Just giggles

When Varsha told me that she wanted me to make a glass painting for her, I began to wonder what had gotten into my colleagues. “Did all that work mess with their ability to think? First it was Crisenta asking me to paint for a price and now it was Varsha. Why do these people want to waste their money on a half baked artist like me?”,  I thought and simply laughed. ” I’m serious, dude. Paint for me”, she said. I didn’t see why I should say no.
Varsha wanted me to paint a beer mug for her sister’s birthday. Given that her parents were annoying her sister about marriage, Varsha needed the painting to be one that would remind her sister of the awesome life she was having being single. Now that’s what I call a sister! But Varsha had no intention of employing my creativity. She laid it all out very clearly to me. “I need you to draw a really hot guy with a beer mug in his hand”, she said. So I began looking for a beer mug. Not one shop in the whole of Indiranagar and Tippasandra had the sort of beer mug I was looking for.

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A few days later, Semper told me he had seen some nice beer mugs in a shop on 100 feet road. Varsha and I went there, that very day during lunch hour. We couldn’t find any beer mug that conformed to our requirement. But we found something else. It was a jug. A plain, simple one that was worth the money. We bought it right away.

Meanwhile I had the draft image of our hot guy ready.  At home, upon seeing the draft I had left on my table, my mom began worrying as to what was going on with her unmarried daughter. My brother hated the very sight of the picture I had drawn since it made him feel awkward. When I showed it to the girls in office, there were giggles all over.
The time had come to finally immortalise it on glass.

That night I painted the image on the glass with much caution. My fingers had still not stopped trembling. Once I was done, I forgot all about the painting and slept.

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Next morning, my brother gave me a dirty look and said, ” You are not painting anymore.” My mom commented,” why does this guy have six packs all throughout his body?”
“Six packs are fine. Why does he have such big boobs?  Ask her to take that away from me!”, my brother cried. Every male friend of mine who saw the painting had just one thing to tell me – ” That’s a little too graphic. You didn’t need to go into so much detail.”
I simply laughed my heart out. When men draw and photograph skimpily clad women, they don’t pay any attention to the unreasonably high standards they set for a woman’s looks. But when women show the slightest signs of being picky, they get quite intimidated. And I was witnessing it first hand. Oh! The look on all their faces! Worth a million bucks!
Anyway, at the end of it, Varsha and her sister loved the gift. And I felt good.

Just memoirs

My brother and I were blessed enough as kids to be taken care of by our grandparents when our parents were not around. With Mom working, we always went running to our grandmother for lunch. My brother, being the picky perfectionist that he is when it comes to food, developed his sinful tastes early in life because of our grandmother. The woman did have magic in her hands. And as for me, I just needed an excuse to have her feed me. Yes, I have always loved being pampered and that has not changed much over the years. “My hands are dirty”, I’d say. And when that ceased to work anymore, I came up with a more innovative excuse – ” I worked in the lab today and the chemicals won’t wear off with one wash.” She knew I was lying. Yet she’d feed me. She was our second mother. So every time her old age reinforces her unreasonableness upon people, we would defend her knowingly or not.

The last time I was about to visit my home town, I told my mum very clearly that I didn’t want to go to any temple, that I just wanted to spend time with my grandparents that weekend. That I didn’t want the little time I had with them to be disturbed whatsoever. For which my mom commented rather sarcastically, ” Please, you are not expected to come anywhere. Let me do my work peacefully and you can sit all day showering your love upon them.”

I didn’t really shower my love upon them. But I was there, talking to my grand dad, reading a book as my grandmum watched her wretched TV serial. And then when the Bangalore high Court finally ruled the thenTamilnadu CM Jayalalitha guilty and sentenced her to imprisonment in the disproportionate assets case, I began painting on a frame. Nobody would believe that an adult painted that one. Three faces, each denoting me and my grandparents, was all that it was. Everyone thought it was childish. It was drawn by a child after all.

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But my granddad came up with an interesting perception of what I had painted. ” The eyes are so prominent in this painting of yours. It could ward off evil forces”, he said. I still don’t know if I must laugh or cry to that one.

One for my manager

For my birthday this year, my ex-manager gifted me a tiny, cute bottle of DKNY. I absolutely loved the fragrance and my manager after that. Not that I didn’t like her earlier. I always thought she was reliable, strong and considerate. I’ve always had immense respect for her as someone who made it to the top through merit and dedication. But, God, she talks a lot. A lot more than me. A lot like a child. Yes, a child she is. As hilarious and unpredictable as a brat. But on receiving her gift with a hug and a kiss, I knew for a fact that she was also highly adorable. And this in turn put me in a dilemma.

