Posts Tagged ‘art’

CHAPTER 23 (continued)

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
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“This one is my favourite”, Rahima says to me pointing to the painting next to me and I become aware that I haven’t even looked at the works yet. I angle myself to face it. “There you are”, Suhail comes over. “You are here again” he says to Rahima pointing at the piece of canvas hanging on the wall. “Are you going to make me buy this one?”, he asks her and then looks at it. He cocks his head and says, “Hey I like it”, come lets find that curator. H he pulls her away. Finally looking at the painting, I can see why they like it. It is peaceful yet restless. It is nothing like her sketches that were formed around an object. This is more abstract. I have been told that abstract it difficult to master but she seemed to have done a good job. There are blue strokes from the top looking like a sky. The brush strokes are meant to be distinct and it give the sky an edgy feel. The bottom is textured and green. The pieces raise up out of the canvas. In between them are thick vertical strokes creating a link between the red and green with short and long lines in whites and black causing the background colours to lighten and darken. Looking closer now it looks like the middle is waves crashing with white foam on top and dark waters below. I am actually surprised at how much I can read into it.

Moving from piece to piece I can see that she has really been experimenting. They are all beautiful and definitely gallery worthy. I just decide on my favourite when I spot her across the room. She sees me immediately and comes over. “Oh my goodness!” I say without even a salaam. “they are great, beyond great”, I say. She hugs me tightly. “Thanks for coming. I thought you wouldn’t make it” I looked at her crazily. “Don’t be stupid!!”. I said. “Amina and Mumtaz were here earlier, and I just spoke to er, Faheems sister,, er …Bushra. You know her right?” I shake my head. “Devika and Ramesh, Jamela’s friends parents are also here” she says excitedly.

“This one is my favourite”, I say pointing to a piece that is a fusion of sketching and paints. There are loud charcoal strokes in the shape of a young child jumping to catch a bunch of balloons floating away. Then the wild paint and brush strokes bring the painting alive adding energy and texture. But the best thing about it – the reason I love it – is that all the painting and drawing, lines, outlines and fill has a pallete of blacks and whites and greys, and just the balloons that the child just manages to reach that are painted in the brightest reds and yellows and blues. “every painting here has some of me in it” she says. I nod wildly, because I see it. the raging inside under the serene colours. The burst of energy in an understated painting, soft strokes mixed with hard strokes. I see it, and I understand it. Looking at the art is like looking at her. “I know” I say. “I see it”. she smiles at me.

“Hows baba?” she asks now changing the subject. “all good” I say happily. “And what about mummy” she asks. I love hearing that, when hussain called me mummy and now Hasina. I smile a content smile and that is enough for her.

Remember , I have to show you something, she says as someone comes to talk to her.

“I’m sure I did some of this in preschool” says Hussain as he joins me. “Ya , im sure” I say jokingly back to him. “That guy Aasif, is flippen talented” he says admiringly. “He said he did something for the mercedes showroom in Sandton and they paid him more than my 6 month salary”, clearly shocked and impressed at the same time. “And what do you think of the art?” I ask him. He looks at my favourite that is in front of us, he begins to play with his long beard then says, “its nice”. I roll my eyes at him. “what? He asks, I’m more of a nuts and bolts guy, you know that”.




Chapter 20 (continued)

Posted: August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
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As I pull up to the street where I live, I see my mother in laws car parked in our driveway. My art lesson had lifted my sprits so high, that even the thought of her today is not entirely off putting. I park next to her brand new Audi A8 and walk up to the house.

The middle of the week is a strange time for a visit from my mother in law, especially since Yusuf is at the office and the children are still at school. I glance at my cellphone to check the time, as I turn the key to unlock the front door. There’s a Whatsapp message from Yusuf. My hands are full with my portfolio bag, handbag, car keys, house keys and my empty snack box – a swipe at the screen to read messages could disrupt the delicate balance in my hands. I decide to check my messages later. The time however, tells me that I have an hour before I need to fetch the kids from school.

“Assalamu Alaikum” I say to the empty foyer of my house. I know that my mother in law is here, but the greeting is for my home. Since I was a child I recall my dire need to be the first to greet the house as we walked in. Thinking back now, it was the habit of my father to do that. I was very young when I remember asking him if I could greet the house when we walked in. As a young girl I felt I was given an honour as my father would unlock the door and step aside for me to be the first to enter and then convey the salaam to an empty house. Since our family therapy at the Rehab Centre and the revelations I received about my brothers and about our family back then, memories that I didn’t know I had – seem to have been triggered.

I set my portfolio down on the round table in the foyer and begin the search for Mrs. Vally – the original.

Even though it is my house, I do not try to assert myself by calling out to her. She is probably seated in the lounge waiting for my arrival. What for? I still do not know.

In the Vally castle, she is still the queen. Our relationship has always been matriachial, and even with my shift in confidence in the past few weeks, a mutiny is the last thing I want. I hear Elizabeth in the kitchen, probably packing dishes by the sound of it and I make my way towards the lounge where inevitably my mother in law and I, shall clash.

I am surprised to find and empty lounge, and wonder if perhaps the car has been parked in my driveway and she is maybe visiting somewhere else. I recall her fondness for my neighbor Asma, the day of Jameela’s birthday party. Perhaps she is visiting with her. A stab of jealousy shoots through me at that very thought. Yes, I have the mother in law from hell, but I still crave her approval. I still long for the day I can drop by at the house and be welcomed with a cup of coffee and carefree conversation. I wonder if one day I would be able to call her up on the phone without having to endure awkward silences and comments of the weather, passing time until I can pass the phone on to Yusuf or the children.

Her disapproval seems to always penetrate the usual barrier I try to put up.

Shaking that thought from my mind, and determined not to let my happy mood slip away I head to the kitchen, wondering for the first time why Elizabeth is still washing dishes at this hour.

I stop myself in my tracks. I see my mother in law in my kitchen. I stand there at the kitchen entrance, unseen. It is a scene I have never before witnessed before. For a moment I wonder if I have come across something she wished I had never seen.