As part of my blog’s first anniversary I am hosting a ‘blog party’. Today my guest is Varad. He blogs at Loose end of the red thread (L.E.R.T). He is a 35 year old businessman, husband to a beautiful wife and father to two awesome boys. He used to play cricket at the district leagues level a long time back. His recent fixes are tennis and trekking the Himalayas. He loves to tell stories – genre no bar and is amazing with flash fictions. Hopefully, he would get published soon. Today he has written a flash fiction that shows us the hypocrisy of society. Enjoy!!!
Milind’s exhibition was a grand success. Art lovers, collectors, critics,and agents were going gagaover his brand-new painting. It depicted a young girl on a chair, with her hands tied in front of her. He had named the painting ‘The Struggle is Almost Over.’
What was unique was the angle. It showed the girl from above. When someone asked why he decided not to paint her face, Milind had replied ‘This girl! You wouldn’t have been able to look intoher eyes. It is better this way. What might have been in her eyes is now up to your imagination.’
There were words like enigmatic, pensive and particularly striking being thrown about by the motley group of people who had come to the exhibition. An obese critic fueled up on hors d’oeuvres, caviar, champagne and craziness, even went to the extent of calling it recherché.
A private collector from Kuwait had offered $100,000 on the spot. A couple of slimy agents suggested that they could fetch better sums than that. A representative from a Non-profit organization working towards the prevention of abuse of women enquired if Milind would be kind enough to donate the painting for a charity auction that would generate much-needed funds to power their mission.
Overwhelmed by the reception and response, Milind slipped out of the gallery, feeling the urge for a smoke. His friend and agent Niranjan found him leaning on a lamp post with his eyes closed. A smile was dangling at the corner of his lips even as cigarette smoke escaped slowly from his throat.
“Milind, just spoke to Ketaki Mishra. She’s representing AYC Corp. They are ready to pay $250,000. What say?”
“I think if we throw a bit of attitude we can easily get half a mil, Niranjan.”
“For an artist, you are one hell of a businessman Milind. Let me go in and negotiate further”, they exchanged smiles.
Milind had almost finished his cigarette when agaunt-lookinggirlapproached him. She was dressed in shabby looking clothes and had a baby in her hands.
“Sir, my baby is unwell. I must take her to the hospital. Please give me my payment.”
Milind looked at her irritably. “Look; I’ve already given you thousand rupees. How much more do you need?”
Her eyes glistened, “Please give me thousand more, Sir. You gave my friend five thousand last year.”
‘There is a reason for it, you dumb idiot. Your friend was good looking, and she served as a face model.’ Milind pulled his wallet out and relieved a five hundred rupee note from it. He shoved it into the girl’s hands, “That’s all that I have got. Now, leave. Don’t come back again. You were such a poor model as such.”
Niranjan came running back, “Milind, it’s a done deal. $475,000. Happy?”
The girl had a sad smile on her face as she left. Milind was not able to meet her eyes.
This post is part of ‘Thursday Tales’. If you have a short story/anecdote/memoir to share do link up. Link your post to this post and just leave a comment with your post link and I will get back to you.