by Roshna Rusiniya
I stare at the box of color pencils in front of me, my eyebrows knitted together in focus. There are too many colors to choose from, yet I can’t make up my mind. Frustration grows inside me both at myself and the art project that is due for submission in two days. How difficult is it to make a drawing of clouds?
There was a collective snicker around the class when the teacher announced that the theme for our art project is ‘cloud’. All of us, including me, thought the theme was more suitable for kindergarten than ninth grade. But now sitting here, gazing at the sky for the past one hour, I am not ashamed to admit that my confidence is faltering a bit. It’s so easy to draw a bright blue sky with white fluffy clouds scattered all over, but that’s what everyone else will do. And the teacher specifically said the picture should be realistic and impactful or we won’t get an ‘A’. Realistic and impactful- sounds a bit tricky!
Looking at the blushing evening sky, I wish my grandfather was still alive. One of my favorite childhood memories is of me visiting him during the summer holidays. He used to tell me that every single thing we see around has a story to tell. If he was here, he would have had something to say about the mysterious orange clouds above me- blazing with fire one last time, before the darkness swallowed them.
I miss him.
I got up to leave; my heart heavy with disappointment as I couldn’t even draw one line.
When I reached home, dinner was served on the table. Mom looked grumpy, which means Dad is working late, again… After quickly eating my dinner, I went up to my room, ready to call it a day.
It’s nearly midnight and I am still awake, listening to my parents arguing in the bedroom next to mine. It has become kind of a nightly ritual recently. Dad comes home very late and mom throws a fit. I overheard her telling my grandmother that she is planning to divorce my dad. It should have made me upset one or two years back. But now, I am past caring.
Unable to return to sleep, I get up and walk over to my study table. After switching the desk lamp on, I spread out the drawing sheet on the table, pull up a chair and sit down.
After examining the colors momentarily, I take the black and grey pencils out, close the box and started drawing...
About the author
Roshna Rusiniya is a full-time homemaker and a part-time writer.