she couldn’t help it. Samantha always loved colors, and that was evident in all of her incomplete work. Today, however she took white color. She dipped her brush in the paint, and for the first time in her lifetime, her hands were unsteady. Tears came down her cheeks. Samantha felt she was lost, her dream was lost, and she couldn’t blame anyone. With those shaky hands, she started her painting. Her strokes were weak, and out of passion; and for the first time her strokes were rickety. Her tears increased. She took grey color, and started with it. This time her strokes were less shaky, but were not perfect. “Samantha?” “Mom!” “Honey!” everyone was up, however today, Samantha was not ready, yet. Samantha wiped her tears and took black color. Her hand was sturdy like never before. There was passion in her eyes, but different type of passion; it was rage! She started giving black strokes to her painting. They were so ruthless and so imperfect, but she couldn’t stop herself. The strokes were devoid of happiness that used to be the essence of her work. After the rage settled,  She took red color in her hand. She was now calm. She gave one last perfect stroke to her painting.

She looked at the painting; it was imperfect, but complete. It was not what she usually paints, but complete. It lacked colors, but was complete. She stared at the painting and started crying profusely. Her family came up to the room. They saw her crying, but didn’t know the reason, they didn’t understand the painting, nor did they understand her….

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