Savitri was standing with her hands folded and her eyes closed. It had been three months since Adarsh’s full-fledged tryst with sculpture but it was only the first time that his mother had visited him. He looked around hoping against hope that his father would be there somewhere, but even he knew that was too much to expect.
Six months went by. It was evening. The rays of the setting sun were caressing the dark blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. Adarsh was completing the sculpture of Lord Buddha sitting in meditation under the Bodhisattwa tree. He added the finishing touches and then stood up to have a look.
“It is so lifelike and serene.”
“It is beautiful.”
He turned around. Two Japanese women and a man were standing behind him admiring the sculpture. Even as he watched, the taller of the two women started clicking photographs of the sculpture.
“You are very talented,” she said in strongly accented English.
“I am Etsuko Nozaka,” she said, offering her hand. “And these are my friends Karin and Soma.”
“My name is Adarsh,” he said.
“How long have you been doing this? You look very young.”
“I am 18 years old and I have been doing this since I was around 12. After my Class XII examination I have been concentrating only on sand sculpture.”
The three visitors nodded their heads in short vigorous movements.
They left after sometime.
The next day they were back early in the morning. Adarsh had just started his work. He was planning to create a sculpture of Lord Krishna playing the flute.
Etsuko and her friends watched him work and continued taking photographs as well as recording the progress on video.
That evening they invited him for dinner to their hotel. Adarsh agreed quite readily. During dinner they asked him about his parents, his aspirations and various other details about his life.
After they had finished and were having coffee, Etsuko said, “Adarsh, the three of us run an academy of fine arts in Tokyo. Students of all age groups are taught drawing, painting and sculpture. We have very talented teachers but no one who can teach sand art. We would like to make you an offer. If you can come to Japan with us, we can give you a job as a teacher. The contract will be for a period of five years after which it can be renewed. What do you say?”
Adarsh could not believe this was happening. He was at a complete loss for words.
“I…I do not know what to say. This has come as a complete surprise. I’ll have to ask my parents first.”
“Fine, we are here till tomorrow evening. Here is your appointment letter. You can show it to your parents and get back to us.”
“What! Japan! Have you gone completely mad?” Savitri almost screamed.
“How can you even imagine that we’ll send you to a country thousands of miles away just like that. I think your father was right. We have given you too much freedom and that has gone to your head.”
uTo be continued
Illustrations: Susanta Das