Royal with a hint of antiquity, one glance at me and you know your worth. I have a mind of my own. Mind you! My displeasure is infectious when something doesn’t catch my fancy. I and Jenny have a continuing association, despite my changing contours. Not exactly friends but we are permanent fixtures in each other’s lives. I am privy to those moments when she is the most vulnerable. When fears surmount and seclusion takes over, I offer her an assurance, a discerning view devoid of stinging questions and pricking glances.
The Hill Town Girl
Locking herself away was the ace tool in Jenny’s armour if she wanted to have her way. Constant pleading and earnest appeals from the parents made her feel important. In the end, adamancy triumphed and she outshone them.
But that day was different.
“Modeling?” “Is that even a profession?” the parents were in shock but not me. I played the role of her confidante, admirer and friend. To some extent responsible for the vanity she exuded today.
The war of words between the parents and Jenny soon turned ugly. They wouldn’t allow her to chase her dream to model and she couldn’t give into the ordinary life of a hill town.
Like always Jenny had to have her way.
One cold, moonless night as the household slipped into deep slumber, my girl, much in a Cinderella manner confronted me.
“You look different today! Determined to take the plunge.”
It was intriguing when Jenny reacted to my sentiments. Verbose communication was never required.
“Yes I am sure I have to do this. Can’t sit here awaiting a Prince Charming to swipe me off my feet. Mumbai is calling.”
With an arrogant smile she trotted into the cold, moonless night. Much the Cinderella, but this one in arms!
Mumbai It Is!
The fashion world welcomed the lithesome beauty from the hills. A fresh and vibrant face, perfect to occupy the spotlight and captivate audiences. The journey to fame wasn’t long for Jenny as she plunged into the cacophony of lights, cameras, love, betrayal and rivalry. I remained a witness to this metamorphosis.
The change crept in as silent as a slithering snake. The bottle was picked up, first in style and then in habit. It was an addiction, that’s what she was told.
That first time, she stood swaying in front of me, I was compelled to ask, “You look different.” The face as fresh as morning dew, looked pale and careworn. The façade of makeup was for the world, not for me. Yet again, my worst fear was at fruition as I wished for words, “No! don’t, please don’t……….”
Jenny looked into me, as the masquerade was washed away by the relentless tears. “What’s happening to me?” she cried. Breathing rapidly, the petite frame fell like lightening on the pine trees.
I understood. For I had witnessed many such beauties plunge down the dark alleys of alcoholism. After all, nothing remains hidden from a mirror.
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