Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Boy on the Ancient Route

I was on my way to Ajanta.

It was a cloudy morning with hints of rain. Though sometime the sun breaking away within the flocks of clouds.

Seated inside the Maharastra Tourism AC bus and a comfortable push back seat our journey started well.

And soon I was in my wanderlust mood.

As the bus went through the green hills brown road and scattered jungles and dispersed villages allong the roadway..a sense of lonely romanticism gripped me.

The village people who look at our bus in amazement and some smiled..the children who ran along the road with torn clothes..the numerous frquent fruit sellers who lined by with heaps of green fruits locally called as'Aata'..and they are tasty indeed!

The bus went on along the old route through which the traders went on trading with their commodities thousand of years ago.

And I felt a strange happiness when I stepped in this road.

The bus stopped near a remote village for a tea break.

Our bus which is almost full of foreigners and they started clicking their handycam.

And there I found a boy sitting in the red soil with heaps of pictures.

Along with the tourists I went towards him.

Oh! What brilliant pictures they are!

They resemble the pictures of walls of Ajanta no doubt but they look like so real.

And the colours are so lively too.

The foreigners went towards him and ask the price of the paintings.

But a strange answer came.

'No Memsahib! These are not for sale!'

I got amazed too.


I asked the question.

'For my own enjoyment I draw Sahib!'

And the boy hardly twelve years took out the brush and started painting again.

It was time.

The bus sounded horn.

We went off.

Next was the surrender to the caves of Ajanta.

Where the experience was almost an obsession..where the heads bow down in respect of those great artists..those genius of forgotten days..those souls who once gathered here and left their marks in curves and drawings of immortal eternity.

As we witness a creation which in all sense greater than life.

And we all like speechless wanderers realized the level of art which ancient India..these artists once reached would never be able to reach again!

Such was the class.

Such was the work that we saw in Ajanta and the last day in Ellora.

It was our surrender of our everything and for a moment being free from all our desires and comforts to feel that this is what ancient India is and this is where the lost civilisation still bear its magnificience and granduer.

And we all kept silent.

And seeing the beauty my eyes almost came full of tears!

And I silently pay my homage to those souls and that Prince who became a greatest monk and achieved all and changed the world in thoughts in ideas and attainment and sole meaning of life.

It was around four o clock our bus started again for the return journey.

I still in that mood of submission to timeless creation kept quite.

And as the bus went on I closed my eyes.

Suddenly I saw within my closed eyes a painting.

Lord Buddha in Padmapani position while preaching.

And beside that I saw a painting which look like a continuation of that frescoes.

Which according to history of Ajanta long got eroded from the walls of the caves.

And which no books can capture and which Nandalal Basu a pioneer of Indian art along with Abanindranath Tagore cannot capture.

Then how that painting can?

I opened my eyes.

I remember three paintings which are nothing but continuation of the frescoes.

I ran to the driver.

And asked him to stop at the same place where the bus halted for in the morning..for tea break.

'But why?'

'Please..I beg to the driver..'For five minutes.'

The driver agreed.

The place was almost twenty kilometres from Ajanta.

And after almost half n hour we reached there.

I jumped off from the bus and ran towards the tea stall.

But there was no boy sitting on the red soil now.

I went to the tea stall.

'Where was that boy?'

'Which boy?' The shopkeeper said in local hindi.

'The boy who was painting here.'

'No idea Sir. He for the last one week came here. I do not said anything as tourists got attracted towards him. And my business increased too.'

'Do you know where he stays?'

'No Sir!'

'Do any more village here?'

'There are many..but all scattered Sir..and no body knew that boy Sir!'

I have no more questiones.

Or I have too many to ask.

But the bus driver gave horn.

And the tourists looking towards me in a strange way as if I am gone off my head.

I walked and got in the bus.

And the bus started.

I came back to my hotel in Aurangabad.

But went on thinking about those paintings.

How can a village boy draw such paintings the continuation of the frescoes which itself got eroded by time?


And where from that boy got so lively colours?

And why he did not sale any of his paintings?

Questiones came. No answers.

Next morning I again made a trip to Ajanta.

This time also the boy was not found.

Though one guide of Archaeological Survey of India said he saw the boy moving towards the hills in Ajanta.

But I do not found him,

Not within any cave too.

Next day I went again.

The result was same.

And one security guard of Cave 1 said me..'He can be a village boy..many are there who do such paintings in order to sale them to tourists..to earn dollars!'

But how will I make him understand that boy did not agreed to sale his painting too!

And his painting was not of ordinary type!

I never found that boy.

I still think about him. His paintings.

May be he is a special talent.

May be he is a village boy who came here while roaming and may be once saw the paintings and then drew from his imagination.

May be within the colours he has used some special leaf juice which once those old artists used thousand years ago.

I often think to visit again Ajanta.

As I still believe that boy still roaming somewhere along the caves and the unforgettable frescoes.

And sometime again I think..

in silent midnight that..

May be it is all dream..

Or may be..may be..

And in shiver I think..

That may be by some blessings of those great artists and the Wanderlust Prince..

I am able to see..

The lost part of the frecoes..

Through the paintings of that boy..

I also think and believe..

Let there be something which remains unknown to human beings..

We have learnt may be too much..

Let there be some more questiones..

Let there be some more unsolved answers..

Let there be some more mysteries..

Remain..to make mankind inquisitive....

I know I will never be able to forget and would love to remember..

Those paintings of frecoes..

Which were made..

By a boy on the ancient route!

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