City Love by Anshu

This was just the start of summer. The sun was, as usual, so beautiful, and its warmth was motivating everyone to move ahead with their day’s plan, but Uday was still asleep. It was already 11:00 am. Uday had no clue about the time and was not even eager to wake up, but a call pushed him to wake up.

‘Hi Uday, how is your vacation going on? Have you been to some holiday destination, or just wasting the time here in the city only?’ Uday’s friend asked.

Uday yawned and said, ‘It’s absolutely going great. I just woke up, dear. No tourist destination. I am spending my aloof time with myself. But yes, I am working on my dream work, about which I will let you know once I am back at work.’

‘It’s good that you are investing your vacation on your dream work. By the way, I called to let you know that an unknown artist is in the city who cleans the dirty place in the midnight and makes a great painting over there so that in future people will not spoil that place again. This way he is spreading his thought of “Art to clean”. Times of India published a big article on this unknown guy. Even our boss is searching for this person, as he wants to start a campaign “sparkle the city”’, Uday’s friend said.

Uday almost jumped off the bed as he heard about the news and hung up the phone saying, ‘I will check the newspaper and will call you back.’

Uday ran to the door and picked up the news paper. His eyes started searching for the news. There was a big article showing almost all the pictures painted by the unknown painter.

‘Not a bad job, Mr Uday. Your work is titled as – An Unknown painter – Beautifying the City. But wait, all these pictures are not mine. Only some of the pictures are mine, so who else is following suit?’

Suddenly he remembered his art college and his best friend Anya, who used to say, ‘Where ever I will go, I will leave signs using my paintings.’ She used to say, ‘Sometimes I feel that in this city, I do not like the places which are dirty. If I had time I would clean the places and paint them so that in future no one will spoil the place to maintain the beauty.’

‘Oh Anya, I loved you so much, I was never able to express my feelings. I am getting a strong vibe that this other unknown painter in the city is you. Maybe the other one is not you, but I accept that I am painting this city to remember you every day, to feel the love for you every day.’

‘You know, Anya, in last five years, I have been too engrossed in my job, and I forgot you and the real art. When I reached the peak of my career, I felt that in my profession, I have never been a soulful painter, but I have always been the harsh professional, who can even ignore the real art to get the right money. After reaching the peak, I was unable to find my grounds, but in the name of art, I always remember you. I always think that if I had expressed my feelings, I might have been a different person today, but I don’t know where you are. I tried to find you everywhere. Finally, I decided to make your dream, my dream. For that, I took one month leave and did a complete planning to make the dream come true. One city, thirty days in hand, five days to point twenty five places in the city, twenty five days to make twenty five places clean and beautiful through painting, twenty days already invested. I don’t know how well I am doing , but I feel great about it, and this article in times of India somewhere hints me that you are just near me.’

‘I have ten more days to paint the city, and I hope that one of these days we will meet somewhere and we will paint it together. Anyway, from now I will paint in the night, and at evening, I will explore your paintings and make a gallery of our paintings.’

Every evening, Uday explored the paintings painted by other unknown painter, and at night he used to do paintings on the city walls in the hope that she would meet him soon.

Nine days went by, but he was only able to find her paintings and not her, and there was time constrain, too, as he had to achieve his target. For the last day, he purposefully targeted a place near a playground where Anya used to play in her childhood: her favourite place.

It was 10 pm. The road was almost silent. No one was around there to disturb him, but still he was waiting for someone without any appointment. This night was the last night for his hope, as tomorrow he had to join the office, and after that he had to go international to cover the best art work of the world. Maybe after this night, he would not be able to come to this city for next two years.

He all set his area for painting after cleaning the place, and made an art piece, which he used to make with Anya at their art college. He made his art piece the whole night in the hope that she would come and complete her portion, but it was already 3 am and there was no sign of her. His hope ended, but in the hope that someday destiny would help to complete it, he left the place for his new life after his penance work for art.

Uday didn’t slept for rest of the night; he was just imaging his painting completed by Anya’s painting’s other part. This was 6 am. With a cup of coffee, he was packing all his stuff, which was companion for him for last thirty days, but there was something missing. It was Anya’s sketch on a tissue paper that he made when they went to visit city art museum at college time during college. It was so precious for him because that was the only souvenir he had of Anya.

‘It must have been left last night at that place,’ Uday said to himself and rushed for the place.

‘Thank God! It is here,’ Uday said happily.

Suddenly that tissue paper dropped from his hand and he was about to fall. ‘Oh my god, it’s a complete painting now.’

Someone held him from behind, and the touch was the same. The most delicate and the artistic hands were holding him.

He turned around and hugged her and said, ‘I love you Anya! I and this painting have waited for you so many years.’

In return Anya said, ‘I love you too, Uday. We both were on the parallel path, but destiny chooses this way to bring us together.’

‘So finally, this breezing morning have found out city’s unknown artists who are beautifying the city with their art.’ Suddenly a reporter came there and started reporting about Uday and Anya’s work and their final accomplishment.

Uday said to Anya, ‘I think I have decided, I have one last urgent work to do.’

It was an e-mail.

From: Uday Roy

To: Mr Ashwin Malhotra

Subject line: Want to work for City and My love

Dear Ashwin,

I would not be able to continue for the new project. As I had commitment with you regarding this one, at the max I can handle the research work from here. If you allow me also I would love to work in your new campaign ‘Sparkling City’ because I cannot find the life and art without this city and my love.

Thanks

Uday Roy

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