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Her birthday was the day after mine. I had no clue what I could give her, that would be as good as her gift and yet as special. “Make her a painting like the one you made for Semper.” Crisenta is very useful at times and this was one such occasion. I decided to go ahead with that idea because no gift that I would buy could be as personal as something that I would paint. After all, I do spend hours together for each painting of mine.
That evening, I couldn’t go out for dinner with friends after work. Buses and autos were submerged under water across the city. Since I had conveniently left my bike at home, I had to depend on public transport to get home. But Bangalore didn’t let me down. I still got an auto to drop me home. By the time I reached home, it was 9:00 and yet I couldn’t stop on my way to buy a frame. Thanks to the rain and Bangalore traffic. After reaching home, I rushed to fetch my bike keys and went out in the rain again to buy the frame. Luckily, there was a frame shop in my area that likes to sell at exorbitant prices. However, I didn’t mind that since the quality seemed good and it was meant to be a gift.
After gorging on all the birthday delicacies prepared by my mom, I sat down with my paints and the frame. And guess what? I was still being a kid. “What comic character best describes Florence?” , I thought. And I knew the answer. Google, my trusted aide, displayed a wide variety of search results for me to choose from. I picked one and went ahead with it. By 3 a.m. I was all done. Just then I realised how apt it was to call Florence, Cat-woman. I mean, the woman is actually hot, bold, doesn’t-give-a-damn, just like the fictional character. I was happy with the way it turned out.

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At office the next day, Florence loved it. She told me Cat-woman was actually her favourite fictional character. I was only reminded of Jack Sparrow – I swear I didn’t plan it that way. But, yes I did warn Crisenta against feeling jealous since this one had turned out better. But like Murphy’s law puts it, she did go green.

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The first sell.

Three weeks after my first glass art, I had three different painted Nutella jars to display in my showcase. On a Monday morning,  right after my third painting, my colleagues and I were discussing our weekend stories. I told them that I had just taken to a new hobby and showed them the images of my babies on my phone. One of my colleagues, the sweetest, incorrigibly childlike,  yet the most kick-ass of them all, the lovely Ms.Crisenta saw the images and liked what I had painted. I honestly do not know what devil got into her head, but the next thing she said was, ” Why don’t you paint something for my fiance’s birthday? He already knows what I’d be gifting him. This would be a nice surprise.” I just didn’t know what to say to that. But considering all niceties of social life, I simply said, “Okay……”, my voice dragging with bewilderment in the eyes and that half baked smile on my lips. “I’ll pay you. Just tell me the price.”, she said. No, that didn’t help. I knew Crisenta and her fiance well enough to gift them a painting. I didn’t want to be paid for it. I told her that. But she insisted that it must be her gift to him. And my other colleagues also insisted that I must not say no. So, I took it up. I told her I shall tell her the price once am done, since she wanted me to paint on a frame.

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A day before her fiancé’s birthday, I bought a frame from Sapna Book house for 200 bucks on my way home from office. I had still not decided what I wanted to paint. All I knew was that it ought to have some sort of relevance to them. By the time I reached home, all I had in mind was Superman. Do not ask me why. My juvenile brain could not come up with anything better. There, I said it.

After finishing up dinner, I took the laptop and Googled images of Superman. Semper, Cris’ fiance made these super delicious sandwiches for her to have during the evening tea break. He’d generously apply peanut butter and Nutella together between the slices of bread that were toasted in oil. Every bite was indulgence. Every bite was a sin. Of course I know that very well because it was I and a few other girls who would do the honour of finishing those sandwiches. Actually it was mostly me.

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It was 11 in the night when I finished drawing Superman. I was yet to draw it onto the frame when I realised I couldn’t just draw Semper all alone. Cris had to be in it. The only girl I have seen wear a bandana to office, I knew how I wanted Cris in the painting. But then, given my ‘minimal skills’ and being hard pressed for time, I decided to not pay too much attention to Cris.

Thanks to my shaky hands, I could only be done with the painting by 2:30 a.m. The painting came out decently. Next day when Cris saw the gift for her beloved, she found it adorable. Look down for the painting.

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