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The Artist
The Artist

© Prateek Varshney

Drama Fantasy Romance

10 Minutes   12.5K    434

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The wind gushed against his face as he walked along the coast. It had been a hot day. The warmth from the sun was a bit annoying but the added chill from the water made it pleasant. It was the kind of breeze he loved. The waves floated as usual. The water came and went, at times tickling his feet if not pulling him into self. It was his favorite place and the best place in whole Mumbai.  He used to go there often. Whenever he felt stuck or blocked, he would visit the place and something would fill him up with a lot of inspiration all of a sudden. There was something about this place. Just the mere presence of the sea, the shore, the rocks, the air, the sand or the horizon could not be enough. There had to something else apart from these but he could never understand.

But today there was a sense of disdain. He will never be able to forget 10, April 2015. First time he had been humiliated so much. He looked at the sunset. The sun had turned orange in color and lost its shine, the yellowness, the heat, the power to make one watch his steps. It was something he could relate to, the setting sun.

Last few days had not been so good. He was trying very hard to make a living. No one was by his side, everyone had left him. Even the best of his friends were avoiding him. His wife and his daughter were also not in the town. He felt lonely. He pulled out the bottle from his pocket, looked at it with sense of hope. It was the only thing that could soothe him, he knew. He twisted the cap to open the bottle as he wiped a tear off his moist eyes. Each tear rolling down his face told a separate story, the story of his life. How he had failed miserably. Why did his family leave him? Why were his friends avoiding him? Why was he alone? Why he couldn’t make a living. Why the once brilliant student was humiliated in front of the whole world. Why he was here?

He was an artist. He used to work in the film industry as a junior artist. His job was to fill up for the crowd when needed, stand behind the lead actor as an audience, dance in a group for cover up, perform lethal stunts, serve tea to the crew, and many more which were not defined in his job role, but he had to do in order to make a living. Uneven film schedules were ruining his married life as his wife wasn’t happy with the money he earned and the time he entered his house every day. He had tried to explain her though he knew that she knew how things go in the industry but she wouldn’t just accept it. Every time they had a fight, the neighbours gathered outside their house and enjoyed the matinee masala. It wasn’t her fault but he wasn’t at fault too, it was just the circumstances. She was the happiest person on earth when they had married but it wasn’t the same now. She was not ready to forgive him for the mistake, the fault, the crime of leaving his salaried job to chase his dream of becoming an actor in Bollywood.

A week before she left him. The reason was simple - she couldn’t live with a man who had been stripped of his clothes in public. It wasn’t real. It was simple film scene where he had to play a beggar and the public takes advantage to make him strip, but it was a shame for her. What will she answer to the world? How will she explain it to everybody? The way people will look at her and taunt her was reason enough for her to leave the house forever.

But the thing that happened today was killing him. He couldn’t dare to stand in front of a mirror to meet his eyes which would ask the question “Why”. Why him, he wondered. He sat on a big rock and gulped the first shot of the sweet poison.  The taste was sour but it didn’t matter his own life was worse. He took another sip, the taste seemed better. He had consumed alcohol before but today it was different. A quick recap of the whole day scrolled in front of his eyes, but he couldn’t see it clearly, the liquid salt in his eyes didn’t let him, it blurred the whole damn thing. He was about to close his eyes and wipe off the tears, when the vision cleared up all of a sudden and he could see the moment - the sole reason of all the troubles of his life. He could see her clearly. The queen of hearts - Anamika.

11 November 2013, the day he saw her first time. It was an advertisement in the newspaper promoting her debut Hindi film ‘Neer’. She looked beautiful and gorgeous, a kind of girl who could make people go weak with her beauty. It was love at first sight. This is when he built the dream of becoming an actor, just to woo and marry her. At that time he was working in an IT firm as an engineer and about to get married within a month, but his love for her was making him irresistible. Days passed, dates increased and so his love for her, but he couldn’t dare to stop his parents from arranging things for the big day. Finally the day came and he was married. It wasn’t the most important or rememberable day for him, but the day his daughter was born and he took the decision to quit his job to be an actor. It was 31 December 2014. The worst mistake of his life as people would say, but for him it was a signal from the almighty to go ahead and fulfil his dreams, begin his much awaited journey with the New Year. His wife cautioned him many times but he paid no heed to her cries and warnings but went ahead and set out to find the much awaited break.

