Talespin Children

A bright beginning…

Illustration: K.G. Rangarajan  

There was a problem in the house. Everyone was angry. And sad. And hyper excited.

It had been a terrible year. Mom hadn’t been to office in nine months. Dad had started “attending” office through his computer, but it wasn’t the same. He sat before the screen talking to various people who, of course, couldn’t see that below his shirt and tie, he wore only shorts. Asha missed her school and friends.

It was the year of the pandemic. You had to wear a mask when you went out. You had to wash your hands every now and then. You couldn’t shake hands. Coughing and sneezing were looked upon as a sin. Everyone hoped the next year would be better.

Young Deepak had always been hyperactive. He couldn’t sit still for long. They said it was a condition of his brain. His mind ran in different directions. His feet wanted to go to one place, his hands went somewhere else. Dad, Mom and Asha remained with him as much as they could, trying to make him comfortable.

One day, they got him a large white canvas and some paints and showed him how nice it was to make colourful shapes on the white surface. Deepak stared at it for some time, then turned away. The canvas and paints lay in his room, untouched.

Mom said, “Hope next year’s better. I can’t wait for things to be nice and normal again.” She sat down to rest, being very tired, after having finished cooking, cleaning up, and running after Deepak.

Stroke of curiosity

A little later, Deepak found the others absorbed in their own things. Mom was reading, Dad was watching TV, and Asha was on the phone with a friend. No one seemed interested in him. He popped over to his room and saw the canvas and tubes of paint. He placed the canvas on the easel and opened all the tubes. He took out the brush. A bright colour interested him. He dipped his brush in it and applied a splash on the bright white canvas. The bold crimson stroke excited him. “Let’s see the other colours,” he told himself.

When his parents and Asha came looking for him, there he was before the canvas. It was no longer white. They stood staring at the painting.

It was one of the most beautiful things they’d seen. It wasn’t a picture of people or animals, trees or flowers. It was just splashes and whorls of bright colours that seemed to have come alive, dancing and flowing and laughing.

“Beautiful!” said Asha. “Deepak, this is magic!”

“You turned out to be such a wonderful artist!” grinned Dad.

Mom’s eyes filled with happy tears. “The sad year is over,” she said. “This New Year will be filled with colour and joy!”

Deepak smiled at them, holding his brush. He was ready for his next canvas.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 7:07:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/a-bright-beginning/article33452720.ece

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