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#atozchallenge: E for Enigma


This post is written as part of Blogging from A to Z April (2016) challenge. Today, on , I write on Letter E for Enigma.

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.

 

 

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Your Bombay, My Mumbai our Bombaiya!!


Marine Drive
Marine Drive

Mera Mumbai! Your Bombay! Our Mumbai. The city is an addiction, an emotion speaking limitless words in one voice echoing our belonging to the place that welcomed us with arms wide open like Shah Rukh Khan’s signature style embrace. It’s an obsession the moment you step your feet in the city that offers unadulterated love. It is the greatest devotion on earth, like the bells at Siddhivinayak Mandir and moments of solace at Haji Ali Dargah.

All Images are copy righted@Vishal Bheeroo
All Images are copyrighted@Vishal Bheeroo

The deep connect that I have with the city, surrounded by the Arabian Sea, chime a bell with the language of the heart that knows no barrier. It only knows one language: love. Mumbai just grows on you and you never gets enough of it. It’s the celebration of life in zest, vigor and passion. The year was 2002 when Mumbai called to embrace me and it’s tough to survive in one of the world’s fastest cities. Dejected, I left! Destiny had other plans. Don’t they say, when love gonna happen, it will. One year later, I visited the city and fell in love.

The Deccan Queen train ambled slowly at Chembur where I sat by the window seat,gazing at few yellow-and-black cabs and buses on the highway. The scene is so vivid in my mind and my eyes focused on the city as the train sped past the road. I wouldn’t lose sight of the city’s vivid infrastructure. Every now and then, I would pack my bags to Mumbai and it was sense of what was coming for me. Every time, I visited Mumbai, I stayed more days that I initially planned to. The city is like magnet that just draws you into its belly and I looved watching the busy road from my cheap hotel at Colaba Causeway during the night. The honking of buses and cars, the Queen’s necklace shining bright and light flowing at different directions in our very own SoBo (South Mumbai). Mumbai gets very flirty and playful during the night. Sitting at Marine Drive in the evening and watching the crazy traffic, it makes the city comes to life. I love walking on the boulders, sipping cutting chai and walking till Nariman Point where I would climb as high as I could on the stones, sensing flowing water beneath and sitting atop watching the waves.

I would never ever regret my decision of moving to Mumbai for two and a half years in 2006 and it was one of the best decision where I lived and breathed the air in the city, making every single moment of life worthwhile. It made life time memories. Mumbai gave me an identity, sense of purpose and a connect where my heart truly belong to. Our life lines-local train-was a daily love story, struggling the tiny body inside and battling the crowd, listening the child singing Himesh Reshamiya song in a coarse voice breaking at every second in exchange for few coins, sipping cutting chai on the street and gorging Pani Puri at Bandra Bandstand, which lingers houses of celebrities. Running to catch the BEST Buses moving and walking in the scorching sun from Churchgate to Chowpatthy Beach. Yet! I would stay refreshed.

855

It’s been my favorite thing to do, watching the city from atop a building, vehicles moving at fleeting speed, people walking and it gives a peek what Mumbai stands for. It’s independence, freedom, breaking free, dreams, aspirations and our infrastructure-large streets and sky risers. It’s all about longing and craving for more at maximum speed. Mumbai can be a hard life but if we got the pace, nothing shall stop us. The city just pulls us in.

Today, I feel like showering love on the city and Mumbai is present in each tiny cell of my nerves. Even after leaving the city, I am longing for home coming and cannot imagine my life without Mumbai. It’s my identity. I experience the kindness of fellas on 9/11, the day I took the bus to pursue my dreams. How the people came together!! It’s the Spirit of Mumbai. Perhaps, Mumbai Calling! Hope this time when I come back to create new memories and weave new dreams, I will drive a small and cool TATA car. It’s been more than three years I met my muse and perhaps, some magical feeling must sparkle for us to unite.

Note:

I didn’t plan to do a post on Mumbai but after reading Archana post, it brought tears to the eyes and little I realize that I am missing the city. One thing led to the other, watching countless Mumbai videos and Lancelot post added to the urge to write on Mumbai. An ode to my Mumbai, Our Bombay, Amchi Mumbai cannot be separated from our lives. Once a Mumbaikar, always a Mumbaikar.

Love

V