“I just saw these paintings by a Moustache Man, they are just so weird and amazing, the paints, the colors, they are a riot on paper, every stroke seems to be telling a story of it’s own, I have never been so moved by art before, I fell in love with them”, Mita said in a slow dreamy drawl as she twisted her hair around her fingers.
“Who Moustache man?”, Ray wondered out aloud.
“I am not sure, his name is Savio and he has this amazing collection of surreal paintings, I was swept away by their sheer brilliance, he has this mystical idea about the world around him and he paints it so beautifully,so bizarrely”, she said wide eyed with genuine admiration.
“Where did you meet this man?”
“Oh I have not met him yet, Sunny showed me his paintings, they are spectacular”
“Okay, it’s good to know you saw something you liked but what about Ms Banerjee, did you meet her? You were supposed to meet her today”
“Oh yes, I did meet her, I don’t know why the two of you insist that I meet her, she is the type of bizarre I do not like, anyway I have to go now, I will see you next week”, she looked at her watch, she was getting late for her dance class. She gulped the remaining coffee in her cup and dashed out of the cafe they were sitting in. Ray wanted to say something but she got up in such a huff that he was left dumbstruck.
Ten days later.
Ray was waiting for her at the coffee shop, they were supposed to meet at four pm, it was four thirty already and she was not replying to his messages. He sipped his cappuccino and decided to call Mita when he saw her entering the cafe. She was wearing a short yellow dress and had an amazing smile pasted on her face.
“Someone looks very happy for a hot Monday evening”, he said suspiciously as she walked up to the table.
“Well, that’s because I am in love and this is how love looks on the face of a woman”, she smiled so widely, he could see all her teeth, they looked like they would come out of her mouth.
“What? Who are you in love with?!”, he asked, intrigued, it was a mixture of glee and shock that filled his head.
“Remember that painter Savio I talked about last week, it’s him” she put her hands over her mouth, blushing like a beauty pageant winner.
“I mean he is amazing, his work blows me away and you have to look at him, he is gorgeous to look at, I am not a big fan of his moustache though, they make him look a little eccentric, yet in a certain manner it adds to his charm. God. I am so in love” she sighed out really loud and seemed lost in thoughts already as she finished her sentence.
“Oh I do remember the painter, you could not stop raving about his paintings the last time. So you have met him then? And does he know? Or do you him like a fan? I mean, I don’t know, what is happening exactly?”
“Yes, I’ve met him, every day of the past week in fact, obviously I’ve not told him about what I feel, it’s too soon, but I intend to, he seems to like me too, it’s great”, she smiled dreamily and went on and on about the emotions she was going through and the events of the past week. Ray listened to it all patiently. Soon, it was time for her dance class and she had to leave. Ray paid for the two of them and started walking back home.He was in his building and climbing the stairs when he saw Mita’s brother Sunny walking up too.
Sunny said he wanted to talk about Mita.
“She has not been attending any of the therapy sessions with Ms Banerjee. I don’t know where she goes. The hostel warden says she comes to her room late at night but she is not hanging out with any of the students, I don’t know if she should be allowed all this freedom, do you know where she goes, has she been hanging out with you?”
“No, but I think she has been hanging out with the painter you introduced her to?”
“What painter, I don’t know what you are talking about?”
“Some Savio guy, she told me you had shown her his paintings and that she bumped into him three days later at the market and they hit it off”
Sunny’s face was contorted into a deep puzzled frown, he could not comprehend who Ray was talking about.
“Did she show you his picture?” he asked.
“She did actually,he is quite handsome and has a really weird moustache that makes him look eccentric”
Sunny started pacing up and down Ray’s room, an ominous feeling clouded his mind and it suddenly hit him. He took out his phone frantically from his pocket and started searching for something online.
“Did he look like this?”, he showed Ray a picture of a man in black and white.
“Yeah! That seems like him!”
“I knew it! she is doing it again, she is always blurring the lines between reality and fantasy”, he threw his phone on the floor, it cracked open and the battery fell out.
“What are you talking about?”, Ray asked absolutely worried at this sudden fit of rage Sunny seemed to be in.
“That man is Salvadore Dali, he is been dead for decades now, I don’t know what to do”, he flailed his hands up in the air in despair and then sat down on the floor, clutching his head in both his hands. While Ray stared at the picture of Dali, trying to process the gravity of what was happening.