07:00 am 

She was sitting in the corner of a room—terrified, crying very loud. She had no idea what was happening. A crowd of strange people, with blank faces, surrounded her. They all were yelling at her “You did this. You are responsible for this.” Their voices pierced her ears. She was feeling very guilty and dreadful.

Suddenly she heard her mother’s voice from outside the door. She realized that she was having that same nightmare. But this time it is different. She can’t move. She was paralyzed. Her body was cold as a corpse. She wanted to shiver, to feel the chill of her body, but her body was stiff like a tree. She couldn’t do anything she wanted to. She can’t scream. She can’t cry. She felt that she had no choice and was bound to stare at the ceiling of her bedroom.

But then she woke up. She was sweating and the temperature of her body was very high. She was very nervous.

This happened to her many times. But she ignored it. And she had to ignore it this morning because of an audition for a movie under a big banner. So she got up and was getting ready for audition.

“Good Luck Shikha.” Her parents said to her.

“Thank You mom and dad.” She replied.

Then she headed for the studio.

 04:00 pm

The continuous sound of doorbell gave a hint of the excitement on the visitor’s face. The mother was almost scared by the intensity of sound. She was running towards the door, thinking, it must be her daughter. She believed by the sound that she must’ve gotten the role. She reached to the door.

Shikha was yelling “Mom. Open up!”

Her mother can notice the joy in her voice. It was similar to that time when Shikha won the state level beauty contest, 7 months ago. But this time her voice was louder and more joyful.

She unlocked the door & Shikha jumped over to her and gave her a hug. The firmness in her hug confirmed her mother’s presumption. But she wanted to be sure.

“How did it go?” Her mother asked.

Shikha, who was still in her day dreaming, fantasizing about the busy life of an actress—didn’t listen to her mother & just lay down on sofa.

“How did the audition go?” Her mother asked again, a little louder.

The question ceased her fantasies. She noticed her mother standing  in curiosity.

“I will get the part mom.” She answered in great bliss. “I know. I will.”

“I will?” Her mother inquired to clear her suspicion.

“Mom! Mom!! Oh Mom!!!”

She stood up on sofa and started dancing & then replied in a singing tune.

“I was selected for final auditions moooooooom.”

“Final auditions?  Will there be another round?”

“Yes mom. They’ve selected three other girls but they liked me the most.” She said still dancing on the sofa.

“How can you be so sure?” Her mother asked–not in a condescending manner, just to be surer.

“You remember Lalit? He was my classmate.”

“No. I don’t.”

“Anyway. He is working as an assistant casting director in the movie and he told me that the main casting director and the director was discussing about us.” She stopped dancing and sat on the sofa.

“And they said that other girls were not that good and also,  they have a good impression about me after knowing that I’ve won the state level beauty contest. So, he was 100 % sure that they will select me.”

“Aaaaand theyyyyyy willlllll!!!!” She said it like an opera singer.

She started walking like an actress. “Mom. Serve the lunch.” Ordering, like an actress.

She always did that since childhood whenever she is happy. She just switched her actress mode on and behave like a SUPERSTAR. Her mother smiled and went to kitchen thinking about that.

Meanwhile, Shikha went to her bedroom and played very loud music. She mounted on the bed. The walls of her bedroom were covered with posters of Bollywood divas. She faced the poster of Deepika Padukone and spoke to it in glory “I am coming, Deepika. Brace yourself.”

Then she turned to another poster of Kangana Ranaut and said the same thing. She then looked all over the room and said to all of the posters as they were looking at her jealously— “Shikha is coming to Mumbai, Y’all.”

Then she looked into the mirror and started applying makeup.

“I will be the biggest superstar of Bollywood.” She said in great confidence.

She applied all sort of makeup items from eyeliner to mascara, facial cream, powder etc. and looked at her beauty in the mirror like Evil Queen of Snow White.

“Magic mirror in my hand. Who is the fairest in the land?” She asked it in a rhetoric manner to the mirror.

But she got no reply so she said to herself as her reflection “My Queen you are the fairest in the land.”

She went to kitchen and again asked her mother about food in the same accent of an actress as she did before. Her mother served the lunch and then asked her to wash off makeup from her face and rest, because tomorrow will be the biggest day of her life.

She ate the meal but she was too excited to sleep. So, she decided to go to her best friend Namita’s home and tell her the good news. She ran away, still in her makeup, ignoring her mother. She almost fell off the sloppy pavement outside her house because she couldn’t control her speed.

Ignoring all of these she went to Namita’s house and told her about the audition. Namita congratulated her and went with her to celebrate.

08:00 pm

Shikha went back to her home dropping Namita off. Namita hugged her and wished her good luck for auditions.

“I don’t need luck. Coz it’s my part already.” Shikha said proudly and then leave.

She knew that her father would be at home and she can’t wait to tell him. She was furious at herself because she wanted to tell him personally but her mother would have probably told him that. So, she rushed to her home. But her thoughts were interrupted by that pavement again. She stared at it and ignored it again and ran inside the home.

This time it was her father who opened the door.

He looked at her in great pride and said “I am proud of you. Shikha.”

“I wanted to tell you this personally. I am sorry. I am late.” She hugged him and said this in little sadness.

“Oh! No problem.” Her father replied slowly patting her back in affection. “After all it doesn’t matter whether this good news come from you or your mother.”

She smiled with tears in her eyes and thanked her father.

“Your mother made a special dinner tonight.”

She looked at her mother as she went into kitchen and served her “Shahi Paneer” which she liked very very much. They had dinner together and after that they asked her to rest. They wished her good night.

She lay down on bed—staring all the posters and all the trophies and rewards she’d won for various beauty contest. She felt asleep instantly after that.

To be continued……..