There were a lot of people around me, at least a few hundred. Most of them were jostling for space, pushing and elbowing each other in their vain attempts to get through the crowd. A few, like me, who had arrived early to have a clear view, were already in the front and aggressively pushing back others who were trying to get ahead of us.
This was my first time in Mumbai and maybe my only time. I had been diligently squirreling money for the past 5 years for this visit, to make my dream come true. Sometimes I would skip breakfast, sometimes I would wear my old tattered filthy rags without buying new clothes, sometimes I would walk bare feet even though the jagged stones would tear open the skin on the soles of my feet leaving them wounded, but I would doggedly plod on. My eyes would glaze as I would silently dream of the day when I would finally meet him, when my God would be within touching distance from me. Yes, he was no less than God to me.
Even as an unknown, strange man would silently thrust away his frustrations on top of me, I would look at his dirty old poster that I had stuck long back in my scanty shack. And I would be transported into a different world. A world where he and I would be walking hand in hand among rows and rows of tulips, where he would bury his face in my long tresses and would declare his undying, eternal love and he would sing songs of praises bestowed on my beauty, where he would write poems declaring that I was born for him, that I was a shimmering star called down to earth just for him. It made my life more endurable. And when the men left after receiving the gratification for which they had paid for, it didn’t make me feel disgusted.
And now here I was, making my dream come true. Suddenly there was a burst of activity and the crowd went berserk. I was pushed from all sides but I firmly held onto the railing of the wrought iron gates.
There was a small podium being brought to the front of his princely mansion. Three small steps lead to the makeshift stage. I had heard that this was to ensure that his fans at the end of the crowd had a glimpse of the superstar.
Finally after hours of waiting he came out wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. He looked just like in my dreams, tall handsome and debonair. The cinema screens where I had once seen his film had not done justice to his persona at all. His thick mop of dark unruly hair, his broad shoulders, his manly arms, his chiseled lips all beckoned out to me.
I waved at him calling out his name in fervor.
But my voice was drowned in a sea of voices. Even as my face fell dejectedly, he came forward to where I was standing and extended his hand. I looked at him startled and amazed. I took his hand and kissed it. But before I could bask in the warmth and happiness of my dream come true, I was pushed aside. Hordes of people dragged me back as they zealously tried to touch the superstar. I fell down and some stomped on me too.
I mouthed profanities as I shuffled and struggled to get up on my feet and have a final glimpse of my idol.
But by the time I was up on my feet he had gone back inside his house. The crowd dispersed.
Many can lay claim to my body, many may use me to satisfy their whims of pleasure but my soul belongs to him and him only.
Image Source: Google Images.