The Cartoonist

SUMANA SAHA

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He shall be an artist his mother had always known.
As a toddler he had bitten on a crayon,
And the colour had invaded his guts, it had found a way to his heart,
And to an alert mind, to prey on.

He captured all he saw, in strokes bold and sure,
Lines, shapes, shades coalesced in his mind,
He caught them before they escaped and promptly pinned them on paper
He amazes everyone, He was one of a kind.

His mother had encouraged him. His father had been too busy to notice.
“An artist, is what he shall be”, his mother proudly said,
But she could not see her son become a great artist,
For the car crashed and she lay there cold and dead.

Things changed. He shut himself up in his room.
Disconnected from the world, he fulfilled her wish.
He drew and painted cartoons all day long.
Tracing the roundness of the bird’s head,
He coloured her yellow as a canary should be.
He painted the little bow on the mouse’s head red
As it should be for a little in love with the blue buttoned mouse was she.
He filled the ogre’s head with green,
Careful not to spill out the edges.
He gave the little pig a little pink tail and twisted its end into a knot.

The little dog’s nose was egg-shaped as was humpty himself;
The ducklings had just the right touch of orange.
He filled his room with cartoons, sat for hours at end,
Busy mixing colours, sketching, erasing,
He fulfilled his mother’s dream.

One night, he sat in his room, looking at all his works,
He sat through the night, neither admiring nor being proud,
Of the beauty he created over time.
Then finally, when the sun rays peeped through the window, He rose.
He lighted the match and threw it on his works.
Stood there watching silently while everything turned to ashes.
He had no purpose in life. The person who loved his works the most,
Wasn’t there. He destroyed everything.
“An artist, is what he shall be”, his mother proudly said,
He closed his eyes, remembered her face, tears rolled down his cheeks,
He missed her. The cartoonist in him, WAS DEAD.

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