In the city of Eleph, there lived a famous painter whose name was Ismail. He could do wonders with his brush. Every wall he decorated, every house he painted and every colour he used was a reflection of his talent.
Every family in Eleph wanted him to paint their house. He was much in demand.
Ismail had an assistant, Afan, who was not as good as him. Afan worked with Ismail on all his assignments and got paid handsomely. But he was jealous of Ismail’s fame.
When Afan could stand it no more, he tried to harm Ismail, believing he would inherit all his fame. But his desperate attempts to remove Ismail failed.
Afan then came to know of a tantric known for his black magic. He told the tantric that he wanted to remove Ismail and be as famous as him. The tantric gave him a vial containing some liquid.
“Mix this in the paint which Ismail uses,” the tantric told Afan.
When Afan went to work with Ismail the next day, he quickly mixed the liquid from the vial into the paint.
As Ismail painted with the colour containing tantric’s liquid, the stroke of his brush created an image on the wall. The image came to life and started talking.
“I know you. I also know that you are famous,” the image told Ismail. “If you let me do your work, I will make you more famous.”
Ismail was happy to hear words of praise from the image. He stopped painting and relaxed, while the image painted the walls with beautiful colours.
When the owner of the house saw Ismail’s work, he was mesmerised by its beauty. He heaped more praise on Ismail.
This made Afan angrier and more jealous.
He rushed to the tantric.
“I told you to get rid of Ismail. But you made him more famous,” he told the tantric.
The tantric smiled.
“Have patience. This praise is a slow poison which will kill him,” he told Afan.
The image kept painting one house after the other. Ismail would just relax. With time, Ismail became lazy. He forgot how to paint. He forgot how to even hold a brush.
Suddenly one day, the image vanished.
Ismail was perplexed.
He didn’t know what to do.
He picked up his brush to finish the painting, but he was no longer able to do so. His laziness had consumed his talent.
When the owner of the house came to see his work, he was heartbroken.
“This is not what I paid you for. You are not even one bit of your fame. Get out of my house,” he told Ismail, while Afan happily watched tantric’s trick taking effect.
Ismail messed up more assignments.
Now, people of Eleph knew Ismail for his poor work. Soon, his name was forgotten. There was no work for him.
Heartbroken and depressed, Ismail decided to leave the city and he never returned.