Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bollywood Dreams Part 1

Dear Readers,
I am sorry that I have been busy lately and wasnt able to blog much. I have been working on a longer story this time and hope that you would like it. I am posting Part 1 today. Keep an eye for part 2 till then.

It was a cold winter morning in the valley with new spells of incessant rains and sleet but the brave dared to come out in the open to carry out their business as usual. Mir Ahmad Dar, a young 19 year old boy sat besides his father drinking his morning tea at their shop on the Lal Chowk in Srinagar. He just passed out from school with bare minimum qualifications and despite all his efforts could not secure a seat in the Sher-e-Kashmir University. His father then asked him to support him in his Pashmina Shawl business which was lately blooming due to the rising demand in the export market. Since Jamal Ahmad Dar, his father did not have any other son to support him and Srinagar like any other city was becoming expensive to live in day by day. Jamal thought that perhaps it would be best for Mir to enter and share some responsibility. Mir, like any other teenager was least interested in the types of wool or the number of footfalls they had at their shop. His dreams revolved around the silver screen, he aspired to be a model and an actor someday. He had the looks, the height, but was thousands of miles away from any opportunity. Since 2004, every Eid, he would save his money he got from relatives for getting a portfolio done. He saved five thousand till the fall of 2008 and then planned to visit Gulmarg Studios, the biggest photo studio in the entire valley to get his portfolio done.
One fine Friday afternoon after the namaaz, he took off to the neighborhood barber to get a haircut and then went straight to get his portfolio done. He planned to meet some local producers during his next trip to Chandigarh to send off their shawl consignments and give some auditions there. After three trips and no calls for auditions, he became frustrated and asked his mother to lend him some money, so that he could go to Delhi, as he turned out of the room, he saw his father overhearing them. Jamal was furious, his only son wanted to go away into the world of glamour. “Are you mad, do you know how many boys like you go there and spend their entire spending in achieving nothing. Your sisters are now of marriageable age, you should learn to share some responsibility. If you talked about going to Delhi ever again, I can assure you that you will spend the next December outside this house.”
That night Mir was restless, it was certain that his father did not want him to go and become a model. He wanted him to sell shawls sitting in a small shop all his life just like he did all his life. “Why should a son do what his father did for his lifetime”, he thought but then he also understood the responsibility of his family and his three sisters. One day a few weeks later his friends told him about an audition to be held in Delhi for some new fashion show. He thought it was his last chance to escape the life of selling shawls to petty tourists. But he did not have any money with him, then his eyes fell upon his gold ring that his grandmother gifted him last Eid. He thought this would be the only way he could reach out to his dreams. He went to the pawnshop that evening and got some five thousand rupees for the ring. He planned to move out at the break of dawn the next day and catch the morning bus to Jammu. He left a small note by his father’s bed before leaving with his portfolio and bag full of clothes.
Next day he boarded the morning bus to Jammu at six. Meanwhile his father woke up that day and found the note that said”Abbaajaan, I am sorry that I am leaving like this, but I hope one day I return back to you with my dreams fulfilled. I hope you forgive me - Mir”. His mother broke into tears after reading the note but his father kept his calm as he went for his daily namaaz. “May the divine one give my boy what he wants”, he murmured as he finished his prayers.
As the bus landed in Jammu, Mir jumped out with his bag to catch the next train for Delhi. He was already late and wanted to secure a seat in the general compartment which is usually full of travelers to the local Hindu shrine. Some how he managed to get hold of a birth which he had to share with an old man. He was an anxious young man who couldn’t sleep due to the restless dreams that haunted his mind and soul. Next evening he was in Delhi, sitting besides the Jama Masjid market eating kebabs at a roadside stall. The audition was next morning, his friend Ahmad worked at the local publisher as a binder and he decided to spend the night at his room in Daryaganj.
Next morning he got ready in his best clothes and boarded the bus for the studio in suburban NOIDA where the audition was being done. But seeing the long line at the studio for the audition he gota bit nervous. His nervousness increased with each passing moment and by the time his turn came, he was all wet with his sweat. As he was asked to walk down the ramp, he fumbled. The director asked him to move and give way for the next aspirant. “This is it”, he thought. “All this for a two minute disaster, how will I show my face to Abba and Ammi”, he asked himself. As he walked out of the studio, he was stopped by what looked like an old production house relic. The man was about fifty but looked much older with his grey hair and moustache. “Son, if you want to make it big, it is better if you try the audition at this place.”, he said as he handed him a small visiting card.
“45-B Santa Cruz, Bombay”, he murmured as he read the card, “but …. But this place is in Bombay, not here, how am I supposed to get there?” he asked. “That’s for you to decide.” the old man said as he moved out of the studio. “Should I go there or not, but if I don’t, then my dreams would end forever and I would be back to the lifestyle my father wanted me to live.”, he thought. “Lets give it a shot”, he decided and moved to the railway station where he boarded the Janta Express to land in Bombay the next evening. The following day he went to the place mentioned on the card and found a small agency board outside the building. He went inside to find the same grey haired man and two others sitting and discussing something inside a glass cabin. He was greeted by the receptionist who asked him to sit down and wait for his turn for the audition.
Half an hour later he was inside the cabin and was asked by the photographer for his portfolio. He was told that they had a small assignment for him for some company calendar. Anxious Mir readily accepted without even listening further. He was told to come a day later with his luggage as they would be going to shoot on a location. “Sir, where would we be going and how long will be the shoot?”, he asked the grey haired man who introduced himself as Sunil. “Ohh, it would be around the weekend and you would return by next Tuesday.”he replied. “But where are we going?”, Mir asked again. “Shillong” he replied.

1 comment:

Saikam said...

Bhai, story is quite interesting. But being a NTR fan (Andhra action hero) I hope there would be some interesting fighting sequence in the part-2 !!!

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