“Fresh.” Mr. Smith said to me the first time when he came to me. This is the word he asked me to do. Hi…. this is Jay. Most of you people know me by my profession. I remember when I asked him that what does this mean.
“I need FRESH,” He simply said to me. “Give me more details,” I asked. “I don’t know anything, you see what you need to do, you are an artist, a creative person.” He replied while showing my profession.
“At least give me some hints,” I asked him again but, he didn’t say anything and left my residence. I remember I was really bored and faded up with my life because of my work style, showing the same sort of things, fake models smile, showing fake people, everything artificial. I also wanted to be changed in my artistic career.
I wanted to be something new and realistic. I decided to go out of my comfort zone because it’s been so many days I have not come out of my home. I called Mr. Ansari, he is the one who showed me the real world, he is like a guide because he is a local guy who knows local language and root I was required him to get the FRESH.
“Hello, Ansari my bro, how are you doing,” I called him. “I am good Sir, what about you, how’s going on everything.” He replied. “I need something,” I said. “Tell me, Sir, what do you want, I will bring you within a few minutes.”
He replied with full confidence as if he can bring right now. “FRESH…,” I said only one word and then. “Ohh, you want fresh fruits, don’t worry, I’ll bring for you all types of fresh fruits.” He replied me so aggressively that he is gonna take whole fruits market in my home.
“No……. You’re not getting.” I replied again. “What no sir, you just told me, you wanna fresh fruits.” He replied. “I told you only fresh, not fresh fruits, let me complete my sentence,” I said.
“Yeah, ok.” He replied. “I don’t know how to say and what to say but I need Fresh,” I told him with confusion because I was also not knowing what I want. “Is your health good, do you wanna me bring the Doctor for your treatment.” He replied surprisingly. He was also not able to get my point. “You are not underestimating what I need, you just come here, I’ll explain you everything.
I remember when he came my home, it took more than an hour to make him understand about my situation. After listening all. “Well Sir, all I can suggest you that, we’ll go outside and try to get what you want but there is one problem.” He said. “What……” I asked confusingly.
“You don’t know what is you want and how would you know that this is your FRESH or you want.” He said a valid point to me. “Don’t worry, I’ll figure out, so when and where we need to go,” I said. “Tomorrow early morning, but where I really don’t know,” he replied while showing his confused face. I remember I couldn’t sleep the whole night, I was trying to think that where should I go so that I can get that freshness.
I woke up early morning because I have not proper and complete sleep. “Hello, where are you?” I called Mr. Ansari. “Come down at Ganesh tea stall, you will have a tasty breakfast.” He replied. I remember I had been living in that area for more than one year but I had never been at that Ganesh tea stall. I even didn’t recognize that tea stall. When I reached there,
I saw the owner of that tea stall whose name was Ganesh. His age was around 60 years still working and carrying his father tea stall and name of that tea stall after his name. “Are you new in this area Shaab,” Ganesh the tea seller asked me in a surprised look.
“No…..” I replied but I didn’t understand why he said to me like this. “We haven’t seen you before.” He replied. “Yeah, I don’t come out usually,” I said. “Give a fresh milk tea along with bread sandwich to Jay Sir,” Mr. Ansari ordered him to serve me. “No… I take coffee only in the morning.” I said to Ansari about my morning routine.
“Sir his tea, it’s made of fresh milk from the cow and you know we have several beliefs in cow,” he said while counting the benefits of fresh milk. “Ok, then give me a little.” I finally agreed to have tea. “Maybe Sir, you are looking for this fresh milk, just kidding so, don’t take it seriously.” He replied in humorous words.
I remember when I was having the tea and sandwich I ask several questions from the owner of the Ganesh tea stall. “How long you have been in this business,” I said. “Since childhood, when I was very young around twelve years old, my father opened this stall and then I started coming making tea here.”
