Holding a picture to the good and evil

Published: Fri 14 Jun 2019, 10:11 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Jun 2019, 12:12 AM

I recently read Oscar Wilde's masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Grey and the story can be summarised in Dorian's wish to gain eternal youth. He wants his picture to grow old while he remains young and handsome.
The wish literally comes true as the portrait takes shape. But all his actions and sins are reflected on it. This forces Dorian Grey to hide the ugly picture away from everyone, and covering the wish that blinded him from his sins and drowned him in darkness.
Oscar Wilde's work made me wonder what if the same wish was available to us today?
Imagine you have found the magical painter 'Basel' as mentioned in the story. Would there be a demand for his services, or would people feel scared of going through this experience that freezes everything, including time? So many questions arise, but assuming you have gone through this experience with all its advantages and risks, what will happen after your portrait is drawn?
Writing about this issue opens the doors to many questions, but the most important one is how do you think the portrait will turn out to be? And where would you hang it? In the center of the living room or would you wrap it and hide it away from prying eyes?
Would you look at it every now and then to see how you have fared, and how your deeds would be reflected on the portrait? Since there is eternal struggle within us between good and evil, some will hang the picture proudly in the centre of the house, other will bury it. It's a matter of conscience.
- The writer is an architect based in Abu Dhabi

By Ahmed Omar Balhamer

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