Link to previous episode: Episode 2/
EPISODE 3: LUCKY
I fell into the chaotic buzz of lights and equipment below. This wasn’t anything different from routine, although it was an easier shoot. I strove to concentrate on the rush of air around my body. The wire holding me to the land of the living could be nonexistent right now, and I wouldn’t even notice. I corrected that thought. I would notice it; not with fear or unhappiness because it would mean pain and possibly death, as it did for my other team members. If such a thing happened, I would be happy. Maybe happy is the wrong word to use. I would be ecstatic! But only if it was death. Lying around in a hospital with painkillers floating in your head or dangerous looking injections stabbing you into unconsciousness was scarier than dying at once.
Another question flashed through my head for a fraction of a second. Will I ever tell anyone about all these obviously abnormal thoughts I had? I held the rope lightly, making it look like keeping a hand on two shoulders for support, while doing a half flip to land on my feet on the hard mattress on the ground with my head bowed. Some small part of my mind noted how uncomfortable the heels were! Who made the rule that all female leads had to wear heels while trying to commit suicide? At that moment, there was a kind of magic, which was again, usual. All of my thoughts came to a sudden stop as soon as the movie director shouted, “Cut!”
The unique agitated tone wasn’t quite so unique to me now. Repeating the same stunt over and over again was the worst part! I gripped my waist as if doing that would alleviate the pain. Director, my director that is, came over to me with concern written all over his face.
“Are you hurt somewhere? Was it too tight or what?” he asked in a rush. I reassured him that it was okay. I realized once again how silly and absolutely difficult these supernatural movies and dramas are! The movie director then trudged up to us in his weird gait and started off in a loud voice, “How many times do I have to tell you? The jump has to be full of anguish, so you can’t hold the wire even slightly when you flip. After the flip, you can’t glide down like a fairy. Someone held you in your position with telekinesis, for God’s sake!” He threw up his hands in the air and I knew the fireworks will begin anytime now. Sure enough, Shaan Sir began his, honestly, intimidating speech on all the bad things that could happen to the movie director if he got angry. The funny part was that the meanest movie directors and producers backed down in front of him. When they didn’t, I stepped in to take care of them.
Shaan Sir, or the Director, as I liked to call him, had a fairly soft nature, except when provoked, of course. So I enjoyed watching him biting everyone’s head off when he did get angry. He never shouted or threw tantrums, like I had seen a few of them do, but he somehow always got his way. That was definitely an advantage when working with him! Plus he took great care of everyone on the team, sometimes forgetting his own health. For now, he had managed to get the movie director to cut me some slack and edit the parts which he wanted to slow down or get the lead actress to do it herself. I was just the stunt double after all!
To be honest, I was just having fun. It wasn’t that I was a perpetually frowning kind of person, but today was exceptionally good, as I didn’t get too hurt. Besides, I had been happy for two days in a row now, ever since I got the news of Sahil’s surgery being successful. I walked up the stairs to the floor we were filming in. As I was walking, I again thought of how it would be good if I died today. Somehow the notion was rather romantic. Dying while flying! “I’m rather good at poetry. It would be good to write something and have it published, right?” I thought to myself. Standing on the edge, I let the air blow in my face as I prepared to fall again. I saw the somewhat long, messy, shiny, dark bronze hair of Shaan Sir. He had his back turned to me, talking to another one of my teammates. I let my dark, silky hair fall around me as I bowed my head and fell to the words “Rolling camera, Action!”
OM’S POINT OF VIEW
I stood in awe once more as she flew down to the land of the mortals, or so it seemed from where I stood. It was the first time I was seeing her hair open. And she was wearing a feminine dress too! Another first! I crossed my arms across my chest, having been drawn back to another time when I had watched just as mesmerized as I was now. The sound of Ishana’s ghunghroos floated in the air as she danced in her own sweet world. Watching Ishu now, it was very difficult to not think of Ishana. But I shoved those thoughts away as she came to the ground. The heels seemed to be uncomfortable for her but she stood proudly in them, as if the heels were fortunate enough to be on her feet. Before I knew it, the atmosphere had changed to one of conflict. I quietly saw her stand in front of a man like a protective lioness in front of her cub while literally chewing out the head of another bespectacled man, who was evidently much elder to her.
I assumed this to be a professional argument so I refrained from jumping in between. But I did move closer to them to hear their conversation.
I heard her high trilling voice shouting, “How dare you say that about our Shaan Sir? You wanna get a kick in your gut? That should bring your head back to its right place! Apologize now, before I put you in the hospital.” The man listening to all this was exasperated and incredulous at her arrogance. “Why should I apologize? It’s my right to demand that all the people working for this movie do their jobs properly. Who will discipline them if not for me?” he tried reasoning with the crazy girl. I noticed that the other guy was desperately trying to calm her down. His most characteristic feature was the dark bronze hair. His efforts obviously went down the drain as the next thing she did was even more jaw dropping than anything she had done!
Grabbing his neck from behind, she made his head bow down in front of the bronze haired guy. “Won’t you do it? You don’t see your mistakes, do you? You are the one who needs disciplining! You really think the leads are all you need to care about? Action doubles are like your trashy equipment? And the one guy here who takes care of them should put up with your nonsense and insult? Not even in your wildest dreams! So apologize and swear to yourself to never do it again. Now!” she commanded.