He replied. “What about your education and all,” I asked about his qualifications. “Nothing…….” he replied while showing his embarrassment and sorrow. When he said that he didn’t get the education and since childhood, he’s been selling tea, I could realize his pain and his struggling. I have a problem when I meet someone and I started asking about him,
I try to get maximum details from them or at least satisfy my curiosity. “Just asking out of my curiosity, I guess you are married, how many children do you have?” I asked about his family. “Three… two daughters and one younger son out of three.” He replied with full hopes.
“So all are studying,” I asked about his children’s education. “Yes…, Whatever I have faced due to illiterate, so I don’t wanna see my children being uneducated. My children should not feel the same as I feel since my childhood.” He replied. I can’t forget his eyes when he was saying I could see a different light and a hope for better future of his children in his eyes.
“How much you earn in a month,” I asked about his income. “Just livelihood is going on.” He said. When he was showing his pain, anyone could have seen easily and understood his dissatisfaction in his eyes. The most important thing I saw in him, his dedication, passion for his family and fulfilling his responsibility to the family, hardworking and hoping for best tomorrow.
I really amazed by his charismatic life, since I had to go for looking FRESH, I left his stall as long as I finished my tea. I was about to give money but suddenly “ Sir you don’t worry, I have already given him.” Mt Ansari said to me. “Why….” I asked. “Sir let’s go, we are getting late,” he said to me and then we left the place.
I remember when we were walking side of the road, It’s like an explosive fire was coming out from thousands of burning chimney which was polluting the air, people were not even caring about that. Thousands after thousands of vehicles were horning like barking dogs in a tiny thin road, traffic was so jammed like people have gotten the cars for free of cost and like there is no value of fuels because vehicles were unnecessary on. People were running, chasing, unknown things.
After putting together all those things made me upset and rocketed up my concern about the environment of our country. I didn’t see and feel before because this issue came up to me now when I was out and I was not aware of anything surrounding me. After a long time, I was putting up with those kinds of weird things which was annoying for me.
“Sir we have to walk through this way to reach the bus stop,” Mr. Ansari said. “Why bus….we’ll go by taxi,” I replied. “How would you find Fresh in the taxi, maybe we’ll get your freshness on the bus.” He put across the idea of taking the bus instead of a taxi to experience the different and something new.
I remember it was 5 minutes walkable distance, we reached the bus station and waited up there. We were exactly unaware that where we needed to go, but he came up with the idea of going to beachside maybe we’ll find something new. So we got on the bus for beachside. When we were inside the bus,
it’s so much crowded, no space for me to even stand, it’s been a long time since I hadn’t gotta into the bus so, my reaction was little weird and different from other people because they were different looking and smelling.
“We could have gone from the taxi, because of your silly idea we are struggling in this bus, we have less time,” I said while being really angry on him. “You don’t worry Sir it’s your first time in the bus, so enjoy the ride.” When he addressed this my face and eyes were filled red with so much anger. It was a really horrible experience and moment for me at that time but, somehow I controlled my emotions and started looking at people getting in and getting down the bus. As long as I started feeling regret.
I remember when people were buying the bus tickets, giving their money, it was smelling differently. Yes, really their notes were smelling like their sweat and I could realize that those people were having money from their hard work, honesty. They were looking different from each other but their money was having the same smell. When I saw driver face, he was sweating because it’s normal bus none Air conditioner, but his focus on the road was so amazing that he didn’t care about his sweat and pain.
I really inspired by his dedication, warmly attitude because he was carrying such a big responsibility of people life and he was still smiling at the end of passengers when he was dropping everyone at their destination patiently.
We got down the bus at our destination, I appreciated him while a big thanking driver and he replied with a big genuine smile, not like those fake people with their fake smile whom I deal with. I really enjoyed traveling by bus. I never realized before that these small but interesting things have been missing out from my life. I was so bored living without excitement in my life.
And thanks to Mr. Ansari, he really helped me in realizing that. But still we were in search of FRESH, so as agreed we were about to go by beachside while crossing the road, I looked up on the other side at footpath, a very young about 12 years old boy was working in the blacksmith workshop, He was just a child working as labor.
