“Offer accepted”, she answered, the moment she picked up the call from her manager, without batting her eyelids, sheer desperation dripping through her voice, like the sweat line sliding the spine on a sweltering summer day.
“Take-home is good, but…”, replied the manager cautiously trying hard to hide the surprise and shock he felt from her response, despite being aware of her madness to make a mark.
“I need a break… money. Period. Rest all is redundant”, came the ice-cold, razor-sharp, determined reply, cutting him short.
This exchange that transpired a week ago, played out in her mind as she lay down on the sizzling tarmac with a paintbrush in one hand, colour palate in the other, a fake smile on her face while the mid-day sun scorched her body, blinded her eyes, for hours together till the shot was okayed.
…For she was a small-town girl, a castaway from home for following her heart, an aspiring model and actress with no godfather in the industry, and now shooting for an advertisement at Churu, Rajasthan.
Surviving sunburns was far less painful for her as against the touch of the soft, cosy sofa of the casting couch…