If Ever Luck Favours!

By Anjali Mohapatra • September 1, 2015

It was so windy, it seemed as if the wind would blow away every possible thing nearby! Sarah closed the door, locked it tightly inside, which was banging continuously. She looked at the window. The trees out side her apartment, were almost touching the ground in one swing. It looked as if the trees would be uprooted from the ground. She was really panicked, maybe the glass window would be broken down into pieces anytime. The peculiar horrifying sound of the wind was leaking through a very minute gap of the window. She checked the other rooms and closed all the doors properly.

Slowly she came to her table to check her e-mails. Sarah forced her parents to bye one I-pad for her, when she was in her first year graduation. She was an average student but her creativity in drawing and painting was really amazing. She never learnt the painting from any one. But in a regular basis, she was watching the varieties of paintings in the Internet. Once, while she was browsing, she got a site, where an advertisement of painting competition was mentioned. She didn't disclose the fact to her parents and sent two of her paintings.

Like other teenagers, her mind was also wandering in beautiful landscapes, where she could anchor her future prospects. Unlike other over smart girls, she was mild, but hoping for a bright future, she was also not exceptional. She was fascinated by the out side world, particularly the scopes they have provided to prosper. She was also dreaming, that someday she would land over there! But, at the next moment, she withdrew herself from those absurd thoughts of landing somewhere else, except her home!

However, it became a regular practice, after coming back from her college to check her e-mail. She was eighteen, when she stepped to the first year graduation. Sarah was barely 5'6'', fair complexion and usually she put a knot on her straight black silken hair. When she properly dressed up, she looked beautiful. The most fascinating thing about Sarah was, she was very soft spoken and amicable. Maybe, unlike other teenagers, she was not showy. Both of her parents were working. None of them were in a very high post. She only consoled herself that, if ever her luck favours, she could fulfill her long run desire.

Luckily that windy day, she was at home for some reason. Maybe, she had only one class that day, so she ignored it. It was so cloudy and gloomy, she didn't feel like to go to college that day. She went to the kitchen room, prepared a cup of coffee for herself and leisurely came back to the table to check her I-pad. Slowly she sipped the coffee, opened the I-pad and browsed it. So many sites flipped, finally she opened her e-mails. She got so many e-mails from her friends but she was not interested to go through them at that moment. Her mind was searching something else. Suddenly her eyes fixed in one line 'Miss Sarah! You are invited to Melbourne for your amazing paintings. Kindly report us in the specific date given below.' She couldn't believe her eyes. Again and again she squeezed her eyes and went on reading the same line.She overwhelmed with joy and screamed aloud, 'Mom, dad, I got it, I got it.' Then she remembered that none of her parents were at home, they were in t! heir office. She picked up her phone, dialed her dad and mom both to give this news.

A month passed, she was still unable to get her passport and visa. As the scheduled date came closer, she became worried and a bit nervous. Eventually, after one week, she got her formal documents. Her flight was booked in 'Etihad' from Mumbai to Melbourne. The whole family was so excited. The day arrived and Sarah, all alone took her journey to Melbourne. The air ticket was only provided for her.

When she was only five years old, her parents came to India. From that day, hardly she visited to Indonesia, her native place. But, gradually she liked India more than her own place. It was obvious, because her tender childhood, developed from Indian soil. Her every important event of life started from India only. So, within this thirteen years of staying in India, hardly she visited any place by air. At least, such a long time journey by plane, it was her first time experience. After boarding was over, she took her seat and peacefully closed her eyes to have some beautiful dreams.

At last the plane landed in the International Airport of Melbourne.

'Oops! Incredible,' murmured Sarah looking at the beautiful, huge, huge International Airport of Melbourne. She was amazed, indeed! The huge life size posters of different pictures were shining on the alternate walls. Ticket counters were well managed by efficient personnel. Well mannered, decently behaved people around the airport, was really mind catching. Overall, the inside design of that airport was beautiful. Continuous announcement of the flights and other information were going on. She was going through the sign boards to find out the desk where she could get the right information to reach her destination. Suddenly she heard, 'Can I help you miss?'

She turned back. A stranger was asking her, but she was sure that he must be an airport employee. She was nervous, then told him what she was searching for. The gentleman smiled and guided her exactly how to pick up the taxi and to reach at her destination. His English accent was obviously different, yet she could understand.

Sarah took the taxi. Whatever address, she got from the e-mail, she showed the driver to make it easier for him to locate the place. Twenty minutes later, they reached at the spot. She paid the money, then stepped in the staircase laid down before the main entrance door. Now she was really thrilled! She wanted some company who could stay with her over night for the next day event. She saw few other boys and girls were also walking towards the entrance door. She couldn't resist any more. She ran to a group and then said, 'Hi! I am Sarah from Indonesia. Would you please tell me whether all of you have come for this painting competition? Actually, for the first time I am in Australia. I don't know anyone. If my guess is right, you all are invited for this occasion? Am I right? If I am right and if you don't mind, can I share the room with you, please?'

They looked at each other's face then talked something in their local language, which Sarah couldn't follow. Perhaps, they were speaking Spanish. Of course, in their group of six, three were from Spain, two were from Italy and one was from England. Anyway, one of the girls told her th she could share the room with them.

Sarah was delighted. At least, she could spare the room with some company, she was not lonely. All of them went together. They all started their conversation in English as that was the only common language understood by all. Gradually, they became friends. The overnight was so full of amusements, that it became a remarkable night for all of them. They enjoyed a lot sharing their individual experiences in their first college life. One asked Sarah, 'By the way, what e-mail you have received? Hey, Sarah! Have any boy friend?' Sarah winked at them mischievously said, 'Nope! Not, yet!' She told them that simply she got the invitation to Melbourne for her paintings. No final result was mentioned. 'Even we got the same information,' said one boy.

