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An Artist’s Dream: Book I

Updated: 1 day ago

Your Adorable Artist


The first part of An Artist’s Dream tells the story of Naina through ten incidents that changed her life, relations, perception & character. It shows how a girl in the pursuit of love makes decisions that seal her fate.


“An Adorable Artist” by Nikhila Kotni is an individual’s journey from hating hypocrites to becoming one. It conveys how a traumatised child seeks love at all costs and is willing to trade anything, including her own child.

 
Cover Photo by Nikhil Narayanasa

Contents


Free Access

  1. The Tale of Bitter Truth

  2. The Tale of a Lamenting Artist

  3. The Tale of a Questionnaire

Exclusive Access

  1. The Tale of a Truth-teller

  2. The Tale of a Compromiser

  3. The Tale of a Bond

  4. The Tale of a Pleader

  5. The Tale of a Hypocrite

  6. The Tale of a Griever

  7. The Tale of a Realiser

 

Credits

This contribution is created by R. S. Chintalapati, contributed by Nikhila Kotni, edited by Sreekar Ayyagari, photographed by Nikhil Narayanasa, & acted by Mounika Kodeboina.

 

Product

This short story is yet to be available as paperback & ebook.

 

Tale I

The Tale of Bitter Truth


Glaring at the drizzling grey clouds, Naina stood at the entrance of her home drenched in her wet school uniform. She was determined to confront her mother today with the question that had been burning her for months.


Meanwhile, for the tenth time, she heard her grandfather plead with her to change her clothes & drink some hot milk, but she didn’t want to. She first wanted the answer. So she asked him again, “Where is papa?” & he remained as silent as he was throughout the way when he picked her up from school.


The old one knew that his granddaughter was as stubborn as his daughter. Perhaps even a little more & he could not think of a way to calm her. He presumed that the children in the class might have asked about it because the teachers wouldn’t. They knew the truth & his daughter made sure of it.


Rukmini was back home after work as he thought of ways to pacify his granddaughter. Approaching the entrance, she could see Naina waiting by the door. Noticing her, she knew that evening wouldn’t be so leisurely.


Before she even stepped inside, Naina shouted, “Mama, where is papa!”


Glancing at the old one, Rukmini took a deep breath. Before she spoke, her father warned, “She is too young.”


All her life, Rukmini was also lied to by her parents in the hope that she was protected. But sooner rather than later, the truth about their debt flipped her life.


Kneeling before her blood, Rukmini replied, “Your father...”


The old one interrupted her to presage, “She cannot handle it.”


Realising it was folly to protect a coward, Rukmini continued, “Your father left us, Naina.”


Listening to her father’s smear, Rukmini shouted, “Let her know that her father isn’t...”


She held her words for a second before continuing in a quieter tone, “That he isn’t a beacon of hope or an ideal of trust to look up to.”


“Feed your child with such poison & she will become bitter & senseless.” noted the old one.


Stepping inside, Rukmini replied, “Leagues better than live a lie until reality breaks her down.”


Concluding the sentence, she realised it wasn’t time to fight her battles but instead help the little one. Looking at her with eyes filled with tears, Rukmini hugged her.


Holding her mother tightly, Naina faintly whispered, “How could he leave us?” & Rukmini couldn’t help but relive the moment she hated the most. The moment her husband stepped out of their home, leaving her & their baby for the love of his life.

 

Tale II

The Tale of a Lamenting Artist


Looking out the window, Naina could see the black clouds roaring and the winds invading their city but not a drop of rain. She stood before her Professor in his chamber as he skimmed through her submission. She knew her work would ensure reprimanding, but she couldn’t help herself from writing it.


Ever since she lost her grandfather about a year ago, her life has not been the same. He was the only force protecting her by projecting confidence & with his loss, Naina failed in everything. Her moral support vanished, and her mother sought help than offered some.


Putting her submission down, the Professor exclaimed, “Yet another monologue, Naina?”


Cutting her eye contact, Naina remained silent & leaning back in his chair the Professor continued, “Readers are not in for your therapy, lady.”


What could she say? That her mother has lost herself completely? Or that her loneliness was eating her creativity? Or that she loved to live in the past rather than face the present? What could she say?


Adjusting his glasses, the Professor expressed, “We all write about ourselves, but the mastery of enclosing the truth with a false reality makes us professional, lady. I’m afraid you are..”


Hoping to defend herself, Naina interrupted, “I’m going through a lot, sir.”


“So are we all. You don’t see me doing mediocre work,” the Professor reacted with a smile.


Waiting for a moment & witnessing her muteness, the Professor continued, “My kindness won’t spare the wolves out there from judging you, Naina. Men who never wailed a day in agony to jot a sentence will be ready to fling their criticism within seconds.”