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It was a winter evening and Adhi was taking a stroll in the beach. The beach is so happening at this time of the year and there were lot of tourists. He walked to the water and stood there for sometime watching it. He was trying to escape from so many things but dont know what had captured him in his mind. A beautiful foreign couple are playing in the water writing their names together in sand and wait for the water to wash it. Adhi cant stop smiling seeing that. They come up to him and ask him to take a photo. He obliged happily.

It was time to start home and when he reach the road found a old man fighting with a person in low voice.

“I can pay what you ask. But do you think this deserves it?” he was saying.

The other person was saying something. Adhi walked up to him.

The person was having a caricature in his hand which more or less resembled him. But he was not giving money to the artist. Adhi stepped in and the caricaturist started siphoning.

“Sir! This old man doesnt understand the difference between the caricature and the portrait sir. I spend twenty minutes and he is not giving me money”

“But I asked for a portrait” the old man sounded cheated.

Adhi was bored that evening and had nothing better to do and asked the old man to sit and took the pencil from the hands of artist. In fifteen minutes the old man and the beach scene was recreated in the whitepaper.

The old man was too happy. He paid money to Adhi and he gave it to the artist. The old man and Adhi started walking together.

“Son! You draw so well”

“Thanks! I used to practice when I was a kid. I stopped now”

“So what do you do?”

“I work for an IT company.”

“My daughter too” he said and after a brief pause “They had sent her to Ireland for onsite. Do you get such opportunities too?”

“Yeah I do”

“Its glad to know that people like to develop such skills. Art is a great stress buster. My daughter only studied. Tell me son, Can anyone force someone to learn a hobby?”

“That would be disastrous” Adhi said.

“I am sure you have lot of canvases and things like that in your place” The old man had something or other to talk about.

“No, As I said. It was a childhood hobby. And that is all”

“No you draw so well”

“So it appears”

“No! You are gifted”

At this point of time Adhi got frustrated. From childhood this was the case. Whenever he drew something everybody in the family and school liked it and he was given the chalk for every function to draw things on board. He was not even asked when the school participated in some competition. His name would be there in drawing or painting section.

After some point of time there was comparison between his mom, who draws well too. The analogy of the fish and water comes in. Then he was not able to draw what he wanted to draw. There was also corrections that made the drawings entirely different from what he wanted to draw. As the days progressed, he  totally lost it. He didnt want to lose the cool with the old man but.

“May be! But may be not. It was just beginners luck”

“So this was your first drawing?”

“I am not saying like that. We practice something for a while, then it becomes too arduous that what we once enjoyed doing becomes a task. That is what it is”

“So it is just a non creative limbo?”

“Do you always ask these many questions?”

“No son. Its easy to stop doing something that comes easily for you. But for a man like me who can barely draw a straight line you look like a super man. But look at you, you are easily undermining your talent and are not working to improve it”

“Well! Its my choice”

“True its your choice. But when you are gifted with two hands and if you are using only one what would people call you?”

Adhi knew where the old man was arriving at. He kept quiet.

“Art is a beautiful thing. Not everybody is blessed with that my boy. I am not saying you must quit your job and get this thing as your profession. Though I am very sure you will make it big in it. But take some time to hone your skills. May be this can inspire somebody to take their blessing seriously”

“You are too much. I just filled a white paper with your face and you  think I can make a living out of pencils and papers”

“Its not about the picture dear. Its about how you enjoyed doing it. I saw your face when you do it. You were in a different world. You didnt do it for money or to impress me. You did it because you enjoyed it and there my dear son, art manifests.”

“You talk well” The both say on the wall buying a cup of tea from cycle vendor.

“My daughter sent an email today. February first is the first day of spring in Ireland it seems. The fallen leaves go away and give way to new leaves to come out in the branches. Whatever looked faded till then will now be very clear. Beautiful right?”

“Yes” Adhi said and made a mental note to buy some pencils while going home.

Here is the sequel