The novice journalist carefully scanned the list of questions he had scribbled in his tiny notebook. He wanted to start with the safest one. It was his first interview, and the subject was sensitive.
What inspired you to become a painter?
The colours and the stories they tell, the colours and the beauty they create.
Do you miss the colours?
I did, initially. Not anymore. As you can see, I have befriended them again.
Oh of course, and how beautifully! But sir, you know, your fans have always wanted to ask you…
How do I differentiate? I paint with organic colours. I make them at home, with vegetable extracts. Every colour can be found in nature. And every colour has a unique scent. I recognise them by their scents.
That’s incredible! So, you always wanted to be a painter?
But you always wanted to be an artist?
No, not really.
So, when did you decide to paint?
About three and a half years ago.
No, I mean before this incident happened.
Do you recall any of my paintings before the accident?
No, but you know, not every artist rises to fame. As in, not every ordinary artist…
Aah, I know what you mean! But I promise, the next time you come, you’ll interview me for my paintings.
Oh, no that’s not what I meant. They are all incredible…
They are incredible, because they are made by a blind man.
Sir, I am sorry, if I’ve hurt you. I didn’t mean to.
Don’t be. I am proud to be blind. This is the only reason for my success. But not in the way you think. I gained focus only when I lost sight. My Dad’s a rich man, and I’ve lived my whole life as a rich man’s son. I never tried too hard to get anything because I never had to. I never did well in studies, or sports. I’ve repeated mistakes, been in wrong company, disrespected people, ignored my parents, and broken hearts.
But, when I hit the truck that drunken night, I lost everything. My friends, my idea of fun and life, my confidence.
In the beginning I wanted to kill myself. But even that is not easy for a blind man. I was left alone, and with no choice but to listen to the sounds around me. Gradually, I started enjoying them, especially the ones that came from the garden. I could feel the beauty of flora in them. Something I had never felt before. The greens and the blues, the flowers and the hues.
Tired of sitting idle and living on sympathy, I decided to create the world I wanted to see. I decided to stop missing the colours. And you know what the best part was? No one laughed when I asked for a paint brush! They may have smiled, though.
Hey, you wanna see my first painting?
Yeah, yeah sure, sir!
There’s a blue file on the window sill behind you. It’s in that file.
And you can laugh on it now, now that life’s smiling again!
The reporter shifted the painting in his hand, to avoid blotting it with the salty drops running through his eyes.