Please note that this story is purely a work of fiction and all names, characters, places, events and locales are either a product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictous manner. Any resemblance to any event and/or person living and/or dead is purely coincidental. We do not intend on offending any race, religion or community.
“So this is your great piece of art?” said Ms. Manya as she saw Ragini entering into the house,” O my, I thought that you were learning how to paint but this! O dear, this is so pathetic. The colour combination is so weird and whats this by the way? It looks like an upside down umbrella.”
Ragini stood there silently as she saw Ms. Manya holding one of her paintings in her hands. She wondered how Ms. Manya found it.
“My dear Ragini,” she said with an evil smile on her face,” you can never make a living by being an artist. You arent good enough sweetheart. Trust me dear, you are going on the wrong path.”
“Where did you get this from? asked Ragini politely,” I had asked Mrs. Bhaskar to put it up for sale.”
“For sale!” laughed Ms. Manya,” Come on my dear. I would have never bought it had I not known thats its your work. I thought that it would be great to purchase this to uplift your confidence. No one else is going to buy your work any way.” Saying so, she tore the painting into bits of paper and threw them into the bin.
“I hope you dont mind this,” said Ms. Manya with a smile on her face,”the painting belonged to me the moment I bought it.”
“No,” said Ragini wiping her tears,” it didnt belong to you. It belongs to those souls who can understand the depth of its emotions. Its good that you tore it. It was of no use to you. And next time, please be wise enough not to waste your money on my creations. Let someone else be fortunate enough to buy them and keep them with love.”
Ms. Manya didnt know what to say. She felt a huge wave of anger rise up within her and was about to reply back in her authoritative voice when Ragini said,” If only you wouldnt have confused my beautifully painted lotus flower with an upside down umbrella, you would have known the difference between advice and judgement, concern and control and above all, you would have known the beauty of imperfections. My art is flawed in your opinion. I take that as a compliment. I never dream of creating anything flawless. I like real and authentic art with its own flaws and uniqueness.”
“You are living in a fantasy world,” yelled Ms. Manya,” you need a reality check to show you where you actually stand. You think that making a living is easy. At your age, even I thought of it that way. But as one grows older, you realise how hard it is. And at times, you even have to beg, borrow and steal.”
“With all due respect for your words,” said Ragini sternly,” I disagree. Earning money isnt hard or complicated. You share your gifts with the world and the universe showers you with infinite blessings. But when we ignore our inner calling and work with the intention of grabbing and snatching, we block our own blessings. Abundance is not determined by the size of your house, but by how big your heart is. A heart which has enough room for gratitude and service becomes a magnet for abundance. Those who beg have never known what faith is and those who steal underestimate the power of service. I serve you and the universe provides me with a roof over my head, Mrs. Anupriya serves us being a teacher and is blessed with prosperity and when I shall serve the world by my flawed creations, I am sure that I will be blessed with enough money to lead a happy life.”
The winds were still blowing and the rains hadnt stopped yet. The storm in her heart too hadnt subsided. But she knew that the Goddess was well aware where to direct the winds and where to splash the raindrops. Each imperfection in her life was a divine creation.
“If I am truly born out of the dust,” she thought,” then how can I be separate from the mountains? If there is a burning desire within me, then how can I be separate from the glowing sunbeams? If I am a being of light, then how can I be separate from the stars? And if I choose to own my glow, then how can I be separate from the moonlight? If no separation exists, then what value does my identity hold? A drop of the ocean or the entire ocean in itself, its all the same. A tiny dust particle or a sandstorm, what difference is there? Your pain or my hurt, your sorrow or my suffering, its all the same. I cannot be happy by making you upset. I cannot rise by making you fall. I cannot understand what love is till I stop hating you.”
“Mam,” she said politely,” I shall pray for you that you too be blessed with abundance.”