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The Blinding White - A Painting is a Story Series

It was a foggy morning, cold and hazy but not for these siberian birds who were fluttering to merge in the dense white of their new abode. He stood gazing at the flying feathers that reminded him of the flamingoes found in his land. Shivering in the damp white outside, his soul was yearning for the harsh, and dry white that resides in him, the white of his memories, his identity, the white that he belonged to. The burning white that stretched beyond infinity, hard and brackish. The white of nothingness, absolute nothingness. The piercing white that blinded him to see the dark inside, the dark that swallowed the light of his life.

Life, an oddity in that baked barren, was suffused with colors. Here people were born artists. They had created a living rainbow whose shades had been dispersed against the vast white emptiness expanding its reach from cloths to the walls and vaults of entire Kutch. But under that colorful veil a white was ingrained in every soul of Kutchi life. The white of their land, the Rann of Kutch.

Half of the September has passed when he reached Rann. For the next eight months Rann will be his home and occupation. Yes, he was an Agaria- the salt maker. These white crystals were the source of his living for many generations. But unlike his ancestors he always abhorred this profession. He had a premonition that this white monster would eventually devour his dreams. But he had no choice, except to accompany his elder brother to this ominous white. As he was the only one he had in the name of family. He didn't remember his parents. They died when he was young. His brother raised him. A sturdy built man of thirty-five, who had a special affinity with this Rann. He has devoted fifteen years of life to these salt pans. Instead of blood, the brine flowed in his arteries. To him, these white crystals were the blessings of his ancestors. Religiously stamping the loose soil under his feet, he was rewarded with scars and blisters. But the satisfaction gently outweighed the anguish. Sphered in that white, his life was complete.

Then one day, scourging all colors of that secluded desert, it came like a sandstorm. Lettered in black, it was barely comprehensible but the official stamp was fraught with peril. It was a notice, an eviction notice from the government. For the sake of some wild asses, they were asked to quit their Rann. The land, they were living in for centuries. The recognition of their identity, their white was snatching away from them.

But, the news filled him with utter happiness. At last, he was getting rid off that barren. He started planning his future though didn't dare to say anything to his brother who was devastated by the notice. It had plucked the peace of his life. He suddenly became an orphan. With blank staring eyes, he sat quietly for hours then crashed to the ground in agony. Heavy tears ran down his cheeks and the mud house was clogged with a sob of despair. Although it was the darkest night of his, life he was not the kind of man to give up easily. He had decided to claim his entitlement on the land.

Discovering his brother’s decision he got annoyed and countered him at the salt pan. The first layer of salt was ready and his brother was scratching the white layer with his wooden plank. With a scowl on his face he asked about the claim. His brother nodded calmly and pulled out a paper from his turban and handed it to him. It was a copy of the claim. He grabbed the paper and torn it immediately. His brother was shocked by the ferocity of his reaction and gawked at him. He stared back with flaring eyes. “I am not going to burry under this salt.” Cracking the white silence, his voice echoed and he walked away from there. In a moment his brother became a senile frost. It took him a few minutes to regain consciousness. Calling his name he ran behind him. Suddenly the white aroused and started whirling all around. He heard his brother's calling but did not stopped to answer instead ran away and hid behind the salts piled in a corner. Webbed in that storming white his brother was calling him repeatedly. After sometime his voice has stopped with the sandstorm. Leaving him alone his brother had been vanished in that white. The chase had stopped. The conflict had resolved. The white had played its role. The lightening ghost was slept under the twinkling night. Breaking all the mirages the dark has raised and the light of his life became a white.

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