I thought to go and speak with his boss that how can a child such a tender age be allowed or forced to work, but by the time we had already crossed the road so I decided to talk later in return.
I remember when we reached over the beach side we started figuring out the things, my way of thinking is really different as compared to other people, suddenly Mr. Ansari came up with so many things like
“Sir look at the sea it’s really giant, maybe this could be our search.” He said. “No…,” I replied. But the kind of atmosphere it was! can’t be described in few words or sentences. The sun toasted our skin, I got the opportunity to have gazed of such a slothful sea,
I was lacking being felt over years and it took a peace inside my heart. It was really a wonderful day of my life by being a part of watery a wonderland and the beach was drenched in the lighting gold.
We started walking on a horseshoe of the beach and bowing of the beach on the other side the ocean was forging its own sea song. The sea was kindling its own symphony and the waves were carelessly dribbling and oozing onto the sand and gently drenching the sand. The other people were leather brown, the children were squealing on the beach.
The families were having fun and enjoyment as their own way, some of them were fishing while others were playing games like the game of catching balls and volleyball, while some of the children were collecting seashells and the other was making sandcastles.
Very few of the people were having the book in their hand to read while others were chilling out with their music. People were splashing and playing on the beach with their friend’s circle.
How can a selfie freak and photogenic people were left, they were having a great time to capture the moment of their life. It took almost 5 hours to have such an unforgettable, adventurous and mesmerizing moments of my life, but how could we forget to end our day at the beach without watching the sunset, that was the reason to stay till evening to be an amazing sunset memory.
We came out from that wonderful watery wonderland with so much enjoyment, calmness, and freshness but without the thing which I was looking for. We had very less time but we were so tired, so I told Mr. Ansari that we should go back home, maybe tomorrow we’ll find out our reason for the outing. I had good sleep after a long time, suddenly a doorbell rang, “Sir, it’s Ansari outside the house, open the door.” Mr. Ansari was yelling.
I remember the doorbell rang over five minutes, I woke up but couldn’t get out of my bed until he started yelling at me. I overslept because I was so much exhausted and knackered last night that I went to the home and just crashed out, this happened first time over a year.
After that I got up from the bed and then opened the door to let Mr. Ansari be showing his pain of waiting outside and getting me awakened up. We were already late even so we had tea and sandwich at the Ganesh tea stall. “So where we are going today Mr. Ansari,” I asked. “Sir, I am really Sorry, I can only guide you by the roadmap.
However, you have to find out your way to get your success.” He replied with motivational quotes. Very politely he explained everything in a sentence because It was I who had to look out what I wanted to get.
“Ok…….” I replied. At afternoon different types and sizes of the lunch boxes were being collected, handed over by women to their husband for getting delivered by the lunch box delivery people. The kind of courage and patience, most importantly punctuality, were maintained and showed to deliver a lunch box.
As love and happiness from their loved ones, incredibly, an amazing experience and responsibilities were served and performed by those people, it was speechless for me. I had never seen before such type of marvelous way of work, however, we moved to that beachside area where I had seen that an innocent young child at blacksmith workshop was being burnt his innocence and humanity by laboring in this so-called kind and loving world.
When we reached there, we missed out him at the blacksmith workshop, even so, we saw a Wada paw seller handed over few Wada paw to him and then he started walking toward somewhere, I started following him.
“Sir where are you going, nothing is there,” Mr. Ansari tried to stop me and not to see, rainy water was poured on the road, because there were many holes on the road, smell of the muds which was assembled due to sewerage collapsed and children were enjoying and screaming on the road while playing games with their friends.
Women were chit chatting each other in front of the water tanker, waiting for their turn so that they could have some water, some of them were shouting on other that they don’t have water since three days, on the other side young men were playing cards and gambling at the middle of the area.
Somehow I was very close to him suddenly someone caught me and then, “are you a collector.” He asked while shaking his whole body like he was sick or something else.
