Thursday, March 30, 2023
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Colourful Blunders


Paints have always been a part of my life and they have given me a lot of pleasure. But mishaps were inevitable too.
A few of them are unforgettable.

One that always comes to my mind, was when several years ago, engrossed in my painting once, I had gulped a mouthful of brown murky water in which my paint brush was dipped several times, mistaking it for coffee. Ugh!

The second mishap occurred two years ago when we were planning to get our house painted.
The painters arrived and the work began.
But there was one problem.
The colour of the paint was not chosen.
For over a week, we had been trying to choose a colour from the colour chart.
My husband, though diffident in this department, refused to trust my instincts. His greatest fear was that the colour of the paint on the colour chart would differ from the actual colour.
Kuttappan, the chief painter, kept on asking us for the paint, which I promised would arrive soon. Wanting no more delay, I set out one morning to get samples, of the chosen colour, to paint a small area of the walls and thereby convince my husband.
The store keeper handed me two tins of paint which weighed a litre each, in a flimsy plastic bag.
As soon as I boarded the crowded bus, I deposited the tins on the floor, between my feet and held on to the bars, near the door.
The door of the bus was left open and the conductor stood guard on the footboard.
And as the journey progressed, the bus swerved to the left on a sharp curve. And to my utter
disbelief, I watched the cans of paint rolling away from me, down the footboard and flying out the door. The kind but baffled conductor, rang the bell and the bus stopped a fifty yards away.
The guy jumped out to get my tins and I ran after him.
The tins of paint lay open and scattered one behind the other, on the roadside… Picking up what was left of the paint and closing the lids, we walked back to the bus. Embarrassing it was, as the people socially distanced themselves, fearing that I would smear paint on them.

When I arrived home, the bemused painters remarked that I looked worse than them, with grey and white paint
spattered all over me!

The other day while dappling with my paints, I accidentally spilt a bottle.
The sap green colour, lay splattered on the floor.
But that was okay.
I could clean it easily, as I had done a hundred times, before. But what a waste of paint, during these lockdown days, I thought.

And then as my eyes darted up, I had the shock of my life.

The green little bottle had bounced to hit the top of the window sill, spattering paint all over the curtain blind and had then reached the floor, I realised with dismay.
Now, these cream coloured curtain blinds were my husband’s pride. He prided himself on selecting it and often remarked how it lit up the room.

I stood petrified in dumb stupor, staring at the damage I had done.
My first reaction was to peep out of the door to see if anyone was around. Phew! Nobody.
Then I thought I should
try rubbing the area with water.
Stealthily, I snuck out of the room, to the bathroom.
Soon, armed with a bucket, soap, scrub and a washcloth, I began to rub at the paint vigorously.

If the droplets of paint had earlier looked like fresh dewdrops on a winter morning, now they seemed like a dirty green, gooey pond.
I stood staring at this spectacle that had unfolded, with my heart in my mouth and the washrag, in my hand, now soiled green. I didn’t know, whether to cry or call out for help.
The pathetically comic scene from the1997 movie, “Bean”, flashed through my mind, where the protagonist had a similar experience, while trying to wipe a billion dollar painting.
Jerking myself
from my static state, I frantically poured water over the dark green patches. l rubbed and scrubbed with soap and rinsed it again and again. And my efforts didn’t go in vain. The curtains slowly emerged clean…a sight that was a thrilling relief.
By then, a pool of green soapy suds had collected around my feet.
But I didn’t mind that.
It could be mopped in a jiffy.

Afterwards, on being asked what I had been painting, behind closed doors,my mind raced for a befitting answer and I said “Curtains! No, I mean a muddy green lake.”
Which reminds me, that I should now go and camouflage the few remaining dots of green paint, on the blinds with a matching cream colour, before someone finds out my crime.


Annie Cyriac 

Amrita HS

Moolavattom Kottayam


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