I pity girls who live in the fake world. Look at me, I am so realistic, even my dreams have a reality check. With 34 waistline and two left feet, I set my boundaries straight. This maturity hasn’t come with age. It has always been there. School ke dino se hi main wise hu… aur loyal bhi! Heroines came, heroines went…but I never budged from my role model - Manisha Koirala. She was not a random pick. We met through divine intervention. Baarish thi, toofan tha, jiski wajah se cable down tha. Bored to death, my brother switched on Doordarshan. Then and there - I met the woman who enlightened the path of my troubled teenage. Inkaar karna mushkil hai, ikrar karna mushkil hai was playing on Chitrahaar. She did PT steps with such poise that the first thought that came to my mind was - bhai sahab, main bhi famous ban sakti hu!
I was fat, so was she. She did PT steps instead of dance. I aced PT steps at school every-single-day. She gave me confidence and for that, I am eternally grateful. I was so pumped up I practiced 2-3 steps in the bathroom. I kicked the empty buckets and my mother shouted from the kitchen. Kya kiya ab? She had no idea a superstar was in the making in her very own bathroom. Ignorant woman! With head held high I stepped out of the bathroom. I felt like a star already. The 15-watt bulb above the washbasin gave my face a distinct aura. I admired myself for good five minutes. I was consumed with the thoughts of my bright future till I saw my reflection in the dressing table mirror. My round belly showed two full plates of dal-chawal I ate an hour before. I sucked my tummy in. You know, it came as a reflex, like I was an actress stepping out of her car and paparazzi was ready with their cameras. By God, I even faked a smile for practice sake. In my mind, I had already replaced Jackie Shroff with school hottie. I was all set to kill him with my killer moves. Kal to bus katleaam hoga school mein!
I went a little early. I wanted the entire classroom for myself. As a true professional, I practiced the catwalk. From the classroom door to the far end where the dustbin was kept - served as the runway. Trust me, I rocked it. There was nothing between me and fame. Nothing... apart from that nerdy chick who always came early. ‘Maths homework kiya?’ Gosh, that silly girl! She was stuck with sin-cos-theta when I was dealing with a real mathematical problem - Yash Raj or Raj Kumar Santoshi. Seriously, if ever that girl became an actress, she could have only anchored Krishi Darshan. Sin-cos-theta, my foot! She ruined my session. It took me four takes, sorry four lectures to get over it.
I was raring to meet my bestie during recess. She was in another section. She was a babe and I loved her. To be really honest, she was fatter than me and no competition. She always waited close to the cycle stand. That day, I didn’t walk to her, I cat-walked. Instead of looking at her, I looked at the crowd and nodded to her questions. Monosyllable replies added ‘class’ to my glamorous personality. She swooned at my new manners and style. ‘Kya hua, proposal?’ she wanted masala. ‘Nahin, yaar,’ I replied while eyeing the school hottie. ‘Yaar, meri aur Rani Mukherjee ki height same hogi na? I took a step towards disclosing my choice of profession. She said nothing but measured me with her eyes - one slow-motion gaze from my ponytail to black bata shoes. I got my reply. Anyway, I mustered the courage and admitted - I want to be an actress. ‘WOW!’ I was not sure of the tone of her reply. I continued, ‘I want to be like Manisha Koirala. She is so good.’ ‘Haye, wo moti!’ she blurted. Again, I sucked my tummy in and called her Guddi Maruti on my way back to the classroom.
P. S. - Jin chubby ladkiyon ko koi nahin puchta woh art house actress ban jati hain, ya fir blogger.
P. P. S - Manisha - I was fat, desperate and gawky; you gave my five feet frame some purpose.