Today’s post is a bit too short to be called a story. Sorry 😦


In an unnamed metropolis, in an anonymous flat which came with noise and lack of privacy for no extra cost, there lived an artist. His precarious existence was the distilled essence of the precarious existences of a thousand artists since the dawn of Left-leaning literature: it consisted of occasional freelance work, patronizing remarks from non-artistic friends who had established themselves in government service, and a sense of the world’s injustice that was gradually giving way to a sense of personal failure.

But one day, as he sat at his desk (a gift from his parents) in his tiny, bare flat (rented, and fast becoming unaffordable), moodily contemplating his easel and his finances, he dozed off for a few minutes. On waking up, he remembered nothing of the dream he had just seen except for a certain hauntingly beautiful yet familiar face.

Because this is not a fairy-tale, the artist decidedly did not become so consumed by the thought of that Face that his days were a torment. But he did observe people a little more carefully in bookshops and train stations, in marketplaces and on buses, trying to get out of its snare.

But all this was to no avail. At last one day, tired out by his search for the non-existent, he lay down, sensing the onset of a sick headache, and was just thinking of reading The Telegraph for the eleventh time since morning, when he was interrupted by a ring at the door. He opened it to have a piece of paper and a request for “subscription” thrust at him by a religious-looking man.

The artist looked carefully down at the paper, which depicted a dark goddess with the most extraordinarily large and luminous eyes he had ever seen. With a shock he realized that his quest was over. And that is the (unofficial, unverified) story of how Mr.Jamini Roy was inspired to make use of the peculiar style that marked his celebrated career.

Note 1 : The above  is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to the famous Jamini Roy is purely coincidental.

Note 2: It would be cool if he *was* inspired this way, though…


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