It all started innocently enough.
A surprise holiday from office, and Diva (my roommate) and I decided to do some pre-winter cleaning and then maybe go to Dilli-haat. We hauled off the bags from top of our almirahs. So out came the tumbling bundles of soft, cozy woolens and shawls, and all that is needed to survive winters in Delhi. Diva set about sorting them, and I thought of having a look at my portfolio, my HUGE file - containing my college work.
Clearing away the rest of the mess, I reached out towards the file, and my heart stopped beating. One side of it, the bottom right corner was bitten off. Gnawed at by sharp teeth. The mouse hadn't stopped at the thick cardboard casing, but had bitten all the way to the other side.
5 years of my sweat, my toil, of staying awake and screwing my eyes over intricate designs, of perfecting and re-perfecting a sheet, of sketches made in the peak of summers, my wrists staining the rough texture of the paper...work spanning over 5 years, two colleges and 6 teachers...
My favorite sheets - a girl standing inside an open door, hesitant, curious, rendered in oil pastels.
Another sheet, not something which was beautiful, but memorable, now eaten away because of those idiot mice's insatiable hunger.
I can still feel, in my bones, how it felt to take a brush and paint a canvas; dip it in colors of my dreams, and see my imagination come to life. I still remember the grainy texture of the handmade sheets, purchased by not having an ice-cream, that teddy bear...then using the almost broken oil pastels to paint, to draw. And wait for the next day, to show it to the teacher..to wait, with bated breath for her to reject or accept it.
I didn't learn from the past, I guess.