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  • Shivali Yadav

CANVAS OF LIFE




My world consists of nothing but the canvas as I scrutinize the painting, having finished it just a day ago. I step back, settling the canvas on the stand so gently as if it were made of glass. The hues blend as though they were made to be together, and the face staring at me from the canvas demands attention from the viewer. It is by far my best work, and I am so swept up in pride –I made this! - that I do not hear the door creaking open.


“What a son I have,” a gruff voice calls through the silent room. A sliver of dread poisons my joy, and I turn, hoping against hope that my father would not be displeased. He stares at the canvas, anger seeping from his body as if my art had personally offended him. “Sits in a room, and draws like a child. Have you nothing better to do?” With lightning speed, he grabs the canvas and goes to the window. I cannot even move - my thoughts are stuck on a loop of please don’t, please don’t. He must see the fear on my face, because his eyes morph, shifting from anger to savage satisfaction as he lets the canvas drop.

~

Down below, a young man walks, taking advantage of the last whispering rays of sunlight. He is lost in his thoughts, oblivious to the world, until his eyes are drawn to a slice of canvas amongst shrubs as if discarded. As he picks it up, his heart catches in his throat – who could throw away such a piece? Surely, it is simply lost, waiting patiently for its owner. He asks around if anyone knows who it belongs to, but no one has an answer to give. He does not have it in him to leave the piece on the ground, for anyone can see the talent poured into it. He gives it to a local gallery, along with his number, in the hopes that he could meet the artist - if the gallery owners could find them at all.

~

A girl walks with purpose in her step, determined to catch the evening train. As she walks, the streetlights beam, almost as if shining a spotlight on a gallery window. Her eyes rove over a particular canvas, with a red question mark next to the artist’s name, and widen. She knows whose hands created this, she’s sure of it. She sits next to him in biology, watching idly as he sketches his drafts, focusing on his masterpiece rather than mitochondria. She rushes in, all thoughts of the train fleeing from her head, to tell the gallerist who the artist is.

~

Years later, when I greet the inundation of people who come to see my art for themselves, my heart sighs peacefully. I do not know where I would be had the young man not stumbled upon my canvas, nor if my amiable biology partner had not recognized my art.


All I know is that the universe works in strange ways, tying the most unlikely threads together to weave the fabric of our existence.


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