This post is written as part of Blogging from A to Z April (2016) challenge. Today, on
#atozchallenge, I write on Letter E for Enigma.
Many dream of the life that I live. It doesn’t matter that it comes at a heavy price and the five precious seconds in my life does not belong to me. What they wouldn’t give to be in my place! I would happily trade places with me. The joy of living a simple life and driving to the beach to enjoy the breeze, swimming and warm the heart and body by drinking in peace a cup of tea. I am an enigma to their eyes. I am hounded at every nana second of my life…brands, producers, media and fans.
Today, I resume shooting and we beat the Mumbai crazy traffic to reach the studio in time at Chembur. Everything is so new to me as if I am doing it for the first time. But, not to them: the director, spot boys and eager fans who are chased away but come back to face the sticks of cops just to have a glimpse of me. I am tempted to ask them, ‘You peeps don’t have anything better to do in life.’ But, guess I remain unaffected for I am not the person they hero worship. At least! What I think!
I almost hit a nervous break-down when some journalists are stomping on my feet for a sound bite on my health and rumors of memory loss doing the round. How I wish it was a rumor! I fake it by denying all and sundry. I cannot pretend for long.
I am hearing words like, Sir! Shot ready…repetition, light, camera and action. I snap my way to follow the director’s instruction. I just did it by impersonating myself which is such a risky business. Scared that I’ll be caught and perhaps tried by society for being a pack of lies and cheating on my soul. I live in constant fear.
My life doesn’t belong to me, nor to films but to an 18-year-old girl ordering me on how to act and be someone that I am not. She insists that I recommend her name as part of the film crew. I know that I am being watched and followed at every step.
I am an enigma, I repeat to myself. Be that guy that you were and the world think you are. But, can I be him!! To play him, I have to be conscious of his reality. I am not even aware of who the fuck he is. I don’t even know his age and where he came from. Yet! I am playing him on and off screen. People will clap hands and be in awe of me, the star who has everything and swimming in luxury. Some will try to debunk the myth and the enigma that I am, the film star and how I wish to tell them that I am trying to do the same to unravel his identity, my identity.
The AD tells me that there will be an extended schedule and a song has been added that will be shot on me and the new model who got a break as an item girl. Aha! Now, I remember her: The same girl on the billboard. She inches closer to me and chirpily says, ‘Hi’. WoW! An angelic face that one is automatically drawn to and I am quite amused to eye her beautiful face, tresses of hair that she is chewing like some bubble gum. She is the stuff dreams are made are and her creamy face is too perfect. “Thanks so much,” she plants a kiss on my left cheek.
“Huh!! For what?! ” I ask.
“Remember! You recommended my name for this item song.”
The savior of my life pinches my neck from behind my back. She orders, “Say yes. It’s a pleasure, Tamanna.” I repeat after her like a kid straight from the Horlicks ad aired during commercial breaks on TV.
I’ve been saved time and again. I just wanna run away from here. I brusquely drag that mystery woman in a corner, “Now what? I want to find out who the fuck I am. I cannot play double role like that and wanna get out of this film studio now. I feel suffocated here. You were supposed to help me find who that guy is. At least, I need to call you by a name…cannot plainly refer to that girl.”
“I am an illusion…in Hindi it means Maya,” she quips.