Pictures that moved
One day Anish while going to his office stopped near a public municipal garbage tin and threw a black polythene. As the polythene hit the already existing garbage it sounded like glass. They were some beer bottles from yesterday night’s farewell party of a colleague. The night had been a long one as the six of them had chatted till 4 in the morning. They had bared a little part of their souls to each other and showed some scars and shared some feelings. His head was hurting but his heart was full of relief.
To his surprise, a man in rags was collecting bottles. He seemed quite interesting to him. He saw him drinking from empty liquor bottles. At first, he taught he was a junkie looking for some high. Someone’s garbage is somebody else’s liquor he said to himself in his head and laughed. As he carefully observed he was draining something else from those bottles. They were these shiny white sparkling particles that made a symphony and moved in a vortex. The man sucked the bottle and spat these magical looking particles into a transparent beaker he had kept steadily on the edge of the open garbage tin.
Anish moved his motorbike a distance away and kept noticing the rag picker.
He now noticed the rag picker opening the black polythene he had thrown, he was now sucking and collected from these bottles. To his extreme shock and surprise, Anish heard a fragment of voices of his friends and colleagues in those shiny particles that vibrated with a symphony. He got terribly terrified and ran away from the spot to some distance to realize that he was more curious that he was scared to know what was going on. He parked his motorcycle near a coffee shop and started following the rag-picker who was now walking to the other side of the road. As he followed him, the rag picker walked and walked till he reached a place where there was this big banyan tree. The rag picker sat down on his knees and howled like a donkey that made Anish skip a heartbeat. He hid behind an abandoned car. He saw rag pickers coming from all directions and assembling around the banyan tree. They all had similar beakers filled with those silver sparkling particles. They came together in a circle took a deep breath and threw their voices out with a “Phaaa” sound where their tongues came out and touched their chins.
A blinding white light appeared and as the light faded a man with a white long beard appeared. No, he wasn’t Albus Dumbledore. But he wore half-moon spectacles and had a canvas with him. A large empty canvas. Anish noticed a brush stand where brushes of various sizes were there and cans he assumed to be filled with colors. The man took the beakers one by one and started pouring in different cans he had. Anish now could see lights coming out of these cans and the lights showed colors in the can. The man started to paint. A music started to play. Music so wonderful. The banyan tree began to dance, the rag pickers began to dance. Anish himself felt so hypnotized that he wanted to dance too, but he held himself back and kept observing what was going on.
The music just became sweeter and melodious. Anish came out of his hiding and slowly approached the man who was painting. As he reached the canvas and saw the painting. It was a painting of a boy who was playing football and the old man chasing him. There was something unusual about the painting. The pictures moved. Anish shouted, “ What the fuck? ”. The man turned back and saw him and said in soothing wise old man tone ‘All my painting move. I paint them with the left part of souls of people in the bottles they drink. Alcohol doesn’t only burn your body, it bears your soul too and the part of the soul you leave behind in your bottles make my pictures move.’
The painter then took a very weird looking brush with an eagle made on his chest and dipped it into a can which emitted yellow light and sprinkled it on Anish. Anish transformed into a rag picker like the one he followed. Anish had found God.
The painter laughed and said
“ We all are rag pickers searching for fragments of someone’s soul in this world of empty bottles.”