After 10 years: Meeting an old friend
Posted by Dheeraj Kattula on May 27, 2010
I had a long break from painting, as I usually do. In between my paintings, my paints dry up or worse- get lost! I painted this after about a year. I came to Baripada for a day to meet my old friends at Graham Staines Memorial Hospital. On the day I was to leave, there was a cyclone waiting to strike the coastal India. I cancelled my tickets. I had some extra time to spend. I was reminded of last summer, when I spent few nights painting as I remained awake, helping nursing sisters monitor sick patients. I could not resist the idea of buying new set of water-colour paints, brushes, pallet and paper. I bought the stuff.
I had another reason to paint. I met my old school friend before coming to Baripada in Gurgaon. He and I were buddies.We lived in same neighborhood. We played together. We often traveled to school together. We both enjoyed art. We went to art competitions together. We shared our colors, even when we competed with each other. Our lives parted when we joined college. He took economics and I medicine. We met once in a while till he completed graduation. Then he moved to Gurgaon. This was about 10 years ago. I lost touch with him. He had no email ID, was not on Facebook or Orkut.
I found his brother on Facebook few months ago. Then I got their mobile numbers. I established links again. I had to go to Pilani this May to submit a thesis. On my way back to Delhi, I thought I would visit my old friend. I had another friend travelling with me. After alerting my old buddy over mobile, we landed in his house at 3.30 am. His brother was there working on his foreign assignment at that time! My buddy was to come any moment after his night job at a call center.
He came. We hugged. We ate Chicken kababs and bread for breakfast at 5.00 am. We enjoyed the day, chatting and reminiscing our past. We went to a mall and enjoyed a movie that evening. We also shopped. We ate stuff, that I could never choose to afford like food at KFC etc. As we prepared to leave my buddy was busy giving out stuff from his home. He gave clothes and accessories as gifts and was eager to give more. I could not beat his attitude at giving. All he said was ” God has given all these blessings. I am just sharing those blessings”. I noted he did not say I would get more if I give more. He said I give because God has given me more.
I must say I really enjoyed meeting him after 10 years. There is no way I can pay him back for the fun we had. I decided to give him something that he would value more than what money can buy-a work of art done by me. He should love it. He has not been pursuing art for many years too. A gift like that could inspire him to take up art in his free time. He was a terrific sketch artist in school days. I admired him as much as I was jealous of his originality and boldness in expressing himself in large black backgrounds. May be he would start that again.
This painting is made to be gifted to him. I have framed it now. It is quite nice in a frame. It would remind him of visit to his place for a long time. I also realized one more thing in my visit. You hardly need to impress an old friend. Old friends love you anyway. They only hope you did not change. My buddy did change…He became much better. He started believing in God. He loved more. He shared more. He is wonderful. May God bless him more.
A note on this painting:
Title: Old street
Medium: Water colors on Handmade paper
Size: 19 X 33 cm
Date: 23rd May 2010
Duration of Painting: About 6 hours
The whitish dots that appear on the darker areas of the painting are artifacts due to the use of flash. They do not appear in the real painting.