Chasing Art, Chasing Life

Posted: July 24, 2015 in Blog Posts, Short Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The creamy orange color of the setting sun dived and danced gracefully in front of my eyes as I gazed upwards at the blue sky to see a huge flock of smooth-feathered birds, quacking and trying to maintain a straight formation. I observed them very carefully. Migrating to their new homes without even saying good bye to their previous ones, we aren’t like this.  We spend half of our lives living in a same place and ending up dying there. They, they change time to time. Actually, they have to.


I glanced at my watch. It was time to go home. I had finished my today’s piece of art and it looked good, not realistic but still, I liked it. The painting on the canvas was both attractive and beautiful, which meant that my work for today was done.

I picked up the painting and handed it off to an inquisitive visitor nearby, and then I headed back to a tiny, wooden shack which I used to call my home.

To be honest, my life was good. I wasn’t rich, neither I had a loving family still, I was living happily. My job was to fill colors in faded and dull canvases as this was my passion. Being an artist was my choice but it wasn’t like this a couple of years ago.

“Daddy! I want to be an artist. I want to work as an artist. Not as a doctor or an engineer working his whole day off only to earn a couple of bucks and not enjoying his life! This isn’t me, Papa! This isn’t me!” I cried.

“But you have to become a civil engineer. You have to!” Papa suddenly shouted at me.

My whole body shook. I and Papa haven’t had a fight like this in my entire life. I became silent and innocently looked down.

Seeing me like this, Daddy stopped for a moment, kept his tone down and continued.

“Look Ethan! Both I and your Mom want you to be an engineer because we want you to live happily and don’t get financial problems, upgrade your life, earn huge amounts of money because, money’s the only thing you need to have if you want a good life.” He said calmly, like advising me.

I knew what Papa meant to say, was true at some limits but I wasn’t going to give up my dreams and my passion of art at that point. I was going to fight for it. Fight hard. So I said,

“Pa! I know that you want a better and a bright future for me but look, I don’t want to do this. This isn’t me!” I begged.

“But, see the whole society doesn’t accept this passion of yours. I, Vivian has a son who is an artist! The whole world doesn’t accept that, Ethan! Why don’t you understand? Our circle of relatives and friends are rich and on great posts and you, you are an artist! A poor, philosopher of art! This is absurd!” He started to become real angry with me.

“I understand! But I don’t care Pa. I don’t care what everyone says and what your thoughts are about this innocent passion of mine! I am not going to become an engineer. I am going to be an artist!” I bawled and walked away.

I did ask him to forgive me a few days later and luckily, he did! And even more fortunately, he advised me to stick to my passions and dreams and never care of what the society thinks.

It was kind of different to hear him utter such words. He was a completely changed man already. But I still could sense that something was about to give way and sadly, no sooner; it did!

And so, that was the last time I ever fought with Pa before he passed away, leaving me alone in this cruelest world!


Beep! Beep!

The alarm clock sitting on the side-table of my creaky, wooden bed suddenly started to pout his aggression on me. I knew what it meant. It meant that it was morning and now it was time to go for another session of art-practice, preaching and selling.


“Mr. Ethan! Don’t you realize that you are now bankrupt and also you have to payback a ton of loan you took, to pay your yearly expenditures? Your account has been ceased and because of you not giving your rentals, your home has also been taken away inclusive of all your things in it.


Mr. Ethan! Your life is wrecked. As a friend, my advice would be that you should start doing a small business with the money you have in-hand and also borrow some from your friends and family. Give up all this “art-preaching.” It’d be good for you.” James, the bank manager said to me in a tone which suggested that he was trying his best to make me realize that the dream I was chasing, is going to stop at a dead-end; miserably wrong!

I was shocked. I didn’t expect it. Pa was right, now I realized it but still, the ignited love with my art and my passion hadn’t still been put out so I just silently, cut the line.


“Hey Fred! Have you heard about that lunatic? What was his name? Ah! Ethan! Who silently sits at the corner of the street making paintings and giving it away to people for free?” Graeme asked Fred.

“Yeah! I know him. He’s such a mess. Wearing rag-clothes and he has such a pitiful look. He’s insane, man!” Fred replied making a weird face, like he had seen something very weird.


They all have this habit of staring at me, giving me pitiful looks like I’m a beggar. Well, I am a beggar, a beggar of art, a beggar of love. I know I’m poor, living off on pavements is my routine but still, I don’t care what people think, you know what?

“You Can’t Amuse Everyone!”

Can you?

Zain Khan For Beyond Sanity Publishing


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