He always wore tinted glasses because there are all kinds of blinding in this world. And he coloured the world in mystical tints.
He painted women. Nuded them. Immortalised their warts, publicised their pubis. Skinning them like that, backdropping them in grotesque, burlesque, religiousque, he saw the world through teary blued eyes. Eyes that were glassified. Spectacalised, he never once removed his tinted glasses.
He was thirty when he met Violette. Surname unknown. I am from Goa she said. Kundapur, he later found out, was where she was from. She was poor and an orphan. She sold her body to buy dyes, and make-up, he later found out. All that was later. Back then, when he first met her, she was virginified and pure. Naked with gloriously overflowing breasts, she modelled in the buff with no thought to anything. Her deeply blackened hair – she Garneired it that shade of startlingly black – curled, lengthened, flew, never stilled. Her eyes gazed inquisitive, probing, calculating, weighing his heart, seducing his body. He painted her purple. He goddessified her. Kalied her. Reddened tongue dripping blood, billowing hair invoking fear, eyes demanding awe.
It was the best work of his life.
They sold it as prints on mugs, bags, key chains, even a fridge magnet.
His art was commodified.
He was vilified.
The fundamentalists predictably tried to chase him out of India. He visaed for the US. But just then, a Muslim movie star killed his child bride who had played a young Parvati in a mythological film based on a Shiva trilogy. The fundamentalists decided to deify the little bride and forgot all about a painter who sexyfied Ma Kali.
Now he could live in peace and paint. He bought a villa in Goa, feniing a mood to paint more women. Goddessifying at least another 23,000 crores of women. But he kept coming back to Violette. So he married her. His eyes, a cat green, misted when she said ‘I do’ in that small church built by the Portuguese. She stared into his green eyes and said shyly. Slyly, he would autocorrect later when he remembered his wedding day. ‘Your green drew me to you.’
She had greened Indian money.
Overhearing a conversation between American tourists and how the green dollar had sunk to the sea, she had decided all money must be green. Even though the Indian Rupee was more paaned and reddened than greened. Even though the Indian currency had tea spills, and semened stains.
On her wedding day, she thought she was being clever. That nudist artist had green eyes. She felt very pleased coming up with her pick-up line after she had been so successfully picked up.
Moneyed man, a has-been celebrity, a nudist. She thought she had gotten it all. She, a little nothing from Kundapur, who singsonged every word in English, Hindi, and Konkani, was now a famous artist’s wife. She liked to pretend she didn’t know Kannada. Happinessed with marital, well, moneyed, bliss, she walked around the villa, lighting candles, pinching small change, saving it in her red bag from Hidesign which was another lavish wedding gift.
And he painted. Watched with a clinical interest even as she stole. Gamifying this marriage, he left her more money around the house to steal. He kleptomaniaced her.
But he also did the stupidest thing an artist could do. He fell in love with his muse. He Pygmalioned her. After, all his 46,000 paintings of Goddesses had the same face, the same jet black hair, the same pubis structure, the same mystical tint as his wife. Violette became a Goan souvenir and travelled the world. A key chain, a post-it book, a dried ball point pen that had to be shaken and slashed at so it would write. She was everywhere. In every souvenir shop. Gloriously naked. Nakedly goddessy.
His green eyes still and overflowing with poetry and love and artistry followed her around the villa. Vainly he decided she was also in love with the green of his eyes.
The loveless world knew it was nothing of the sort.
On a November night, Violette fell in love with a Russian on the beach in Calangunte. Russianified she braided her hair now and corseted her breasts and walked out of the artist’s life after cleaning his money. All of it. Joint accounted and safe lockered, all the money he had ever made, she stole at because how else would she go to Russia and live a cold life?
She slashed a note on his work-in-progress Saraswati with books covering her glorious bits. “I got the green. Don’t worry. I am not coming back.”
Blinded by that note, he never showed his eyes to the world again.
Violette is an excerpt from my no-longer-work-in-progress-second-draft-of-Blue-Funk- novel (seminal)-on-madness-and-relationships modified for the challenge Verbed (Write a 200-word story verbing as many nouns as you can.) on ode.la.
Log on to ode.la today. You will have fun like never before. Promise.