As I happily sunk into the pillow of one of the hottest stars in Bollywood, my head started spinning. To my great horror, I could hear voices coming out from the pillow – angst-filled, shaky, disturbing, growling voices. I lifted my head immediately from the red satin-laced pillow of feathers - for which I had spent a fortune.
I was mad about him – my superstar, my hero! The moment he appeared onscreen, I would forget everything else. If he smiled, I would smile. If he cried, I would cry…I would keep a cutting of even the smallest bit of information on him. In this Bollywood crazy nation, I was the craziest! And the moment I got to know that some of his personal belongings were being auctioned, I sold my accessories, clothes, books…everything worth a rupee to buy a part of him. And the only thing, which came within my budget, was the red satin-laced pillow.
But that night something was happening, perhaps, I was so happy to lay my head where my hero had rested that I was hallucinating! I rested on the pillow again and the voices started warning me, teasing me, jeering at me. And then, I heard that booming deep baritone I was so familiar with – his voice:
<i>“I love to see that frightened look in the eyes of my prey. I love to ravish them – the so-called wannabe actresses… without looks or body but great ambition. The fatsos think they can make it big. And I make them believe that…ha ha..and get their bodies in return.. to pinch, to gnaw, to kill. They should be happy that I, the biggest star in Bollywood, is touching them, kissing them. Look at me, my eyes, my body, my voice…people die to have a look of me. I am the best..I am God! The world is mine, people lick my feet. Ha!
It’s not easy to enter my shoes. You have to struggle, you have to make sacrifices. The price of stardom is big, only a God like me can pay it. I have been through hell to reach where I am. Every night, demons from the past speak to me”:</i>
<b>First voice:</b> You killed your father little-by-little everyday because of your ambition. He was an ordinary man, you were extraordinary. He wanted nothing, you wanted all. He slaved his body, so that you have the money to make it big. And after you had all, you shooed him like a fly.
<b>Second voice:</b> You killed your middle-class-mother. She wanted a little care from you but you packed her off to an old age home because she was trying to block your way to stardom. She was becoming your conscience, you just shunned her.
<b>Third voice:</b> Remember the first time you slept with the sleazy director like a third-grade gigolo. You spent the entire night crying and washing yourself. You were not God but a victim…a victim of your ambition.
<b>Fourth voice:</b> You are a blackmailer; your closet is full of dirty secrets of all. And you love to bring them into the open, whenever you want things to go your way. Should I tell what you did to bag the role, other stars were coveting?
<b>Fifth voice:</b> You are never at peace, always restless because you think of your dark crimes. You murdered the poor, innocent pavement dwellers, who were resting after a hard day’s work. You were drunk and you brutally run your car over them…you heard the screams, you saw their grimaced faces, saw the trail of blood and fled!
<b>Sixth voice:</b> You have all the money and fame in the world but you come back home to a neurotic wife. Your children are spoilt brats and they have a poor opinion of you. Your son is a drug addict and your daughter is a whore. They can kill you anytime.
<b>Seventh voice:</b> You have the power to break and un-break careers but your life is not in your hand. You drown yourself in liquor and women but find solace nowhere. Your skin disgusts you - it speaks of your lusty deeds. You love yourself the most and you hate yourself the most!
<i>“These voices cannot scare me. No, don’t believe what they say. They are liars. I am not afraid of them. Nobody can harm me, the world is at my feet. Whatever I did is justified, after all I am God.”</i>
Drenched in sweat and shocked to the hilt, I shakily lifted my head from the red satin-laced pillow that felt so thorny. How could one sleep with a head, heart and soul burdened with evil voices? Perhaps, he had not slept for ages. And behind that made-up exterior lies a distressed ugly face. My hero was no more a hero for me…but a pathetic creature, not a victor but a victim of demons created by him. He was riding a tiger, he could not dismount!
I threw the pillow down from the balcony and away went all the voices and demons. I no longer worship him; I pity him and wouldn’t trade my ordinary life with his extraordinary one at any cost. At least, I sleep well!