Another attempt at fiction, just read it and comment if it is worth continuing...
A seed is sown
This was not supposed to end like this... No way...I always expected my story to finish like a fairy tale ... the chap on a shining armor, walking towards sunset with all fortunes around, but.... here I am, dejected, defeated, dying....
Two years back, I was a struggling young stage actor, trying to make the ends meet and hoping sometime to make it big on silver screen. My drama company was owned by Chowdariji, a miserly old guy, as related to art as a cat to a rat... he only wanted to en cash the strange assortment of individuals surrounding him, never bothering if he is returning anything for their services. The work load was too much, the team without any morale and absenteeism abundant. Slowly the quality and quantity of programs were diminishing and we were on the edge of the cliff, ready to tug on any available hay wire.
And that hay wire turned out to be Kailash nath or Bhaiyya as we used to call him... He was from North India, tall, lean, with a pair of deepest, menacing eyes I have ever watched on a face. Bhaiyya used to visit Nairji's tea shop near our rehearsal shed, and though he never used to mingle with us, Ramu the director was quite close to him. We were always uneasy when he was around, although we used to admire him.
Ramu was just two years elder than me, but he was a natural born leader. He was with Chowdari from a long time and that was how he got to become the director. He never had any special stage sense or talent to direct a play, but we all feared him and that was enough reason for Chowdari to give him all the control. Anyway the kind of plays that we made never needed any talent to direct or perform. Script writer Nathu circulated the script, a bunch of poorly photocopied sheets containing incoherent mess of a story studded with cheap comedy and double innuendo, among actors. We had to by heart them and put on some cheap make up, costumes and blabber on stage. All of us lived in the stage of total poverty, but Ramu alone was never in the ditch. He always seemed to have enough cash with him, and I have never seen him asking Chowdari for favours as we do. We deduced that Chowdari used to pay him money behind our backs, for managing us.
One day it was our heroin's birthday and poor girl had agreed to buy us tea. As we crowded in the shop, all except Ramu, Kailash entered.
"Chikne, where's Ramu?"
I was surprised that he knew me. I had never spoken or not even introduced to him before.
"Don't know Bhaiyya. He left early today."
"Hm, come out."
I was tensed, not knowing why this guy was calling me alone. I did not have the guts to disobey him. So I went behind him towards the banyan tree in the nearby junction. Bhaiyya sat on the platform and I stood near him, feeling like an invalid.
"How is your play coming around?"
"We are rehearsing Bhaiyya, next week there are some bookings."
"How is the finance, do that kanjoos Chowdari pay you anything at all?"
"What to tell Bhaiyya, Ramu might have told you about our condition."
"I know everything. Ramu has specially mentioned about you. He likes you among those unruly gutter dwellers. What are your plans?"
I was quite flattered hearing that Ramu has mentioned about me.
"Some how I want to enter big screen, Bhaiyya. Then I will click. I am sure, I have talent"
He started laughing his heads off. I was worried. Did I tell anything foolish?
"Ha Ha Ha... So you want to be a star, haan?"
"Ever seen yourself in a mirror? No height, lean, a little fair and good looking, I accept, but no way you are going to shine there. Only a big shot's son can dream of becoming a star in the field these days."
"Bhaiyya, I am just thinking of some small supporting parts."
"What you will get from that? You will be left licking the feet of directors and producers the whole life. Just for an entry you have to pay dedh lakh, bachoo..."
"You tell me Bhaiyya, what can I do?"
"If living, you have to live as a king. In jungle you should be nothing short of a Lion. Else you should die. Do you get it?"
"Shall I tell you something? Chikne, you are not born for any of this drama- shaama... Believe me you can make your life huge if you just stand with me."
"The first rule is to be patient. I will assure you something big is coming up and we- me and Ramu want to share our fortune with you, if you pledge you will keep mum till we speak again next time and then stand with us. Are you ready?"
"Bhaiyya, Can I have...." "Time? Saale, we will get many invalids in Mumbai, there is no dearth of unemployed here. I want you to give your word now, or the deal is off. Thats it!"
"Ok, Bhaiyya, I am game." I told without thinking about consequences. I did not want my hay wire to disappear, shattering ay chances to emerge from the edge of the cliff.
"Hm... I will inform you when time comes."
He walked away leaving me clueless, puzzled and thinking what turn my future is going to take next....
(To be continued...)