Thursday, November 12, 2009

Painting Competition

I dunno where the thought came from, but I thought I might want to post an entry on the painting competition in office that happened on Pakistan’s Independence day. That’s, of course, because 15th August is a holiday for us.

I generally do not participate in such events in office (or wherever) because I don’t require a special occasion to make a fool of myself—I do that all the time. Some people are so good at work that they require special occasions like these to make a fool of themselves. No such restrictions for me. So as I said, I had not enrolled for the competiton. But my friends Sandesh, Rishabh, and Anand didn’t want a team of three (arguably because two is company and three’s a crowd), so they suggested I join them. I was only too happy to.

Sandesh and I began with some सड़कछाप काम (ground work). No points for guessing that we got on to our beloved Google search engine and searched up all Independence day images that anyone ever put up on the Internet. There was this beautiful image that we came across, and we knew that this is the one to be spoiled (by making a poor imitation of).

The image we saw on the Internet is pasted below:


Now, looking at the image, we did think the same as you are thinking right now. It’d be SOME task to replicate this image on canvas. But then we realized that if our drawing ends up being even at 10% of this image, (meaning that the tricolor comes out looking more or less the same), we are still in contention for a consolation prize.

So we were all set, then. The emergency area in office was opened to accommodate the teams. There were 6-7 teams, I think. We were given paints and brushes and canvases and 2 hours. Chairs were arranged around the tables. However, some contestants chose to paint standing, much to the delight of some other contestants.

As far as our team was concerned, the basic question was whether we should draw anything in the first place. After around 20 minutes, we decided we should. Then came the question of how to glass-trace the image we had downloaded from the Internet. When we realized there was no way of doing that, the ominous realization dawned upon us that we’ll *actually* have to sketch and paint.

But which picture? True, Sandesh and I had finalized an image. But the team was not sure we were going to be able to pull it off before the canvas gets pulled off. So during “run-time,” we were actually designing our product. Hmm…interesting. Let’s call this methodology as Fragile. Anyway.

So, well, while the others were “toiling upward in the night,” us four were making merry. And how! The HR manager had to come and intervene quite a few times to silence us. And she would get even more livid looking at our yet-virgin canvas.



At around the one-hour time, we were still deciding which was a better brush to begin with. And marveling at the consistency of the white color on our canvas. By then, all other teams were done with more than half of their drawings. I would, from time to time, make sincere efforts to discourage the other teams from going so fast, but to no avail.

Finally, we got bored with the indecision and the laughter and the merry-making, and thought we might want to make a few strokes on the canvas. The easiest thing to draw was the tricolor flag, so we drew that. We barely managed to scrape through with the soldiers.

Being the drunkards that we (some of us) are, mixing colors was a great new experience, and it seemed mixing a color to make the right shade was far more important than the drawing itself.

Every now and then people from the floor would just come to take a look at what everyone had drawn. Our drawing was a good source of entertainment for them to make fun of and laugh at.

We hadn’t been give n a big brush, so painting the background was a challenge. But being the improvisers that we are, we tore up a few pieces of paper, made a blob, dipped it in the extremely rare shade of grey we had prepared, and just randomly filled up the background with criss-cross strokes. We only barely managed to finish in time, which was a colossal achievement, given the fact that we effectively worked on our drawing for only an hour out of the alloted two hours.

Finally, this is what we came up with:


Then it was time to present the drawings to the judges. When it was our turn, Anand (who was our presenter) demonstrated how you can polish a stone and leave it no choice but to look like a diamond. The speech that he gave to describe the drawing was *so brilliant* (and there are no sarcastic undertones here, for a change.) That was probably the only saving grace (or so I thought.)

Anyway, I didn’t wait much in office, it being a Friday, and left at 5 p.m. The message tone on my phone rang somewhere around 6:30 p.m. It said: We won the first prize.

I celebrated this at home by drinking Old Monk rum, our खानदानी drink, which dad always (meaning, *always*) has a stock of. If you don't find Old Monk rum at the Salgaonkars, you're probably *not* at the Salgaonkars.

11 comments:

Anand said...

Dude, reading this was, in a wierd way, much more fun than actually being there. One of my best experiences in Bently. Thanks for chronicling it in such an awesome way...

Mohit said...

Hey thanks man!!!!! I hadn't looked at this comment until right now!!! Thanks so much for the super words! And yeah, that painting competition was truly something to cherish forever! :))

Parikshit said...

at the end of this post you made Salgaonkars sound like Tendulkars.good one though!

Especially "I generally do not participate in such events in office (or wherever) because I don’t require a special occasion to make a fool of myself—I do that all the time. Some people are so good at work that they require special occasions like these to make a fool of themselves. No such restrictions for me."

we are in the same league, as far as the above description is concerned.

Parikshit said...

i forgot....Congratulations Dadhie! way to go man. :)

kaustubh said...

no matter how many times i read thru this.. i alweways experience the same reaction........
super....

Mohit said...

Thanks for all the comments, Paryaa! Hum panchhi ek daal ke! Chale chaddi ek daal ke! yikes!

Mohit said...

Thanks, Kaustubh!

Mahaprasad Mishra said...

It's nice. just nice. From your each line, your that moment could be felt easily. Nice way of representation. At last Congrats being the winner...

Mohit said...

Thanks a lot, Mahaprasad :)

Sophia Ali said...

Congratulations on winning the competition...the post kept me gripped till the last word. I knew it mid-way that you must have won :)

Well written...

Mohit said...

Thanks Sophia!