I was seated in my agent’s office, waiting for my turn to audition for a movie based on the life of Queen Yashodhara and Prince Siddhartha.
The queen and I are so different. Yet, so similar in grief. She pines for her husband, I pine for satisfying roles.
The agent barged in, “We audition for the slaves.” He left before I could protest.
A slave? No way. I’d rather skip.
A sweet lingering smell tickled my olfactory nerves. Blinded by a luminescent glow, my eyes shut involuntarily. I was transported to a Glade. Seated under a lone fig tree was the source of the light. I stood enthralled as my eyes adjusted to the brightness.
How did I get here? This set is outstanding! The director has a penchant for perfection.
I heard a gentle voice.
“Speak to me, the one with a perturbed mind,
A path to happiness, I can help you find.”
I was baffled.
Oh no! The audition commenced? He spoke without a cue. What are my lines? I must say something!
His magnetic eyes bore into mine. I drowned in the pool of compassion that reflected in them. I poured my heart out, dazed.
“I eloped when I was 16. I had dreams of making it big in Bollywood, however…”
“Is that why you suffer?
Identify the root cause, do not fear.”
“I gave umpteen auditions; I haven’t got a break yet. I don’t want to do a cameo.”
“The only two mistakes in pursuit of the truth are – not starting and not going all the way.”
“I know what you mean. Beggars can’t be choosers. Though I come alive when I act; I fear I might end up as an extra if I do a cameo. ”
“The mind is everything; you become what you think,
The wise sift their thoughts; discard the negative in the sink.”
“I try to stay positive. However, when nincompoops get breaks because of their Bollywood connections, I get angry.”
“The instant one feels anger; one has stopped seeking the truth,
Success comes to the persistent; the path may not be smooth.”
“What should I do?”
“Focus on the task; free yourself from resentful thoughts,
The only failure in life is not giving it your best shot.”
“You ask me to take whatever is available and do my best?”
I feel better, peaceful.
“Thank you. I will take your advice. Will you watch me play Queen Yashodhara and point out the areas of improvement?”
And, I rehearsed. I became Yashodhara. I was coy as a bride, mushy in love, joyous in motherhood, and heartbroken in separation. I stopped when I tasted the acrid flavor of tears streaming down my face.
Thunderous applause jolted me. The set was gone; I stood in the room, bewildered.
What was that? A dream?
“Bravo! You got into the skin of the character. This role is yours. I am glad I entered the wrong room,” the director said, applauding.
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