“No…,” I replied. “Then you must be a politician, why don’t you repair the road, see the condition, it smells like noxious and when any vehicles are jumped into these holes it sounds like rumble,”
he asked me again while scratching all over the body specially back side, repeating same things over and over none stop, fidgeting and biting his nails, a big white hairy along with full of beards and mustache on his face, a drunken man who was smelling sticky and creepy came to me and started yelling at me on the several issues because he was thinking that I was the government officials and came there for resolving their problems.
I was really carrying the torch for them, their issues and difficulties, even so, I started finishing out of the water and tried to be as hard as nails, suddenly I saw the boy going into a four pillars made of wood around 6 feet high and covered over by a plastic, having a small door with no window in front, the air winds had an abrasive action on the plastic slum and it was so much annoying and disturbing that I couldn’t wait for while. I called him several times but he couldn’t recognize my voice.
“Can I come inside?” I asked permission politely. “Who’s there outside, what do you want.” A sound like a blare came out. “Just wanna meet that little tiny boy,” I replied even so I wanted to enter inside the slum because I wanted to have the taste of bitterness of their lives, however, he let me enter into his small home.
“You are from children welfare department.” Around forty years old looking like sixty years old lady was lying on the floor having coughed, swelling and swerving her body like her body temperature was increased by one hundred ten and was looking so stressed and tens clearly seen on her face, she asked from very low frightening voice.
“No, I am not………” I replied. Many people come and assure us to provide better lives for my children but they never come back.” Her red eyes which were drought from tearing since her tender age, with a hope of better future of her children, asked me. I was deadwood for her hopes.
“What is your name and why do you bust your buns in such a tender age,” I asked from the child. When I asked this, I was not knowing that a child around 12 years old would have so much higher maturity level even so he told me,
“Abhik, I work harder to fulfill my responsibility, I have two sisters and these are my responsibilities and my mother is at-most priority other than anything.” I could see his passion and aggression for his family, he was like his name a fearless and courageous boy I have ever seen, but due to lack of food how long he would survive, his mother is going to die by either hunger or disease.
“Where is your father,” I asked from him. “He’s died last year by hunger and many decease.” He told me that his father used to work at that blacksmith workshop, one year before his both hands were first burnt accidentally by falling a heat iron rode on his body and then his hands had been cut.
He was not given even compensation for his livelihood. It was really a sad and emotional experience talking with that boy, I was not in a position of describing his mental and physical condition. All I can pray for his family and people like them. We should come forward to support such people to give them their courage and confidence by being and standing by them.
Suddenly Mr. Ansari called me when I came out of his home, I couldn’t stop my emotions and tears, “did you get what you wanted.” While looking my face Mr. Ansari asked me. “No……..” I replied.
“So what happened, why are you crying,” he asked me, I was not able to tell him anything about them, but he understood very soon because he’s been in this city since childhood and he told me that he had faced this situation at his early stage of life when he was child and still facing.
This issue is not limited with only one person or family. We left that area and we’re going out of the slums, I remember we were walking through the hugest slum suddenly I saw thin lane which was like water and muds were overflow from open smelly and full of trash sewers, one light was coming out from a very small door actually it’s not door when I went there it’s like a boundary which was hole,
“Sir, Nothing is there, please come back.” He said to me. I didn’t listen to him I tried to cross suddenly one voice came, “don’t come from here, the train is about to come,” maybe it’s a lady’s voice, she was warning me. “So sorry, already entered.” While entertaining from that hole I replied to her. I was on the wall it’s really thin and she was at the top of the wall, now I was also on the top of the wall.
As soon as I was sitting there, around 120 km per hour speed a train was coming from another side, I could easily feel the vibration. I could control my body and fallen from the thin wall. It was a small hut like a slum made of few wood bamboos was covered with plastic. When I have fallen onto that hut, I was amazed after seeing,
“wow…….” I was really not able to close my mouth because of such a graceful and pure beauty. “Are you crazy, can’t see it’s my home,” I couldn’t listen to anything while looking at her, capturing her every look by my eyes, my actual talent was so active at that moment,
I couldn’t miss even a single expression of her, a girl about five feet four inches height, around 21 years old and a slender body like an angel is brought down from heaven mistakenly, her so smooth and silky long and wavy blonde hair as if it was tailored with a golden fabric, pastel white color skin and was glowing so milky that anyone can stop breathing once he looks at her, the down-curve her full pink lips complimenting her simplicity and innocence,
when I looked into her blue eyes which showed me her soul and a beauty of universe, her eyes were the deepest ocean in which I could nerve racking swim in my whole life. She has dressed a simple black suit which was sparkling her modest and purest personality.
