Thursday, February 19, 2009


It is a cold, silent night of December and nature has painted the whole town white in its preparation for the festival season ahead. But in contrast to the outside, the atmosphere inside the town hall is buzzing with activity. Clinking champagne glasses, snapping flashlights and warm yellow glow from stand lights melting over curvaceous white figures, his exhibition has been a success.

Notwithstanding the astounding amount of money his father had left him, he had made himself a name in the society, as a man who puts clay and Plaster of Paris to life. The critics were in awe of him for his sheer talents and the press loved him for his whims. He had made it a habit of disappearing for a few months before returning to the social scene with his new creations. His early success had made him one of the most sought-after bachelors in the upper circles. And this made sure that he always had enough material to study his favorite subject, woman.

Flashy neons had given way to mellow night lamps and the bustling skyline had fallen into a slumber, covered under the blanket of fog. Walking has always been his favorite activity to rejuvenate after a hectic day. He decided to enjoy the misty night on his own and ordered his chauffer to take his car back to his place “I’ll walk and stay at my studio tonight”

The flickering lamp on the corner of the street was dissolving orange colour in the grayish-white hue of the night. He moved from upmarket areas towards downtown alleys, absorbing everything in sight. His keen eyes were checking every lost soul wandering in those streets where people with respectable family background feared to tread.

She was a girl of thin built and towering height. She had big hazel eyes and an exceptionally smooth skin. A half-burnt cigarette was hanging lazily from her lips and the smoke was adding mystery to her aura. Half of her face was covered by her long brunette hair and rest was eaten up by shadows of the alley.

“I’ll pay 150 dollars for a night”, he asked, in his usual baritone, “You’ll have to pose for me, naked!” “But there are rules. You won’t ask who I am”. And then, nobody gets to pose for me second time. His curved lips marked the ending of his sentence. Yeah, whatever! Let’s go, where’s the car, she enquired. No words were exchanged as they walked to his studio.

The place looked like a dungeon with plastic drapes hanging all around. Patches of clay and Plaster-of-Paris were splattered everywhere but in contrast to all, one corner contained a rack with shining instruments arranged in an orderly fashion. “You stay here, I’ll fix you a drink”, he uttered and got lost behind those plastic sheets.

When he returned after a few minutes, she was ready in her birth suit. Here you go, finish it and let’s get to work, he said as he handed over the glass to her. “Where’s your glass”, she questioned. I don’t drink before work, I drink to my work. Let me know if you want some more. She was amazed by the dedication and the charm of this man. Don’t you wanna touch me, she offered as she moved her body closer to his.

“I have to check the mixture; it should be ready by now. I don’t want it to get lumpy, gets difficult to pour-in”, as he moved out of the room, she gulped on her drink. The next morning, when he left the studio, he was a satisfied soul. And there she stood in his exhibition window, with her body as a skeleton to his proud creation.

I told her, nobody gets to pose for me twice….