This post ‘N for Numb is written as part of #AtoZChallenge: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
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Like a hardened criminal, they push me in the police van like a hardened criminal. I can’t understand what is happening to me. I am numb. From an aspirant actor to a criminal, but why?
I cross my legs and sit down inside the dusty and dark police cell at Colaba. Flies are hovering around my head. I sit still as I witness my world crashing.
A tall and fat shadow stands in front of me displaying a demoniac smile which makes me feel like a bird in a cage. He removes his black belt and caresses the metal fitting, swirling his tongue around as if it’s some savoury dish. I shudder.
He sadistically caresses my face and violently pushes me. I fall down. He slaps me. Bang! It hurts. He yells, “Kaay kartos re tu? (What do you do)? My speech slurs and the voice splintering like glasses. ‘I am an actor,’ I say. He sniggers, “Saala madarchod, everyone wants to become an actor in Mumbai.’ The ruthless cop hits me like a maniac with the belt on my head and bangs my body against the metal cell.
My body is paining and it feels like being hit with a snippet in war zone. I try to move but cannot. Blood oozes on my face. I feel dizzy. I can think of only one thing right now: Is my career as an actor over? My struggle is soon gonna die in the embryo.
I faintly hear someone calling me. It’s suddenly black everywhere. I see Koyal who scampers towards me and holds on to me. She whispers, “It’s alright. Shantanu Sir is here. Why did you do that? Why why, the fuck!” She sobs.
I hear Shantanu Sir voice and could make out that he is negotiating a bribe with the cops. The latter tells him, “I didn’t know he is part of your crew. Rest assured Sir. We will register no case against him.”
Shantanu Sir scolds me, “What are you doing with your life?” He asks Koyal to hang on to me till he takes the car from the parking space. I am ushered into the car. Shantanu Sir asks, “Just one question. Will you be an assistant director for my film?”
I feebly say, Y-e-s. I am numb. I can’t make out what’s happening to my life since the past 48 hours, right from bumping into Koyal to being arrested and getting a break in such a dramatic fashion, like the hero rising from the ashes, in a daunting climax.
I sit in pain and wonder how our lives as strugglers are wretched. I have only heard of the hard times faced by aspirants in the air-conditioned room of film producers but this one hurts harder than when some crooks posing as producers swindled my hard-earned money. Had I known? Perhaps, I wouldn’t dare dream of being an actor. If it wasn’t for Koyal or Shantanu Sir!!!