She was so beautiful in that black dress like the stars themselves decided to rest behind the soft cushion of her lips. Her hair was flying on her left eye and on her forehead when her small wooden hut was being destroyed because of me and the vibration sound of the train, her eyes were letting her flow and her face was so tense that she could have killed me if I was in front of her.
As soon as the hut was broken I started falling down and I couldn’t control myself of falling in love with her, I was fallen all over herself. My lips were on her pink lips, we were moving around and around on the ground, I couldn’t see anything except into her eyes, unexpectedly she was getting fallen into a railway subway and train was in its full speed, I suddenly held her hand and said,
“don’t worry, I am not gonna let you die.” I replied. “Leave my hand, I said leave………..” she replied with her the cutest angry look, I had ever seen before. “You’re falling down, I can’t leave you in this situation, Can’t do this,” I replied her while holding her hand so tightly that if it’s left she could have gone down.
“I am hardly half feet from the ground, so stop bothering about me, I am perfectly all right.” Her replied made me crazy, I was thinking that if I am not saving her, she would die.
“Ok, no problem, but how would you come up,” I replied again. “Don’t worry, it’s my daily struggle, I know how to come over.” She said her daily habits. “Let me help you.” I again offered her my help but she was so self-dependent and full of self-esteem that she was not ready to listen to anything.
“Don’t……….” She replied. “Please…….” I replied while showing my concerns and worries about her. “It is all happened due to you so don’t try to help me more.” She replied with an annoying and blaming attitude. “I am so sorry about that, I will make that hut again, I will bear all the cost.” I replied.
“Ohh really……..” her expression was so distracting and confusing that I couldn’t understand whether she was angry on me or more than what she was showing her anger.
“Yeah, off course, please give me a chance.” I requested her to give Chance. “Chance for what.” She replied.
“To rebuild your hut.” I cleared my point. “What about today, where would we go, where we’ll sleep.” She said. “You don’t worry, you can come to my home.” The moment I offered her to stay temporarily, she started screaming shouting at me.
“What do you think, who we are! Don’t try to be over smart,” her replied was like an embarrassment for me but somehow I got her calm down. When she was calm and quiet, she shows herself with effortless grace and positive waves of emotions otherwise she is hard to handle and herculean when she is annoyed and angry. I remember by the time Mr. Ansari reached there and was worried about me that I couldn’t listen to him.
“Are you all right,” he asked me when he saw my dress was dirty and scratches on all over the dress. “He’s all right perfect, don’t worry about him,” she replied to Mt Ansari while showing her intense look. “Mr. Ansari, we need to make this hut again right now, we’ll not go back until we rebuild,” I asked help from him.
“Ok Sir, as you wish,” He replied while collecting and assembling the wood and other stuff. “So if you don’t mind, can I ask you something,” while helping her I requested her. “Tell me, what do you want to know,” she replied with so much aggression.
“This is your home, you live here in this area,” I asked. “No………..” she replied. “Sorry……..” I asked again because of her confusing answer.“I live here, you can’t see….” She replied. “I can see, I was just asking, but why here.” I again asked.
“What do you mean.” Now I was making her angrier than before, I was trying to ask her that place was not liable for living because an open dirty sewer overflow, smelling everything like anoxia, railway track, because of train sound vibration walls and other things start falling down, a quiet area, no one lives here except these few people.
“Where should we live and where would we survive,” she replied was so much painful and sensitive that I couldn’t able to reply back anything more. “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean that,” I said. “We are those people who are thrown out of our society, so-called human society.” She replied with so much frustration.
