The Art Class and the Lessons in Adultery.

If there is one place that I would get back to, with a vengeance, it has to be the ART CLASS.

Make no mistake about it. Looking back, the pleasure I derived out of my Art Class was beyond compare.

Here is how it all began.

On the first day of my art class, I was given a huge white sheet of art paper, which, admittedly,  I didn’t feel like spoiling  by sketching  on it ! Instead, I strongly  felt that it would have been better put to use had it been issued to the students for wrapping up their books for safe upkeep. But there it was, spread in front of me, helplessly pinned down on the drawing board, waiting to be ravished and I never had even an iota of willingness to violate its purity.

However, I relented, and   even  I found myself slowly being lead into putting the graphite on the paper (blame it on the  persistent herd mentality – everyone else is making sketches on the paper so you better catch up). For starters, I drew a horizontal line in the lower portion of the paper, leaving a  third of the blank space below.

I recollect that the line that was drawn did not present a very pleasing sight, but it sure send a chill down my spine. Think about it. Here I was,  a boy all of 12 years,  slowly realizing with dawning horror that I was thinking exactly like an unwilling,  perverted rapist ( Is there a category like that? Hmmm, need to check).

It was like “Oh dear God, I just raped this sheet of paper”. Psychologists reveal that people with such a bent of mind would eventually get habituated to it, if the initial barrier of resistance is overcome and would go ahead to enjoy the act of subjugating something or someone so helpless  under one’s prowess. I just can’t help but agree, because, you see,  I went on to draw the same same picture week after week, year after year in every art class, exams be damned.

The picture had two parallel lines across the sheet of paper, effectively dividing it in three equal parts – three distinct layers. Down below is the slot for the green meadow with a coconut tree bearing exactly six coconuts, three each hanging down symmetrically on both sides of the trunk. A mango tree was onto the left with blades of grass protruding out from the periphery of the layer. The Middle portion which is light blue is a water canal with the silhouette of a man pushing a boat in still waters, positioned right in the center, and above this partition was the place for the layer of Orange sky with a prominent Sun, like a damsel’s ‘bindi’ , peppered with flocks of birds (or maybe crows or whatever) onto left and right of the Sun.

Composing the same picture, every week, takes the fun out of the whole act, if you get my drift. So, you gradually move to experimentation. I started with the birds. Sometimes they flew towards west, sometimes to east, sometimes towards me and sometimes into the paper, sometimes they would hold their head down (probably out of shame) and sometimes they would keep their tail down as if they were  being chased by a rocket from our friendly neighborhood space research station, the VSSC at Thumba.

Once when I was completely done, (i.e after being zipped up completely),  I once flashed the picture across to Biju, who was a serious contender for the Art Trophy, and may I add, became finer at it with the passage of decades (I am being very serious here, even as I realize now that being serious has become such a rarity my life) for his approval. He flicks his head, and swiftly exclaimed “Oh. National Tricolor? How nice .”

That was also the first day when I swore to myself, that “from now on buster,there will be three  fishes in the Canal’s crystal clear still waters, and God help anyone who lifts his pinky against it !”

Like I said, if there is one  place that I would get back to, with a vengeance at School, it will always be the ART CLASS.

You see, it made me a unwilling, trained rapist.

8 Comments

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  1. Being as if not more art challenged as Prince, all my futile attempts at art class ended with the following remarks from KBR, Maankaya Thenkaya, Prethama Poothama :). Once I got hold of a cartoon (Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse type) which caught my fancy and based on that I gave it my all. Just that one time. And this has happened to me many times in life. One attempt with all I have got…..

    Couple of years later for our Silver Jubilee I was surprised to see that pic drawn and painted by me on display among the best art works from our students. All my animosity to KBR vanished into thin air that second. Thankfully never after that I got that touch to do any artsy stuff 🙂 Like Prince I had to get Rajiv’s help and some outside help to get my Biology records done 🙂

  2. Soni Somarajan says:

    Prince macha,
    When it comes from a war-hero, there has to be something to it! The campfire-episode – all of the main culprits vanished the moment the OBA office bearers made their entry, leaving yours truly to handle the situation. What is the point of talking about a campfire to a man in a wheelchair?! At least, that is what they thought before they left!

  3. Prince says: (Author)

    Hello, Poothama Prethama :D,

    Forget the Art Class, do you remember the campfire we managed last time we caught up…. for OBA
    half a decade ago? 😀

    Read your article, considered self not experienced enough to comment on that.
    Now that I got this opportunity, I would simply sum up saying
    so inspirational.. You are a true hero !

    Take care buddy
    Bye.

  4. Soni Somarajan says:

    This is downright hilarious. I remember the Art Class for its smells and sights – linseed oil, semi-dry palettes, water-bowls with generous rainbows in them, KBR’s modern art experimentations to the point of Gothic, the drawing tables thick with centuries of spilled gob and the flying duster aimed at your head just in case you fell asleep trying to cajole your creativity. I spent half the time filling water in the bowl and staring at the goose-berry tree near the cooler. I once copied some actor from a film-mag and the KBR spent half an hour dissecting it with the choicest allusions to all the things you would find in the vicinity of a garbage bin.
    Ithu poothama, prethama?!!!

  5. Does anyone know or remember that i got the first prize in 8th std in the art competition held among the 18 Sainik Schools! And the jury was comprised of all those long bearded budhi-jeevis! I also got a free tour to a modern art exhibition and a felicitation from a minister (who was the odd man out and seemed to be in the category of “Bandar Kya Jaane Adrak ka Swaad”). And I think that was the peak in my ability to draw after which it was not a slope but a steep fall like a waterfall! However some of those childhood glories are helping me with my sons drawing projects!!

    • @ Prince..its all thanks to the Great Oracle, Google Images, and its eternal grace 🙂

      @ PSu, saaaar, neenge engayo pooyittan..:)

  6. prince says: (Author)

    dear biju,
    how do you come out with such great illustrations?
    wonderful
    and editing too
    it simply adds life
    thanks
    jose

  7. LMAO!!! On a serious vein, Mr KB Rao, the legendary “Daaaai, Muthaley-Thala” mentor is settled down in Kochi, as records show. We should certainly pay him a visit. Atleast, I think I should…:-P

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