Two pairs of bleary eyes, looking at the same canvas, yet with only one heart, and soul that they chose to share! And looking at the art on the canvas, rifted back memories that cannot be named, feelings that cannot be explained,and unconditional love that can never be forgotten! The Chocolate Kiss!
He looked at the blank canvas in front of him and sighed. His mind was distracted, his hand couldn’t move and in his eyes kept flashing -“Her Face”! He closed his eyes. Her every feature was a work of art. And he believed, she was a masterpiece, God must have sketched her with great concentration, from the tips of his brush, every stroke to perfection and with precision!
Her big beautiful eyes, outlined by her bushy yet graceful eyebrows, stood out as dark as the night and deep like the ocean, and in each eye shone a spark! Like a lone brilliant star in a dark lovely night. And she was like that lone star, who despite being in a world of dark,deep lies, chose to always echo truth, light and innocence. You could see her soul in her eyes. And the way she looked at him…always struck a chord. Lashed with velvet eyelashes, she was a doll.
Her hair! Her magma brown hair, with bangs, was straight in the beginning, but bounced with curly waves at her shoulder. Each strand had a soul of its own! They moved to their will, dancing to the tunes of the air. Independent but not wild, crazy yet beautiful! Perfection through imperfection! Just like her!
The middle of her brows always carried a mini bindi, highlighting the feminity and purity of her soul! As she blushes, her cheeks fold to reveal her dimples, pinkish red creeps onto her dusky yet bright face, depicting innocence, but ah, red is not such innocent colour after all!
Her smile was magical, the way her eyes cringe! It was like fresh water for thirsty flowers! But her lips.. They were unknown to me and her kiss was yet a mystery!
And with that final thought, he opened his eyes and suddenly he knew what he wanted to paint.
He stood frustrated as he painted her lips again for the “zillionth time” but only to be dissatisfied. He covered it up with canvas paint, determined to get it right this time and let out a sigh.
“What’s wrong, you ok?” suddenly her voice sounded from behind me. He looked back to see her concerned. Her eyes moved from me to the canvas. Her eyes widened, “Tushar! Its beautiful!”
He shrugged and smiled. Little did she know, it was her!
“I can’t get the lips right.”he said. She sensed the dejection in his voice and smiled. “Who is that woman? Is she someone special?” He lied,”No, they’re just random strokes.” She frowned, jealous.
Then suddenly she turned and walked into the kitchen.” Mithali?!”, he called after her confused. “Wait”, she insisted.
She came in a minute later, yet to him it seemed like eternity. Something was smeared over her lips.Dark brown. Lipstick? She ran up to the canvas and suddenly kissed it. Tushar looked at her amused. Then as she moved to reveal the portrait, at the place where he struggled in vain to create her lips, was the impression of her lips.A kiss print. He looked at her incredulously. He went up and examined the “finished” work of art. It was perfect! He was elated.
” Who is she?”Mithali asked. He turned to look at her. He saw jealousy and also fear. And he loved that. Their intense gazes lasted for a few moments and finally he poured his heart all out. “You!” he confessed. She smiled like she had never before. And as their lips touched, he caught the taste of chocolate! She smiled sensing his discovery.
“Chocolate! Want some?” she winked. He smiled and soon leaned back in to lose himself into a mystery. The Chocolate Kiss!
” We’ve become impossible!” she sighed angrily. He was taken aback, her words hitting him hard.
“But I love you Baby!” he said. ” What’s the use, you don’t know how to!” she replied coldly.
” I’m trying, its just that I get so busy” he insisted. She shook her head. ” Maybe we should think about it. You need to concentrate on your art. That way, you’ll be happy and so will I!” she said slinging her bag over her shoulder and walked to the door.
” But “you” are my art! You make me happy!” he said. She was moved yet didn’t respond.
He looked at her disbelievingly. Here they were, starting out as the most inspirational couple, handing the bumps like pros, promising to never end up like this. But now, they stood facing the opposite. He looked at her leaving figure and wondered how it all shattered.
