• Sanjana Tripathi

The spilled wine stain

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Samar was the most lonely person in his own art exhibition, today. The organizing team had left no stones un-turned to transform the ancient edifice into a magnificent castle. The hall was built in the suburbs of the city and housed some of the finest paintings and art pieces from the British era. The influence of British architecture could be seen in each nook and corner of the baroque structure. Today, the exhibition hall was adorned just in tone with the persona of the artist it was celebrating – Samar. The pastel walls filled the hall with a refreshing, warm vibe while the elegance of the marble floor redefined elegance. The ornate resplendent chandeliers hanging royally from the ivory ceiling spoke of the grandeur associated with the decades old exhibition hall.

Otherwise deserted, the building was hosting the majestic work of one of the most renowned artists of the country. Samar had arrived in his personalized Porsche Carrera GT, wearing his signature black tuxedo by Armani and black leather Prada shoes. Samar could do away with anything but style and his life was a testimony to it. Samar was an artist. Colours were his first love and brushes his submissive. Past five years, had been nothing but a fairy tale for Samar on the professional front. In the present day, Samar was the owner of an exquisite 7-bedroom bungalow, 5 art galleries across the city, a fleet of sports and luxury cars, a brand of his own and a revered name in the country.

He came to the city a decade back in the hope to find his foot and his most astounding inspiration. Little did he know, that fate had his inspiration hidden in the love of his life. And he met them both, at an art exhibition, where he accidentally spilled wine on her. Clumsy Samar was very embarrassed by the gaffe, he wanted to reach out and offer a napkin and apologise but her perfectly winged dreamy hazel eyes had him in that moment. Samar could not stop staring at her until someone shook him out of his dreamy land.

In those eyes, Samar had found his long sought inspiration. He mustered all his courage, straightened his skinny tie, gave his messed up ruffled hair a try, checked out his reflection in the silverware and darted out to find the “wine girl” he had lost in the crowd. He found her lost into the horizon painted by a famous artist – his favourite, and her too. The mutual admiration for the late artist, managed to strike a conversation between the two. And subsequently a chemistry crackled. Ayesha was an artist too. A painter. Winner of the “Most Promising Artist of the Year” award. She was on the cover of quite a few magazines recently.

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Ayesha, the artist, was sublime. Her art works were nothing but divine. Her bold, dexterous strokes weaved colours on canvas like magic. She spoke the language of colors. Her spidery long, sleek fingers were a paint brush’s best friend. And Ayesha, the person, was a gem, a keeper. She was like that pack of Lays’- no one can eat just one. You could not just meet her once. If you have met her, rest assured you are going to be her fan for life. As dreamy as Ayesha’s art works, was her love story, gradually weaving it’s magic in her life. Before she could realize, she found herself completely bowled over by Samar’s charm. A year down the line, the two were happily married.

What ensued was a magnificent fairytale. They bought a beautiful bungalow.The house of Ayesha’s dreams. The ones you see in those interior decor magazines with glossy pages. Samar got his cars. The beasts he was in love. A fleet of sports car graced their garage. Away from the city hustle, right on the beach, surrounded by tall Palm trees, amidst the noise of the waves by the shore and chirping of the birds stood their mansion. Elegant and sophisticated, the perfect artist’s retreat. Ayesha went on to become one of the finest artists India had ever produced and Samar tasted his own sweet share of success. Samar was doing well but he wanted more. There was always something missing from his paintings, like the soul of the art had left in search of something, like the artwork itself was seeking something.

But fate had something else in store for them. Every sun has to set some time of the day. All was sailing smooth when a storm struck their lives. It came as a shock to everyone, when Ayesha suddenly succumbed to a heart attack. The nation mourned her death. Samar was distraught. Her untimely demise had overwhelmed him to the extremes of desolation. Once the life of all parties, a regular at get – togethers, was now a loner. He stopped socializing. For days and months, no one saw him get out of the house. Each cell of his body mourned her death.

A year went by. The agents were all around the place for an appointment with Samar. The deadlines were getting closer by the day. One fine day, Samar resolved to get his mess together and there was no stopping him. He launched one collection after another. All went on for a blockbuster sale. The talk of the nation. The artist of the decade. Like Ayesha had instilled her own soul in his paintings. The paintings were all alive. Vibrating with an unseen , rejuvenated fervour. He became a hot property in no time. Time had taken a turn in favour of Samar.

Today was one of the many exhibitions hosted in the honour of Samar’s art skills. However, his last two releases hadn’t quite left a mark. The paintings neither created the expected stir nor did they garner the usual appreciation and admiration. Looking at the art works, any novice could tell that the lifelessness, the emptiness which were a part of Samar’s initial works had crept back in. The soul that instilled life in those paintings went missing.

“He has lost his touch”, whispered Mr. Oberoi.

“What’s wrong with Samar? Has something taken him back into the past?”, asked another fan.

“Are you guys trying to resell Samar’s old works in his name?” The agent was being bombarded with questions similar, but many.

Samar stood in a corner with a glass of wine in his hand. The same wine he had spilled on Ayesha in their first meeting in the same hall. He was staring into the oblivion contemplating the reception of his art work over the years. Brooding over the events in the past few years, his conscious eyes had lost their sparkle. His subconscious constantly reminded him of his deep dark dirty secrets. How he had slow-poisoned and murdered his own wife, the love of his life for fame and fortune. It was Ayesha’s finesse, and incomplete art-works that he had exploited to his advantage after her death. Ayesha’s undying love for him had garnered everything he ever wished for, from the beyond. The subconscious eye could see he had sinned. Sinned without repentance, without penance. Now that he had run out of Ayesha’s art-works, his conscious eye could see the glitter of fame fading away. This was his penalty. Samar was the most lonely person in his own art exhibition, today.

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#art #deception #murder #shortstory #fame #love #story #wealth #thriller #life

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