In a month he was working for ‘SatSang Productions’ in a movie ‘Toota Sheesha’ as a junior artist. Little did he know that the title was going to be a reflection of his own life? He wasn’t sad of the fact that he could not become an actor but utmost happy because he was going to work with ‘Anamika'. The work began. He really enjoyed the work while watching her dance, emoting scenes but his best moments would be when he was asked to stand behind her and hold a fan to make her hairs fly. He was really enjoying his work when the day arrived when he was asked to play a beggar. The most horrendous day of his life. The day that changed his life completely. Actually not completely. It is today that should take the credit, he felt as the day rolled in front of his eyes again.

He woke up in the morning, and shouted “Geeta”, but his wife was not there. She had left him a week ago, but it was today he truly felt her absence. He was getting late for work. He went into the kitchen lighted the gas stove and put on the pan to boil some milk. His phone rang.

“Kishen, where are you? You idiot we have to shoot an important stunt scene and you son of a bitch is absent” the person on the other side shouted.

“Sir, sorry sir will be there in 15 minutes. I am really sorry sir” he replied.


“I want you here in 5 minutes” the guy said as he disconnected the call.

He went to take bath or to dry clean actually as fast as he could. Suddenly he remembered the milk. He went to the kitchen, turned off the gas stove and picked up the pan



“Ah, fuck. Shit… too hot”, he shouted as the pan fell on the floor and the milk spilled.


‘Spilling of milk is a bad omen’ he imagined his mother as she used to say when he was a


“Today is such a bad day” saying so he left for work.


It indeed was a bad day. Rumors were floating that the film’s actor Niranjan had proposed to Anamika and was waiting for her reply. He couldn’t understand what to do. He had to convey his feelings to her anyhow. He loved her and he couldn’t let her marry Niranjan at any cost.


Not able to think of anything he rushed in her vanity. She wasn’t present. He looked around to find a piece of paper but couldn’t. Just then his gaze fell on her clothes. The clothes she would have worn while coming from her home. He lifted them up in his hands and brought them close to his face. The clothes had extra ordinary whiff. The scent and perfume were strong but what filled up his lungs was her aroma. He was so engrossed and lost in the smell that he almost forgot the fact that he was in her vanity, her personal vanity.

“What the hell are you doing? Who the fuck you are?” she stood behind him.


The voice shocked him. He lost balance, stumbled and fell down on the floor.


“Who are you and what are you doing here?” she repeated the question.


But only thing he could speak was “I … I … Anam … I”.


“You will not speak like this. Let me call the security” and she turned to rush out of the vanity. But she could hardly move. He held her hand. Tightly. She turned around and pushed him. He caught her again this time with greater force.

“I … I am the artist, a junior artist. Your fan. Sorry not fan … admirer and the lover” he said with his eyebrows up with pride, passion is his eyes and a smile on his lips. He was too happy holding her. The moment he has been waiting since eternity had arrived. He longed to touch her, be close to her, kiss her, hold her, and hug her. Today was his day. The moment had arrived. Without wasting a moment he came forward, slid his right hand on her waist, pulled her towards himself, his left hand behind her neck, pulled her face close to his and then he kissed her.


She was shocked. She had lost her senses and stood still for minutes after it was over, the trauma numbed her brain. It happened too quickly for her to understand. After 2 minutes she retracted, pushed him and rushed out. He went behind her.

“Somebody help, he’s trying to rape me. Please help…” she shouted as soon she was out.


The whole crew gathered around her. Before anyone could understand what happened, he came out of the vanity running. Everyone understood the situation. The crowd pulled him, punched him, kicked him, and abused him in all possible ways. His clothes were torn apart. He was kicked in the delicates as he pleaded for mercy. No mercy. People smashed his nose and some even kicked his face near eyes. Everyone was just trying to hit him in all possible ways. The journalists present to cover the stunt scene were recording the whole incident LIVE. A journalist went to ‘Anamika’ for her statement.

“He tried to rape me. Women are not safe in this country…Call the police.”


The junior artist was termed as Rapist, his best moments few seconds ago turned into the worst moment of his life. His life was broken like his face and body. Everyone was seeing him with fury. The rage on everyone’s face was very clear. He somehow managed to escape the scene and came here.

He took the last sip from the bottle as the day ended with the sun finally set and started walking towards the sea. In no time he was half submerged, but he couldn’t gather courage to move forward. He still loved her and wanted to go back to her. Nothing or no amount of humiliation could change his love for her. He remembered the kiss. He turned around to go back, but then suddenly lost his consciousness and was swept away along with the waves.


Sweet poison, a mixture of poison and alcohol had worked. It was the end of his life and the love story.

Love Tragedy One side love romance fiction

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