He was a soldier at heart. The first stroke of his maiden abstract painting was derived from the confluence of three triggers of exceptionally emotional expressions. The first was in the fact that an endearing wife (read life) had persevered upon his justified reluctance, to try his hand at painting ‘something – anything’ on a canvas. Being color blind and never having crossed the C-grade in drawing at school meant that he was as far away from art as thought could imagine. Hence the perseverance felt like a, lovingly romantic, caring and deeply touching thought! The second was an S-like curve stroke portraying the side profile of the father of his nation, which he had been fond of since childhood and grown up with while associating it with values of simplicity, faith, love, commitment, truth, integrity and sacrifice. The last was the color blue that happened to be his most preferred (read favorite) color, but without him ever having any clue - why! Perhaps he identified himself with the blue that spread its calm magnificence and grace across the skies and reflected equally gloriously across the vast oceans of the earth.
As he looked at his first S-like stroke of blue, the hugeness of this first abstract step brought a melancholic pause of disbelief in his thoughts. A solemn tranquil pause devoured in nostalgia. Involuntarily, his hand continued following the instructions of his paused thought, picking up the same color blue from the palette and stroking the same S-like strokes repeatedly, but in parallel, until the white space on the canvas permitted. It was only when the canvas ran out of vertical space for any more of those S-strokes that his mind woke up to consciously gathering itself to reality. When he looked at those parallel S-like blue strokes, it seemed to him as if the canvas now represented his life as well as that of his countrymen and his nation – an ideal serene life of the trio – an illusion of sorts, perhaps. It seemed as if the S-like strokes were waves of positive, energetic, calm, soothing emotions bathed in richly progressive influences, in the existence of these three entities. Like that of an ocean, or a sky or simply that of happy souls at peace and harmony. Was this an abstract illusion of an ideal life?
As he prodded and pushed his thoughts forward through reality, a mild disturbance interrupted itself onto the canvas, without permission – just like that – almost out of nowhere. His hands moved again, this time a bit more hesitatingly, like an unsure evil creeping in silently, wickedly, selfishly on to the canvas, disturbing his peace, as well as that of the rest of his countrymen and their nation. The unexpected change clawed quietly into menacing, cancerous proportions. The waves of blue idealism now had red’s (read strokes of red) of revenge, violence and bloodshed – disturbing the trio’s harmony of tranquil progression, intermittently, but painfully consistently. An enemy whose armory had powerful thought weapons of greed, deceit, betrayal, hatred, and corruption of values. An enemy with an evil heart – exceptional cowards, trained in the evil art of fostering negativity in spaces on the canvas. Like talented artists who had failed in painting their own canvases with colors of love and harmony and who now thought or cared little, while pouring colors dirtied in mud and blood onto gullible, charming, unsuspecting learners and admirers. The dark red evil was completely in contrast to the idealism that he had imagined, or like that his countrymen had aspired or that his nation had envisioned.
Change has the power to fracture your soul, sometimes irreparably. Did he, they and their nation deserve this? Of course not! Did he, they and their nation procrastinate, do nothing to resist and silently suffer their pain? Of course not! The red in the evil was enough for everyone to see red and declare a red alert. He soon covered the canvas of life with strokes of upright resistances, valiantly fighting the negative influences, energetically. Many of the resistances were initially reactive, until pain grew intolerably painful for him, his fellow countrymen and their nation to build up a strong proactive resistance. Seeking to search and destroy the enemy within, as well as the enemy without. Eliminate the enemy seen, as well as the enemy hiding within the abstract. Soon enough, the canvas was littered all over with signs of battle, of victory and defeats, color after color, stroke after stroke, street after street, battle after battle, space after space, time and again.
Everything in life has a price – some find the wealth of bliss within to affordably bear it with the ease of ignorance, while others bear the burden of repayment of these evil monthly installments, for as long as they live, until death brings them an unkind freedom. And there are those who get hurt, deeply hurt, suffer bruises and fractures from their repeated falls into deeper pits in tears, pain and suffering, and yet find themselves rising up and above again and again to breathe, to survive spiritedly, unshakably refusing to give up on their values, conviction and their abstract illusion of an ideal life. He, they and their nation were of third kind, belonging to the third world. They all soon discovered that they had together succeeded in significantly weakening and pushing the enemy with an array of brush strokes from the west coast, right across until the east coast, top to bottom. Eventually, the battles were all won, and the enemy forced to surrender the wars, grudgingly. The price of victory that the enemy extracted in its surrender was in the form of an evil pound of sympathetic existence, clinging and occupying a prickly, unstable country-like dark-green corner space in the neighborhood. The life canvas remained littered with its history of stray strands of red, orange, green and many other colors all across, etched insignificantly yet permanently. Serving as a reminder to him, his countrymen and their nation of the sacrifices paid in their conquest for an ideal abstract story!