Friday, 26 September 2014

Chapter 16 - Midnight's secrets

You can read the previous part of the story here

Shekhar was rearranging the clothes in the cupboard. Suddenly his hands fell upon his sweater. The blue coloured sweater with flowers in gold and silver was very special for him. The weather of Mumbai never required him to wear a sweater. It was never that cold in Mumbai to cover oneself in sweater. But still Shekhar had not given his sweater away. It was his last connection with the chilling winter of Delhi. He held the sweater close to his bosom. His heart missed a beat. He wished he could be there in Delhi just to feel that cold again. Back then he cursed the freezing cold in Delhi. But today he missed everything about Delhi. His eyes swelled with tears, some of which fell upon the golden, silver flowers of the sweater, making it resemble like morning dew.

His house in Delhi which at one time was in a village abutting Delhi, was now a part of New Delhi. Urbanization had taken his tiny village into its lap. Moreover, both his past and present lay in Delhi. Sophia had Asthma. She would have pangs of breathlessness. Doctors in Mumbai had advised him to move the child from humid weather of Mumbai to some place where the air was dry. Tara was reluctant to move to Delhi. Finally with much convincing on the part of the doctor, she agreed to keep the child with Shekhar's parents. That was the reason why after summer vacations Sophia stayed back in Delhi. Her deteriorating health miraculously improved during her stay in Delhi. Roohi missed Sophia a lot. She joined her in Christmas vacation. But on the birthday of son of the God – Jesus, Shekhar lost his daughter, who was an apple of his eye.

***

She was ready for the shoot. Having been there for so many years, she knew that acting in movies was not as glamourous as it appeared to the outsiders. She wore hear make up. She dreaded those false eye lashes but it was a professional hazard. The set was ready. The reflectors were set. The cameraman checked the lighting. The spot boy went to call her. She was now a big star. So she waited in her vanity van until the shot was called. She walked to the set. Her walk was gracious, elegant and glamourous.

Laila ready? Lights.... camera.... action....” Yelled the director.
Laila, the epitome of beauty, unfastened the belt of her nightgown as she heard the last word action. She stood stark naked. Every gleam of the lights touched her naked body wherever it could. Soon two hunks joined her in the frame and the shoot continued as usual. There were no dialogues to be recited, just action to be performed.

But still Laila liked her profession. It was far better than her earlier profession – prostitution. Laila had come from Uzbekistan to Delhi to stay with her friend, who was studying in Delhi University. After staying with her, she realized that her friend doubled up as a prostitute to look after her expenses. Uzbekistan is a hot sex tourism spot for Indian men. It is not uncommon to find a flight full of Indian men flying from or to Taskent, which is capital of Uzbekistan. Though Uzbekistan has not yet acquired the reputation of the kind Thailand has, the men with taste know that Uzbekistan is the place for them. No wonders Uzbekistani girls fetch a large price in the flesh market. The price pulled Laila into the profession. But soon she was sick of it. Having it daily with middle aged Indian men with balding heads and protruding paunches was nauseating. But there did not seem to be any way out. She dreamed of becoming an actress. Many of her clients had told her that her jaw line resembled that of Katrina Kaif. She had the height, the fair skin and the figure. Now her life had a new aim, that of becoming an actress.

She sent her pictures to many casting agents. She received call from one agent in Mumbai. She was told that she was selected for the role over the phone itself. She flied to Mumbai and visited the address told by the agent. She was given a fat pay cheque and made to sign some papers. After wearing her make up she asked the director for her lines. He sniggered and asked her to take off her clothes. She protested. He said she was bound by the contract. Still she said no. Finally a police officer dropped in. His tobacco stained teeth looked ugly as well as menacing. Laila was scared she had overstayed her visa limit. Her fearful eyes met his piercing eyes and she dropped her clothes in front of the camera. Soon Laila the prostitute, became Laila the porn star and relocated in Mumbai. She earned an amount equal to her annual income as a prostitute in a picture. She was still not completely out of the flesh trade. But now her clientele was upmarket, comprising of industrialists, politicians and bureaucrats.

It was not Laila did not find true love in all these years. She knew love for a girl like her was a journey with no destination. But still she was content that some one loved her beyond her body. He wrote several love letters to her. Laila, though a girl of easy virtues, loved him the most. She did not wish that he should get defamed as a result of alliance with a girl like her. So she taught him the trick of how to write on a blank paper in invisible ink. Only she knew how to make the writing visible. The two of them enjoyed this game like teenage lovers. Other girls in the trade wondered what Laila did with the blank pages. Only she knew the trick.

***

Laila's shoot was over. She had a hectic day. She went to her vanity again. She sat in her armchair and was sipping her coffee, when the spot boy came in and told her in Hindi, “Panchali tera cheel haran karne Duryodhan aa gaya hai.” All that she could comprehend was that Duryodhan had come. She kept her half filled cup on the table. Her body began to quiver. Her eyes met those piercing eyes again. A wicked smile broke on his countenance. Laila like always dropped her clothes to serve him the way he wished.

***

Her mouth was gagged. Unable to bear the excruciating pain, Sophia breathed the last when the demon was still saddled over her. Realizing that the young life had been sacrificed, he stood upright and zipped his pants and left the scene. Within few minutes, she arrived at the spot. She pierced a thorn on the child's tender sole. Something moved with her. She unwrapped a toffee, caressed the child's face, which still appeared terrified and placed the toffee in its mouth. She left the blank page at a few feet and scurried. Satan was pleased. 


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1 comment:

  1. Intrigued..this is just getting better and darker..when is the next part coming up? Cant wait :(

    ReplyDelete