” Why?” was all he could ask. She hesitated. ” I don’t feel safe anymore.I tried and I can try no longer” she said.
She smiled lightly, ” The one who loves you the most, ends up hurting you the most!”
I winced. I couldn’t say a word. I never wanted to hurt her. And so, I let her go.
Two pairs of bleary eyes, looking at the same canvas, yet with only one heart, and soul that they chose to share! And looking at the art on the canvas, rifted back memories that cannot be named, feelings that cannot be explained,and unconditional love that can never be forgotten! He named it “The Chocolate Kiss”!
And suddenly their eyes met! The union was nostalgic. A surge of emotions rocked each of their souls. Indescribable feelings,the urge to kill their sorrow past and grown distance overwhelmed them.They looked at each other as if afraid they would lose the other if they stopped looking. Both of them moved towards each other at the same time, when suddenly a voice stopped them.
” Tushar, your exhibits are wonderful. “Repertoires of Art” by Tushar” he said reading out the invite header.” I’m awed”
” Thank you very much Mr.Chola. I am very much honoured and appreciate your coming here” Tushar reciprocated.
” But Ah! I must say this work of art is a masterpiece like none compared! The lips are so accurate and the woman..Oh! She is a beauty!” he said gesturing to “The Chocolate Kiss”.
Tushar shot a smile at Mithali as she blushed.
” So, how much for this masterpiece?” Mr.Chola asked. There was silence.Tushar hesitated.”I’m sorry, I’m not sure I can find a price for it” he said after a long pause.
“Oh! But why?!” he asked amused.
Tushar smiled politely.” This painting is a memory of a woman I love. She isn’t with me now, and so it isn’t for sale.”
Mithali looked on awed. There was a silence.
“I think you should sell it” said Mithali suddenly,” I’ll help you determine a price” she insisted.
” Thats the woman in the painting right?!” the people around us whispered,”Yes! She’s the girl! OMG!”
Tushar was confused but remained silent.”How much would you give for this woman to be in your life?” she asked.
” Oh everything! Anything!She is priceless!” he said without a moment’s thought. Mithali looked at him, touched. She couldn’t speak for a minute.
“And if she was in your life forever? How much would you sell it for?” she asked longingly finally finding her voice.
” For free! Bec before her, this”, he said gesturing to the painting,” is worthless!” he declared.
And that moment, they realised that all the pain, all the vaccum that had crept into their relationship, was so small compared to the love they shared, the way they cared and the way they made just the “perfect team”!
She ran up to him as he wrapped his arms around her and hugged her like crazy! Their embrace spoke the unspoken feelings that their words would have failed to express, which anyway would have been masked as the crowd burst into a ecstatic applause.
“So, they lived happily after?” a young boy in night pants asked.
“Yes, Arjun”, his grandmother smiled, her wrinkles crinkled as she did. “And they never fought?”, he asked in an unbelieving voice.
“No”, his grandmother said,”they did”
Arjun gasped, “But you said they lived happily ever after?!” She chuckled.
“Happiness and Love are not measured by how few misunderstandings you have. They are measured by the number of second chances we give.” she told him.”There’s always that one person who we give endless second chances! And we’re happy only when we do, becuz we’ll never be happy without them! That is Love! That is your happily ever after!”
Arjun smiled and nodded. They exchanged good nights and his grandmother pulled the door near.
Arjun pulled out his phone and texted,” I’m sorry baby! I love you!”
A few seconds later, his phone buzzed. He opened the message anxiously. “I’m sorry too! I love you too baby!?” He closed his eyes peacefully and drifted into a happy sleep.
His grandmother finally closed the door, relieved. Suddenly strong arms wrapped around her and the scent of chocolate wifted to her. She smiled.
” Chocolate! Want some?”, his aged yet loving voice sounded in her ‘hearing aid’. She turned around and wrapped her arms around his neck. She nodded and moved forward to lose herself, once again into ” The Chocolate Kiss!”