30 Apr The Z-Factor
(contd from here)
‘Thank you, Aru!’ Aradhana exclaimed. ‘It such a beautiful painting! Where did you learn to draw the giraffe like this? My god, you’re learning things faster than I can cope up.’ She admired the card in an exaggerated display of love and appreciation.
Aryanka’s eyes shone with pride. Mommy liked the gift, that was all that mattered. Never mind that the card had been spoiled because of her clumsiness with drawing and colouring. There was also that bit with the untidy writing and the splotch of colouring mess on the giraffe’s head. But never mind, mommy liked the painting.
It was only a couple of days later when she was laughed at in school that she realized how terrible her painting skills were.
‘She is just being kind to you. Your painting is horrible.’
She persisted. Everything could be learnt, mom said. But still, they laughed. ‘You don’t have it in you to become a painter. The X-factor is missing!’ They said.
Years later, the country’s worst painter remembered her mother’s response that kept her going and finally got her to where she had reached – the country’s most sought-after sculptor.
‘You have the Z-factor. That’s even more special.’