There are a few times when one looks up at the sky to thank the eternal genius who came up with the magnificent idea that human beings should have something they would naively call eyes. Clearly, the window to all the spectacular things and glorious colours deserves a more inspired name.
But I digress, when you finish reading your favourite book is one such instance. Watching your favourite movie another. Imagine seeing the gift you’ve wanted all your life under the Christmas tree. Seeing your first pay cheque. Playing with the angel, better known to humans as your niece. But of all the things one rises above all others.
Seeing a Leonardo Da Vinci painting for the first time. On the internet doesn’t count. It honestly, as most dishearting facts are, isn’t worth it, till you’ve waited in line. Till a few people have pushed, or what they think is gently nudged, you. It’s only once you’ve stood where the all-rounder genius once stood and told yourself “This is Real. And it is happening Now.” at least five times that you truly feel the gratitude that I’m talking about.
The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg houses ‘The Benois Madonna‘ showing her as a happy, young mother, playing with her child. Unaware and unconcerned with the larger purpose of her life or that of her baby boy. The one moment of true happiness. When the girl’s moment blends with your personal moment of happiness standing at the head of a crowded queue, that is when you know what it feels like to see a Leonardo Da Vinci painting for the first time. The ‘Mona Lisa’ may be Leonardo’s most cherished painting, but ‘The Benois Madonna’ was my first. And you know how what your first feels like. More than your average crush. Less than your everlasting true love. But till you find that everlasting true love, this one will do.