The night was still breathing. The room was imbibed with a spine chilling silence and sadness. A forlorn full moon hung low, resting on a single wisp of grayish-white cloud. A cold wintry north wind wrapped around her delicate body, she felt a cold shiver running down her long slender back. As she listened to the shrill sound of the distraught January wind, she felt feeble… and… naked.
As she realized this, in a moment, the darkness came in swarming to her, engulfing her in an ethereal world. Last night she had been to Kolkata’s most coveted fashion party. A budding model, with dreams in here eyes, a struggler as everyone in the industry would call her. The usual humdrums, the party gossips, page 3 reporters clicking away at their free will, lights, glamour and dazzling smiles echoing across the walls of the banquet hall. She didn’t feel at home, but she knew she had to behave as if she is, after all she was told it’s all a show business. You go and please people you get the contract, you go and sleep around, you get to become the show-stopper. And the unfortunate part is she had obliged, succumbed to the whims and wishes of the rich and powerful.
The atmosphere brimmed under a darkened veil of the night. The chiffon drapers curtailed her from the parochial, insulated society. She felt protected by the darkness, it was cold, yet welcome, it was cruel, yet it was her way to the top. As she rummaged in the darkness for her cloths a weak attempt to hide her sins, her aspirations gone wrong. She grappled in the dark, for those so-called-cloths and touched him, almost lifeless, yet the smooth rhythmic breathing told her that, he’s hunger has been satiated.
Hours back, she was completely drunk, weak on her knees, blurred visions. She couldn’t resist anything, and moreover she didn’t wish to. And as they lay down on the bed, the emotions were hazy, the sighs were inaudible, tears rolled down the corner of her eyes, but nobody paid a heed to them, it was dark, the orgasm- a fake. Every minute seemed like hours, she had to get the contract, and she knew this was a big catch. She felt the cold sweat in her palms; she hadn’t even seen his face properly. She managed to gather her remaining things, and dash out of the room, silently, barely able to control an urge to throw up.
The night outside the hotel was calm, it was so cold that she had to pull her jacket close to her, wrapping her tainted body tightly, and walked away briskly. A few stray dogs, scampering behind each other, howling, the lecherous looks of a drunkard, dissecting her body from top to bottom; so lonely, it felt. The walls were stained with murky B-grade film posters; the dimly lit street offered her no solace, except for a slimy musty smell. She felt her neck it was sticky with the cold dirty sweat, she still smelled of the man’s perfume…
Manali knew after this night, life would be the same for her, how can she even face her family, and above all Sidharth. She didn’t have an answer to herself, the four years of courtship, and then engagement, and then one wrong step and everything will be gutted by this wild fire of her wronged aspirations. She wanted to scream, get the frustration out of her… it’s almost dawn, She dragged herself out and stood at the balcony, it was 10 floors high…
A melting sun was breaking the clouds and rising…!