“If you don’t mind, may I know your name,” I asked her name. “Abha………” she said. “What does this name mean,” I asked again. “I am not educated, don’t know.” She replied. “Ohh, I’ll find the meaning,” I said.
I remember we all together made her home again, I was really upset when I was coming back, I have never seen in my whole life such as a pious and the calmest, purest, big and soft heartiest, humblest, happiest girl. I was giving some money as compensation for her damages but she was so warmed and sensible that she refused to take anything, in fact, she offered us fresh milk tea.
She is the nicest friend I have ever been in my life. This night I couldn’t sleep because of that mesmerizing moment, coming in my mind again and again while lying on the bed. I remember next day Mr. Ansari came to me early morning and I was already awoken in fact got up from my bed.
“Sir let’s go, we are getting late,” Mr. Ansari said to me. “No, now it’s over,” I replied. “Why Sir, What happened,” he asked me the reason. “Nothing, I understood…….” I said. “So…….. then……” he asked me again.
“So now, I don’t need to go anywhere.” While telling this to him I clearly said that what I was looking for, now I didn’t need to go and search anywhere. He didn’t understand whatever I was saying to him but he was happy that finally, I stopped him to waste time with me wondering here and there for searching unknown and unaware thing.
So with due respect, I would like to present my latest painting, it’s not just a painting, it’s a journey from darkness to light, from unknown and unaware freshness to freshness. When Mr. Smith asked me to present something fresh which is not like we were doing before continuously over many years.
When I saw myself in the mirror I couldn’t realize that Freshness is within me. See my look this is my own painting, having big hair which is not properly comb, my unshaved face having so many pimples,
it could easily be removed but because of either I had no time for myself or I was so much busy in my artistic profession spending time with fake people with their fake smile, artificial and emotionless, insensitive and insensible people, selfish and self-love people.
I forget and neglect to give time to myself. When I went outside of my comfort zone after one year, I was unaware of the fact that despite that tea seller is so much passionate about his work and having dreams for his children for better future even so he is working hard to make that dream come true, he gives his time to his family.
We can see in this painting, his eyes are so much concerned about his family but still smiling and looking FRESH. When I saw the environment which is so polluted and people are habitual of living in that condition but still people are waking every morning with FRESH hopes and dreams with happiness and giving themselves time.
When I see such a self-motivated, courageous bus driver and his patience and focus I am so much inspired by him and his smile when he drops the passengers at their destinations and he greets warmly with a big smile at that moment. It looks so fresh and genuine that passengers pain and sacrifice disappear at the point of time.
When I saw people reliving their tension and stress at the beachside with full of happiness and enjoyment with their family, friends and loved ones, on other side just opposite a huge slums with their lots of problems and uncountable expectations of people for better life, despite of all these things they are living happily and giving time to their people.
They have every day FRESH hope that, one day their life will be on track. When I saw a twelve-year-old child is working harder than his capacity at a very tender age for his family and such a great fighter and survivor, he’s so courageous and mature that he has taken responsibility of his whole family and still smiling and having time for his family. When I looked into his eyes I found a Fresh hope for his sisters future and mother life.
This is the painting on which my search was completed, her name is Abha “Lustrous Beauty” When I saw Abha the girl with a golden heart, the prettiest girl I have ever seen. She is so FRESH like a natural beauty that she doesn’t need anything to exaggerate and beautifying herself. and she is happily self-dependent, self-motivated. When I looked her at that moment I found the freshness which I was looking for FRESH.
In the end, I would like to tell you guys that we are people known as creative, artists, so-called professional, but we don’t find time for ourselves to forget about other people. We are so concerned about our goals, our achievements, our so-called success that we don’t see surrounding ourselves, all we need to see inside ourselves we’ll find a FRESH within ourselves.
Thank you so much for being part of my FRESH creativity. I need to go somewhere, it’s really important. I want to thank My Smith who showed me what I was not able to see.
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