The Audition

The Audition

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.

The Buddha?

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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