It was the last day of the last of the trainings that our Company had organised for the new hires. And we, a group of 12 of us, were given a blank canvas, colours, pens etc. to paint something on that piece to capture the essence of what we as the "fresh" energy in the company were capable of, and the difference we could make.
We had to decide what we wanted to portray at first. Everyone started giving their own inputs and it soon was a mayhem, with ideas and opinions floating around, most of which, quite frankly, were pretty useless. Apart from one of my friends, no one had any inkling of what they were talking about. They talked random objects and patterns, without considering their symbolic meanings, or the aspect ratios or how they would look laid out on the spatial expanse, or how to tie it all together to convey something meaningful. Ultimately, the friend I mentioned about above, who also happens to have an inclination toward art, and I, worked out the idea and came up with a seemingly beautiful concept, which was pretty effortless for us. Others acquiesced to it. Not because they still didn't want to bombard their opinions, but because we had a time limit for the task and the clock was ticking by, and we were going nowhere.
My friend drew the outlines out on the canvas. No one else could. And I had decided to handle the painting part later, in which I was to seek everyone's help with making combinations, shades and tints of various colours. We needed an array of colours to bring about the vibrant message that we wanted to put out there. It was then that one of them in the group mentioned she didn't know anything about colours. And I was like- "C'mon. Who doesn't know the primary colours!" Well, she didn't. She didn't know that green wasn't a primary colour or that yellow mixed with blue gives green. And she was not the only one in the group. No one, apart from that friend of mine, and I, knew an iota about colours or art. People were amazed to see me make turquoise and brown combining the colours. For me, all this was just another random thing I knew, and that I have known ever since I was a kid. As for the others, they were beholding magic. The finishing touches that I gave to the painting elicited "Wow" and the likes from people. For me, it was far from "Wow". People's reactions amused me beyond words.
This was one of those times in life when I learnt the worth of what I know and have known. In my head, I travelled back in time, to the years of art classes that I had taken, the numerous competitions I had partaken in, and the plethora of paintings that my parents used to so proudly show to all the visitors at home. Growing up, I wanted to be an artist and host my own exhibitions someday. Over the years, it all vanished and sort of transformed into academic excellence and ultimately, it has transpired in where I am today - sacrificed at the altar of the Corporate World. That doesn't mean I have lost what I had. I loved art and painting before, and I still love it. That still remains, very much intact. I was reminded of the fact that I am special. There is something special about me that not everyone has. That special may have been latent or dormant. But it was always there, and it will always be. I realized that I needed to value that special in me, the same special I thought was so commonplace and the opposite of special, nothing that deserved any attention or appreciation, because everyone has it. Turns out, not everyone has it. But I do.
Every one of us is special - in little or big ways. And no special is insignificant. We don't get to decide the significance of that gift. When that gift makes its way for the world to see or experience, you would know that there is no such thing as an ordinary person. None of us is ordinary. All we need to do, is do ourselves good favours, and remind ourselves, time and again, that we are special after all...
We then gifted the painting to our Managing Director at a company event and it was put up in his office. Well, I don't know where it is today. But I guess the painting served its purpose well - It left me with a very important lesson :)