September 15, 2013

Different shades of grey

Aditya had blue eyes, the innocence of his tender age reflecting in them as he spoke.
It was arts class, the period he loved most, especially because of Miss Ashweta, his arts teacher and also his favorite.
He looked around. His best friend Vivek was painting a scenery. He decided to paint one too. He now rehearsed what he had practiced saying aloud at home.
"The sun is yellow,
The sky is blue,
The trees green,
The mountains brown..."
 He picked up a crayon. Staring hard at it, he wondered why there were so many crayons of the same color...different shades, he thought. He passed a glance at Vijay who was sitting with his box of just seven colors. Everyone knew Vijay could not afford a complete crayon set. However, Aditya always liked his box better and always felt his own box contained too many crayons. Vijay's box was simple and a lot more lucid to paint with, as compared to his mega crayon box of 75 assorted crayons, that everyone in his class envied.

On the teachers table at the far end of the room, there was a vase with a dozen roses. It was the teacher's birthday. How happy she would be if he painted the exact same bunch of flowers on his drawing book. Aditya imagined the blush on her face. Roses, it was.  Easy to paint.
Fifteen minutes later, when everyone handed in their drawing books, Mrs Verma was taken aback. No matter how much she knew, Aditya's paintings would always get her flustered.
There, on Aditya's drawing page was a vase of perfectly sketched roses, the only flaw being they were all painted black. Below in neat calligraphic font, was written 'Happy Birthday Ashweta Miss' within a small black heart.

Aditya saw the world in black and white. Sometimes he would see the world in shades...of gray. Born with total color blindness, he could not differentiate one hue from another. His first painting in Arts class had blue trees, a yellow sky and red mountains. All the students had laughed their heads off. Mrs Ashweta Varma was the only one who had realised that this was not an over imaginative mind at work but an evil destiny at play. She had spoken with Aditya's parents and had her doubt confirmed. Brushing a tear off her cheek, she had preserved that first painting in her locker---the first carefree attempt of the world through Aditya's eyes. She knew that with time, society would make him feel ashamed for a vision he was not even responsible for. But that was how the world was, it had no insight into a persons humiliation.

Today, as Mrs Varma saw the roses Aditya had painted, she felt a twinge of sadness. She looked at Aditya, into his deep blue eyes, at his innocent anticipating face and smiled.
"Thankyou Aditya, this is the best birthday gift anyone could ever have given me," she said wistfully, as she hugged the little boy in a tight embrace.
Then carefully dodging the paper from the strained attempts of all the other students to see it, she folded the piece of paper and placed it in her hand bag, to add to her repository of cherished memories.

"The sun is yellow,
the sky is blue,
the trees green,
the mountains brown,
roses red, " Aditya mumbled as he went back to his desk.

The seventy five different hues in his color box would change shades every now and then.
However, what would always remain was a little bit of longing in those deep blue eyes...a longing to see the world in more than just those different shades of grey.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

This post has been picked by BlogAdda as a WOW post for the weekend.


kalpana solsi said...

Destiny has played a cruel joke on the little boys's life bereft of colours in his eyes but his mind is colourful. Alas! can everyone feel it?

WritingsForLife said...

Yes, I am so familiar with that longing.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

But in real, it IS a shade of grey, is it not? :)

Nice post!

Blasphemous Aesthete

Richa said...

an awesome story!

Pri said...

@ Kalpana
Yes. Doesn't it just want you to hate Madame Destiny at times, for being so stupid?!!

Pri said...

@ I Romanticize
Makes me want to quote something I read the other day on some random fb event page.
It said and I quote,
"We are all in the same game, just different levels...
Dealing with the same hell, just different devils..." :)

Pri said...

@ BA
Yes, it is---at a deeper level, life is indeed a murky shade of grey, unsettling the calmest of minds from time to time.
But I guess the superficiality of the splay of colors around help a little in pacifying the eye.

Pri said...

@ Richa
A story it is, but not too short from the truth of a thousand unknown lives

Thanks for visiting my 'Nostalgic Moments' :)