This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 39; the thirty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Break"
It was 1.00 am, and Monica was still wide awake. She was traveling to Mumbai. The light was eerie; blue-mysterious shadows were hovering here and there in the coupe-- she sat up, folding her legs beneath her, took out her appointment letter and heaved a sigh….
She got a big break in acting; but, it was for a X-rated movie! Premonitory shivers tickled her arms…Slut! The word came in her mind, and startled her into silence…Her sluttishness had to be evident in several ways; she had to look like the whores in petticoats that hang around the balconies of the red-light district of towns. Monica cringed, and cleared her throat….
Monica had the reputation of being a humble, kind and charming person, who lived the philosophy of putting others before herself. Her father passed away when Monica was just eighteen. Monica did a lot to bring comfort to her mother and family. She was ranked as the Miss.Queen at the Inter-Collegiate Fashion Show. After graduation, she resorted to acting in theaters, mostly in supporting roles- mainly to make money so that her mother would not have to work menial jobs to support her. The impact of these times shaped her values.
A tiny station appeared- the hurtling Super fast Express rushed through a strip of platform and flung away the station. A cocooning speed was cushioning, cradling, and swaying her mind back and forth. A new beginning was beckoning, so instinctively she turned her mind off, lay down on the bed – and the train lurched on!
A tea-sellers voice woke her up in the morning. Monica was pensive. But, she had intentionally set aside her sentiments to neither aid nor deter her decision.
The train was slowing down. She looked outside—the monsoon-wet signboards were gleaming on both the sides of the train, rain water poodles were all over the ground- slum children were playing next to the tracks. Plastic-sheeted hutments with laundries hanging down in vivid unabashed colors showed that the train was approaching a big Junction … She looked in a hand mirror, brushed her long hair, smiled returning love to the mirror. Monica glared at the co-passengers creepily, then looked towards the door….Suitcases were thumped at the exit point; passenger were all set to disembark.
'Mumbai- here I come!'--she whispered, sighing happily.
The train stopped at Victoria Terminus. Tumbling and shrieking with other frantic passengers, she got down and surged forward—and came out of one of the legendary gates of Central VT. The hint of the aberrant, the mystery of the unknown ascribed worries to her mind-- however, she controlled herself, and called for a Taxi.
After freshening up in the hotel, she went around church-gate, and walked into a parlor to alter her hairstyle; cut it shorter and with a fringe covering her forehead...rough winds whipping at the fringe thrilled the small-town girl. She closed her eyes, let the breeze wash over her—at twenty, she was so full of possibilities, and so determined to live her own way; she was ripe and ready to be an actress! A glimmer of sky, a lungful of life, a breath of escape…that was all she had dreamt of in this life ….and today everything was at her feet.
In the evening, she attended a cocktail party organized by the Producer, where everybody from the crew to the journalists were present. Her heart was beating faster in asthmatic excitement. Oh, the moment of glory and the fast flutter of her heart eased all the previous pricks of her conscience. And her feet gently stepped into a celebrity’s alley...
She looked around her and picked up a Bloody-Merry, and walked out to the open-terrace- ran her tongue over the salted rim of the glass and looked skyward, felt the stars falling on her face. She whispered to herself: ' Ah, What a break I got! It's really rare for people to have a successful start-up in this industry like this' ....
Soft music was revolving around her. Her thoughts slowly drifted to the darkness outside. As she stared into the dark, her mind rested on her Mother….love…lullabies…sleep.
Monica paused; and suddenly her face flushed with a color of shame. She had told her mother about the film, but, gave her no hint of the x-rated films---she was too wild to drop everything for money!
The crowd was getting nastier now--- a group of young people were heavily drunk and were hissing, crawling everywhere. Some wild eyes were lapping at the contours of her body—her mind was awhirl with suspicions, fears…Firm realities seemed artificial; made her uncomfortable.
The phone rang.It was her mother.
She did her best to ignore it. Nine missed calls, ten, eleven…each ring got louder, more insistent. On the twelfth she placed the cell against her ear.
“I called you to say goodnight, shona.”
“Ma…G’nite ma, can you give me a flying kiss”, she said drily
Mother made a kissing sound.Her fingers tightened.
Arjun, her little brother came on line.
“Didi, are you ok? We’re missing you. Finish your work and come home soon. Ma cried the whole day, yesterday….” The phone disconnected. And Monica was relieved. Tears began to roll down her cheeks. She was now debating whether to inform her mother of her offer-letter clearly.
Monica left the place.
At night, while changing, she looked through the half opened lavatory window of the hotel; saw the blemish free moon ---it looked beautiful on the midnight-blue horizon. She thought how calm, how constant the nature was….a bougainvillea-festooned gate at the bend of the lawn reminded her of her own house-- of her mother, who was a god fearing, clean and a noble soul. Monica had never been a religious person, but she always admired her mother’s connection with Krishna—everyday her mother used to wake up before dawn, bathe, then sit for two or more hours in front of an assembly of tiny idols on her puja table….
The image of her mother gently rocking back and forth in the incense-filled room, counting beads…opened her eyes. She felt a sharp pain in her heart.
She hicupped, her voice breaking,' Maa, I'm coming home straight away.'
Her little eyes blinked tearfully. The kind of devotion her mother nurtured day after day, year after year definitely deserved a gentler, wiser closure. Integrity must carry with it a certain pride, it must never hurt the spirit of a mother....
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Jaish, Participation Count: 11