The elderly man seemed shaken by this turn of events. He did as ordered and to my surprise, not only did Ishu let him go, but also bow her head in front of him politely and say sorry for being rash. “You know what; I just can’t take it if anyone says anything wrong about him. So, I acted a bit brashly. And for your own sake, I hope you remember that.” The threat was barely concealed! What was she to blackmail her own boss? Didn’t she realize that she could even go to jail for this? “Well, this was my last scene for today, so I can go, right?” Without waiting for an answer from the furious man, she stalked off.
I followed her till the make-up room, eavesdropping on her conversation with the other guy. “You can thank me later, Director! I’ll be late for my re-telecast of my favorite drama! You know I hate to miss it!” she trilled in her soprano voice. The replying voice was a deep one, built with a lot of patience and acuity. “You can’t shout at directors for such trivial reasons, Ishu. If you keep this up, there won’t be anything for you to do. Moreover, who asked you to step in between?” he chided.
Ishu now turned on him, but her conduct with this ‘Director’ was kind of tamed, like a spoilt princess complaining to her father. “You wouldn’t say anything to him. So I did. And I will try to keep it down next time. Promise. So can I go now?” her words had taken on a tone of childish petulance, which made it difficult for the ‘Director’ to be mad at her. He left her with a “Text me when you reach home.” She looked at him as he walked back and saw me standing there.
I walked to her in a leisurely way, smiling at Ishu as we made eye contact. “How are you doing?” I asked politely, having known all about the storm she had stirred up within minutes. “Hey Om, how is your hand now? What brings you here? Wait, is this why you were asking about my schedule? Any particular reason for this surprise visit?” I gave her a confounded look and held up my hands to stop her torrent of questions.
“Actually I came to get an answer for one of my own questions. And also because I was sent to take you home”, I replied as casually as possible. Her wide eyes seemed to go dark and moist at that. I didn’t understand what had happened to her, so I looked deep into her eyes and tried to bring her back to the present by touching her arm. “Ishu, are you okay?” I prompted.
“You wanted an answer from me, right? What’s the question?” she asked in a soft voice. “We can talk about that later. Get your stuff, we gotta go”, I said. For no good reason that I could see, I suddenly felt uncomfortable in this place swarming with people. “Umm… Om, would you mind terribly if I don’t come with you now? I have somewhere I need to be”, she said hesitantly. Dramas were more important than coming home? I asked myself.
“You know that Anika is living with us until Sahil is totally fit, right?” I asked trying to guess the reason why she wouldn’t come, especially since so many people there really wanted her to come. Didn’t she like them? All kinds of weird thoughts were going through my head as she stood looking at me with a strange expression. It was a mixture of happiness, sadness, fear, and relief! I waited for her explanation as she waited for me to go without any.
The bronze haired guy reappeared behind me and asked in stern voice what I was up to. Ishu introduced him as Shaan, the director of the action academy she worked in. I held out my hand before she could say anything about me. “Omkara”, I introduced myself as he gripped my palm in a confident handshake. “Nice to meet you, Omkara. May I know what you were talking about with Ishu?” he said formally. Was he her boyfriend? I tried to remember if she had ever mentioned him, but I couldn’t.
Ishu wasn’t saying anything. So, in reply to his question, I said, “I came to take her home.” That one sentence brought a similar, yet different kind of reaction from him. He quizzically looked over at Ishu and they seemed to have a wordless conversation for some time. It weirdly felt like intruding upon their privacy, so I looked away. The set was being prepared for the next scene and the lead and support actors and actresses were coming in. Suddenly I caught sight of one
of the actresses who, I suppose, was crazy. A few years ago, she had harassed me a lot, trying to get me to be her boyfriend. That was when I started going out with Riddhima. She looked as if she was going to come over, so I hastily apologized for being rude, held Ishu’s arm and pulled her with me, trying to make an escape as soon as possible.
I didn’t notice the shock on her face until we were in the car. I tried explaining and she burst out laughing at my silly reason to run away. She started texting someone and I guessed aloud if it was the guy named Shaan. She confirmed
it and I waited for her to put the phone away, so that I could ask the question which had been bugging me for two whole days. As it turned out, she didn’t stop looking into her phone and as we pulled into the drive of Oberoi Mansion, she received a call. As the car came to a standstill, I locked the door to prevent her from getting out. Hardly had she realized the situation, when her eyes filled with shock and indignation.
“I wanted to ask you something, before we go in”, I explained. It’s hard to say if she was relieved at that or wanted to get it done with as soon as possible. I continued, “That day, after Sahil’s surgery, when I called you, were you crying?” Her eyes flashed up and she seemed discomfited that I had seen her weakness. Nonetheless, she nodded while looking straight ahead. “Why didn’t you come to the hospital then?” I asked, my voice overflowing with curiosity. I had my guesses, but I wanted to know from her. Her eyes were fixated on a faraway unseen object as she coldly countered, “Do I have to answer?”
I figured I must be encroaching upon her personal space. So I let it drop and unlocked the doors, walking to our home with silence keeping us company.
SNEAK PEEK: Something serious happens and Shivaay gets deeply worried about it.
Hello people 🙂 sorry for the delay in posting this. I had been busy for some time, because of which I couldn’t write. I read most of the ffs although I’m not able to comment on them always. Sorry for that too guys… anyways, I hope everyone who reads this part enjoys it. I know the story isn’t progressing too rapidly now, but I guess you’ll have to wait for the really interesting stuff.
In any case, it’s a relief that Ishqbaaz is back to what I loved it for in the first place. All of the fun, suspense, and intense acting is back in the show and I’m loving it! What are your thoughts, guys? Feel free to share. 🙂