The sound of Surendran's brush as he paints is a comforting noise. A scratchy sound that holds its own rhythm, and breaks the stillness within the house that is now closed for the night . We are still working together in the studio in our home these days, and it brings back memories of those earlier times when circumstance had us sharing one studio and painting through the nights was dotted by numerous cigarette breaks and endless cups of scalding coffee. In those days I was only a nescafe drinker. Instant, laced with milk and two teaspoons of sugar. My water-tea with no sugar had yet not made its entry into my existence. Yet tonight I am having a cup of coffee once again, almost as though in reverence to the faithfulness of detail, so as to perhaps re-live the memory in all its exactness unknowingly.
Co-incidentally both our works have women painted boldly in frontal confrontational postures. The studio is filled with their presence and they appear to bristle with life; impatient to be completed.
Begum our cat has been ceremoniously banished from the studio since this evening. Her crime: attempting to walk over Surendran's wet painting that was doing a Shavasan on the floor! Her curiosity has led to many a drama. Paint-paws bring great trauma to my fur friend who intensely dislikes soap and water; and in the instances when white fur has been transformed into colours of the rainbow from nosing about in forbidden places ; there has been soap and water and paint and temper strewn all around the studio, tornado style. So right now we have Begum tap-tapping on the latch as though she is playing Spanish castanets, to register her annoyance at being denied entry into what she considers her domain!
Another noise that punctuates the air is the new automatic air freshener dispenser. Clean freak that I am, I am deliriously happy to have these spurts of fragrant air scent my studio, with timed precession and a gentle puffing sound!
The wedding season is in full swing and there is the distant sound of fireworks that crackle through the night air.......
Late at night the creaks and sighs of a house tell me that my home is finally resting. The hum of my fridge or the water in the pipes, the woodwork that expands and contracts, or the sound of a tube light that buzzes and ticks....the rustle of things settling......
My street dogs are always careful to wander into neighbouring lanes to vent their spleens, and bark and snarl amongst themselves. What floats up to my studio is only the quiet muffled murmuring of their grouses.
I will soon go for my shower. The sound of the spray of steaming hot water will get muffled as my body buffers its cascading path, and is slowly soothed of it's weariness.
My tired muscles will make silent noises that only I can hear inside of my skin, as I drift off to sleep.
Tonight it will be Surendran who will come to bed as the moon disappears; and when I hear the bed creak as our thick cotton mattress creases in the imprint of his frame, I will finally shut all noises out of my dreams.