Bond7 mins 178 7 mins 178
Asha lit a cigarette and began to blow the rings of smoke. On a very hot day of the summer season, sitting under the shadow of a tree, she was begging coins from the people passing by. She had been bagging in a busy market of Kanpur for months. Nobody knew who she was and where she is coming from. People taking pity on her used to give her coins, food and sometimes ragged clothes to wear. In this jungle of concrete, nobody had time to listen to her tragic story. Sun was about to set. She counted coins. She has only a few coins; not enough to buy food.
She was very hungry for she had not eaten a bit since last night. Whatever money she had, she spent in buying cigarettes. For her, the cigarette was more important than food. It was her only pal in her this wretched condition. In this situation, she had only one hope to find food, a restaurant at the corner of the street. She headed to that restaurant. The owner of the restaurant due to his kind nature used to give her leftovers to eat. After solving the problem of food she went to a nearby park to sleep which was a shelter for her at night.
Sleep was far away from her eyes. Today was her birthday and no one was near to her to wish her. She walked down the memory lane of her old good days when she had enough money to celebrate her birthday lavishly with her friends.
Her story was very tragic. She was born in a middle-class family of a metro city in India. Her parents had a lot of dreams about her. They wanted her to be a bright career and a suitable life. For this, they did whatever they could do. She was good at studies. She was a little charming girl in her childhood.
Anil was her classmate in college. He was a young and energetic but ordinary-looking boy of her age who got impressed with her beauty at first sight. He was born of a rich and reputed family. He fell in her love but remain silent. He never tired to tell her about his love. It was Asha who felt and saw in his eyes. One day, getting the nerve up, Anil told her about his love and feelings about her. She refused him. She had her own dreams to fulfill those days. She had no time and space for him and his love. Although she refused him, he didn’t forget her.
But today, she thought often about her past. Now she repented her refusing to Anil. She thought what if had she accepted his love; she would not have been in this bad plight. She thought where he would be now, whether he would still remember me or not. She got lost in his thoughts.
Her days were passing by in this way. Those who once were closed to her, those who were beloved to her, those who were once her fans, now didn’t recognize her, passed by her without seeing her. Let alone other peoples, even her relatives didn’t recognize her now. Now she had nothing but memories of her good days.
She was sleepless, she lit a cigarette. She was alone in that corner of the park. She began to look at the moon and the stars. She herself was once a star in the field of modeling. What happened to her that brought her to this miserable plight. Her story began when she was in college. An owner of a famous modeling agency, being impressed with her beauty, gave her a chance to work in the field of modeling. She grabbed the chance without thinking twice, although her father and brother were against her working as a model. Her father got so angry with her that he stopped speaking to her. Her mother and brother were happy with her. She soon got success in the modeling. She moved to Mumbai. Soon she had her own flat, car and other luxuries. When she was at her prime, she got chances even in movies. She appeared in some movies as a character role.
She earned a lot of money in modeling and acting. Her brother was ready to manage her money. Soon he began to mismanage her money. He didn’t care a bit of Asha. Although she was surrounded by thousands of fans, money, and fame, she was alone. Those days, she met Premlal, a famous actor, and fall in love. She was unaware of Premlal’s character. He was a Casanova having many love affairs. He just used her for his pleasure. She was cheated by him. She has to go for an abortion. After this, she got frustrated and depressed and she took to the bad habits of drugs and liquor. Nobody was near her to stop her from these bad habits.
As with her increasing age, her demand in the modeling industry began decreasing. Increasing age and Liquor and drugs brought her career to the end. She began to break physically and mentally. And a time came when she got useless for modeling and film industry. When her brother saw that she was of no use to him, he threw her out of the home. He snatched all her money. Now she was a broken star and was on the road with a few sweet memories of old good days. Anil was a part of her sweet memories. She began to vagabond about from town to town. In the course of vagabonding, she reached Kanpur and since then she was in Kanpur.
She fell into sleep. She dreamt of him all night. The next morning, as usual, she was sitting under the shadow of a tree. All of sudden, a car slowed down near to her. Someone looked out of the car towards her. She looked at that person. The face appeared her to be familiar but she was at the time was unable to recognize the face She began to think who was he. The car picked up the speed and went away.
The person in the car was nobody else but Anil, who was in the city on a business tour. He immediately recognized her, when he saw her. He could never forget her. He got shocked to find Asha in such a miserable state.
At night, after taking a meal from that restaurant, she was smoking at a corner of the park. In the dark of the corner, someone came to her and called her by her name in a soft voice. She looked at that person and tried to recognize him in the dark. It was the same person who was in the car in the morning. She asked rudely, “Who?”
He said to her, “it’s me, Anil. Are you recognizing me, aren’t you?”
She got surprised to find him in front of her. She remained silent for a few moments due to surprise and then cried with happiness, “you! Anil! You have recognized me in spite of such a long period and my miserable plight! I am so glad to see you.” She looked around nervously.
Anil asked, “Tell me how did you reach in such a miserable plight?”
She told him with tears in eyes, “It is a very long story.”
He said to her, “Come with me.”
He took her to his quarters where he stayed. Entering a house as a guest was a pleasing experience for her after wandering in the streets as a beggar for months. She felt warmth and safe under a roof with a man who she can trust.
She told him all about her. He was very sorry about hearing her tragic story. He had still the same feelings for her as he had before. Reality is that he could not forget her in spite of trying hard. She was his first and last love.
He was silent and absorbed in his thoughts. She interrupted his thoughts saying, “I have told you all about myself. You didn’t tell me anything about yourself. How are you doing?”
He told her his story. He told her that he had lost his wife and only son in an accident. Now he is living alone.
It was about midnight. She said to him, “It was too late. I should go now.”
He looked at her and put a question before her, “Where will you go?”
She looked at him and said, “Where my fate will take me.”
Anil remained silent for a few moments and then said, “Don’t go Asha. Listen to me, you are alone and nowhere to go. I am alone as well. I love you and I wish you will be with me forever.”
She got surprised to hear from him. She looked at him. He appeared her to be a ray of light in the dark of her life.
She moved forward to him. He took her to his arms. She said, “I wish I would not have refused your love before.”
He said to her, “It’s not too late. I will fill your life with happiness.”