'Well, let us see tomorrow whose fortune favours!' the boy uttered in a broad smiling face.

The night appeared a long journey for them as all of them were drastically waiting to know that whose amazing painting would be on the top. Basically, what was the reward for the top one! However, they gossiped a lot and finally slept at late night.

Next day... Early morning, they all finished their morning work and quickly got ready for the Community Hall, where they were supposed to assemble for the final hearing of their hard work, beautiful paintings. All were literally excited. Although they became very close to each other, yet every one was wishing to get the top rank. Beautifully dressed, they all went to the hall.

'Oh my God!!!' words at a time came out from their lips. They couldn't resist themselves, but admired the interior design and excellent decoration of the hall. The most admiring thing, the way the paintings were displayed over there along with the decorative articles!!! A high profile, CEO of a very, very reputed corporation, was invited as the Chief Judge of the competition. Along with him, the veteran artists accompanied.

Ten, fifteen minutes later, the CEO stood up. He looked at the participants and gave a broad smile. In a deep voice, he wished 'good luck' to all of them. He praised the emerging new artists, appreciated their concept, ideas, wonderful style of colour combination in the pictures. He was deeply impressed. Then suddenly, he moved towards a painting. Each artist's two paintings were arranged side by side. Then few feet ahead, the next artist's painting. However, after having a second time thorough look to each and every painting, he stood before one. Leaned forward a little bit, to read the name written on the right side corner of the frame. Again he looked back at the participants and said, 'Well! Miss Sarah, please be present here and kindly answer my questions!'

Sarah was surprised! She was totally nervous, she felt as if she was losing her nerves. She might not be able to answer his questions. Still, she had to go, so she moved forward. Putting both the hands back side, she stood before her paintings.

Mr. Jack Thomson, the CEO of education and social welfare department of Melbourne started, 'Well, Miss Sarah! Where are you from?'

'Indonesia, but settle down in India, sir!'

'Well, miss! Can you explain me both of your paintings? In your first painting, I am surprised to see a peculiar scenario. For example, you have coloured the ground as if it is heavily cracked, few dead animals and dead human bodies are scattered on the ground. Trees are uprooted and at the same time you have clearly shown the picture of blackish heavy cloud on the sky. Heavy rain falls are pouring but strangely not a single drop of water is touching the ground. And most amazing part is, just above the ground heavy smogs whirled around the atmosphere. It looks absolutely foggy and blurred. It is fantastic! The colour combination is so brilliant, it seems as if it is happening right now. But unfortunately, I have never seen this type of scenery in reality ever! The painting is incredible! My question to you is, what was in your mind, when you drew this painting and explain me your concept behind it.'

Sarah swallowed. She was so nervous that her voice started cracking, then after a little silence she adjusted herself then said, 'Sir...long back I wished to draw a picture looking at the current situation. Thousands of sky-scraper buildings are there in all over the world. Human population is incredibly increasing. Human encroachment on the environment is so high that I felt as if, after sometimes only carbon dioxide and no oxygen would be available to breath and everybody will die, because of which the dead bodies I have drawn. Secondly, due to excess heat radiation from the surrounding even though the rain is pouring, yet before reaching the ground, on the way the water particles are converted into smog. This is the reason why, I made the upper level of the ground completely foggy and blurred. However, it is not far away to happen, sir, the way the world is progressing today!!!'

'Oh! I see!!! Well, good! Excellent answer! Now, what about the second painting? What was going on in your mind? What for you have drawn such an extraordinary picture?'

After the first comment, Sarah was relaxed! She got some confidence to explain the second one. She explained, 'Sir, I just wanted to draw some satirical portrait to create something new, different from the normal paintings. Then I changed my mind from portrait to mix up this with some other realistic picture. So, I drew the barren lands only showing some broken rocks, small chips and pebbles. Randomly, I drew the skeletons of different species and on the far side of the barren land, huge number of tall buildings. Almost on the centre, I have drawn a human pyramid where each one is stamped by other and the man on the top is throwing money, having one in his mouth. Literally, everybody is eating money and money only!'

Immediately, she was interrupted by Mr. Thomson,'Why, so???'

She continued,'I drew it in that way, because in my view, the way our ecosystem is disturbed, global warming is rising high and people are adamant and aggressive towards deforestation for constructing new buildings, it seems the day is not far away, when we will not have anything left, except money to eat. Out of hunger, a person can do anything. So, I have drawn that the people are eating money and money only! No choice is left for them!!!

'Superb explanation! Well done, Miss Sarah, well done!!' said Mr. Thomson and other judges too. Everyone applauded.

Mr. Thomson called all the young artists one by one, asked few questions regarding their arts then send them back. In fact, every single art was revealing a beautiful, incredible concept. The jury, Mr. Thomson including all the veteran artists, after a thorough discussion, unanimously announced 'Miss Sarah' as the winner!!!

'Congratulation Sarah! You are truly the Winner of 2015' s New Concept of Art competition!!!' said together.

Sarah was so happy that her voice was choked, perhaps the tears came out, out of extreme happiness!! She hugged her friends. Within few hours, they became so close to each other, it seemed as if they didn't want to part. Australia, specially Melbourne journey became a remarkable, special journey for all of them. She knew how much talent others had! Every painting was speaking something. But she felt as if, it happens sometimes 'if ever luck favours!!!'

They all were excellent. But one has to get the top rank. So, it is nothing but luck and obviously if it favours!!!

Who knows Sarah's new concept in painting may give a long run impact to the society!

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