Saturday, 8 June 2019

AR OS : Artistic Beginnings



"That will be seven thousand rupees Ma'am," he told her.  The man looked every inch a painter. His hair was long and to an extent, unkempt. His hands were covered in a mixture of blue and green paint, his current masterpiece being that of a beach. Well, it looked that way. One could never tell what an artist was working on. That was the beauty of art.

"Okay, here you go," she said, handing over the cash to the man and leaving the shop. One would fall short of words to describe her. Many a men tried but never succeeded. She was a challenge. She was someone who was always friendly but never the kind to go out. People believed she was cautious; she called it the type who did not experiment'.

He, like so many other men had been charmed by her. Her aura was infectious. She carried herself in perfect style. She was one you would call classy'. Armaan Mallik had never been affected by a woman as much as he was affected by her. He knew the effect he created on woman, but now, he had experienced it firsthand.



"Excuse me, can I have your number for further enquiries?" she asked him. Well, to be honest, Riddhima Gupta would have never walked into an art store even if she was held at gunpoint. Her experience in school with art was not one she liked. But she had been attracted into the shop by a man so charismatic that he managed to make her stare. Buying the painting wasn't as much of a deal for her, quoting a certain Ranbir Kapoor, "Paisa haat ka mael hota hai." It was true to a certain extent for her. What was the use of being a successful businesswoman if you couldn't earn the money it came with?

Armaan knew when a woman faltered. In his customer's case, it was subtle, but it was still there. Glad to know that even she was not immune to his charms, he gave her his number in the hope that she would call him back soon. She seemed like she will but only time will tell.

Riddhima called him way too quickly. She couldn't bring herself to follow the three day rule even after she saw the effects on the show she had religiously followed. Well, even a day would have been fine. Calling merely two hours after she left the shop was borderline desperate but the sorry part was, she didn't care.

He had been waiting. Armaan didn't like to play hard to get. Not to say he was an easy catch, he just didn't go out. His art was his love and anything that distracted him was not good. His customer had done just that. He received a call two hours later. Eagerly, he picked up the call since it was an unknown number. Turns out, it was his friend Atul who called him up

Busy. Of course Riddhima, you probably weren't the only customer. He'll probably call back by seeing the missed call,' she thought to herself.

There was a missed call. Normally, he wouldn't think twice and wouldn't call back but there was a tug at his heart telling him to call the person.

"Hello," the caller said on the other side of the phone. There was nothing special in his voice. He was, after all, no Arijit Singh. But, there was something that made it sound melodious.

"Hello Mr. Mallik. I was wondering if we could meet over coffee in an hour to discuss some more paintings for my company. My colleagues seemed to be very impressed with your artistic ability," she told him. The woman was fast of course. But she wasn't too fast. They seemed to be on equal ground here, according to him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Whoever said that probably saw the future of the great Riddhima Gupta. She couldn't believe she had asked him out. Way to go Riddhima. Way to scare him off,' she thought to herself.

"I want a portrait," she said, two hours later. Surprisingly, he was on time while she was late. He wasn't very particular about time and was usually late but this time, he was way too eager. "Mumbai and its unpredictable traffic," she sighed.

"So, who do you want this portrait to be based on?" he asked her. She was feeling confused about whether she should tell him the truth or actually get a portrait done. Deciding that the latter was more pleasing, she decided to go with it.

He drew her. Her features were gorgeous, no doubt. But he found it the toughest portrait yet. He was distracted every second minute by her hair or her nose or her lips or any other part of her face. She sat there for two hours but there seemed to be no sign of irritation on her face.

This was turning out to be fun. She liked the look of frustration on his face. Even the concentration was handsome. She was just glad she could stare at him freely without him getting suspicious. She had been far more daring than ever before. It was time to get back into rhythm.

He was done after three hours of sweat. The summer heat had done nothing to ease his mind. In fact, it added to the pressure. He wanted this one to be perfect. He wasn't satisfied with it though. Every feature of hers was important and every glance at the portrait made him think of something that was missing.

"This is..." she said, coming to a halt, "For the lack of a better word- perfect."

"By the way," she began, "I hate art. I just like you." He was left speechless as she left the Starbucks. It was going to be one hell of a night.

()()()()()

"Damn, you're bold," were the first things that came out of Armaan Mallik's mouth as he called her due to the lack of sleep. He had tried listening to songs and playing on his x-box but he wasn't successful so he turned to his last respite.

"You're the first, Mr. I'm the rich heir of the Mallik Industries, yet I pretend to be an artist,' she said. She had been going through some business magazines when she found his picture, his hair cropped, and his eyes a deeper shade of blue than in real.

"Found out, did you? I wonder how. My name only ever appears in business magazines. Did you by any chance Google me?" he asked her, his voice jovial.

"I happen to be the owner of Gupta Industries Mr. Mallik," she told him. He could sense the smirk on her face.

"Oh how much more I love you now," he said, in a Romeo-like voice.

"WHAT?" she retorted and he started laughing, resulting in a long stream of curses.

                                                                                                                 

Love,
Ananya

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