As a child, I always dreamt of meeting Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. I wondered, how the man is, when he is free from all sorts of role playing. Is he naturally that handsome and charismatic? Is he the same genius entertainer, who can compel the listeners to actually understand and feel what he wants them to feel? Honestly, I have spent 28 years, to draw my inspiration from the King of Bollywood.
As i grew up, I narrowed down my goals, altered my ambitions and even took drastic decisions (always :p) because I am a writer, and he is my Muse! I couldn’t help wondering what it feels like to actually stand in front of “Mannat,” and imagine him waving at me, the way he always sends love to his fans.
All it takes is the courage to snatch what you want from life. Last year, I left my home, my family, my circle, my University, my city, with eight thousand rupees, in order to pursue my dream. Honestly, I had zero contacts in Mumbai, because I was struggling hard even in Kolkata. All I knew was I have to find work in Mumbai! I have to protect and sustain myself, without any help from a third person, singular noun. I was very clear about my intentions, from the first day I stepped in the city. Thanks to my childhood friend, and an active Vlogger, Poonam Mondal, who stood by my side and made my life easier.
After finding a decent apartment in the same society of my friend, I invited my parents to stay a few days with me. Needless to say, they left within a week, because they had other serious issues to settle down in Kolkata. I took the job of a copywriter at Thane, and traveled for six hours a day to secure my food and home rent. I never asked for any help from my family, because I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to struggle in Mumbai.
I wanted the actual experiences rather than inspiring stories of successful people, because personal experiences always teach us the best lessons of life. The city, accepted me with an open heart and I instantly fell in love with the city.
Instead of using my personal contacts, or financial support from my parents, I worked hard day and night. I left my full-time job soon, and started freelancing from home. I edited a Hollywood Script and started writing for UK/US based entertainment portals, where I wrote about Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez; I wrote predictions for TV series, film reviews and earned in dollars and pounds :p. I know, that I enjoyed a super cool life, watching Game of Thrones again and again.
But that wasn’t why I came all the way to Mumbai! I have been following closely, every single job postings, in the Bollywood Crew Call groups. I gathered enough money, to leave Vasai for interviews and important meetings at Andheri. When I went to my city during the Durgapujas, I was wearing the lively smile. I saved enough cash, to pamper my mother, my friends and actually have a good time in my city.
Image: India Currents
When I returned to Mumbai, I was completely broke again :p. I counted the coins, while travelling to Vasai from Santa Cruz,in the Mumbai local train and accumulated 60 bucks- the rickshaw fare. For a few days, I felt lonely. I was missing the festive vibe of Kolkata, and my mother!
Image: Basteln mit Kindern
But, that was just for a few days. After that, I started pushing myself harder. Finally, after spending six months munching puffed rice and a cup of Bournvita (for lunch as well as dinner) I reached a decent position, through sheer hard work and dedication, where I can say that I exist! Even if I exist as a struggling, hardworking, middle class woman, who chooses to be fashionably poor, because I have “miles to go before I sleep.” I boast myself, to be fashionably poor, because I have every possible comfort accessible at my fingertips. I chose this life deliberately, leaving behind the comfortable life, because I have a dream. I am alive, because I dream.
Two days back, as I was returning from my office at Andheri, to Vasai Road station in local train (where we literally hang like Indiana Jones :p), I got a call from the owner of my present house, that the society manager had complains against me, because I bring random guys at my home. I get drunk with them, and mess around in the building.
The call immediately jolted me back to reality! Is this the futuristic India I dream about? Is this the decent society, where my father thought I was safe? Is this the same Mumbai that fueled up my dreams?
My home-owner told me, “make sure that there are no further complains, because it is the reputation of my apartment!” That was the moment, I felt tremendously empowered. I told him, I won’t settle down, unless they withdraw the previous false complain and apologize to me. I can take this to another level, because I am NOT a stereotypical little girl, who would be scared and accept false allegations.
Thankfully, I have recently started to work on a project, which talks about the women achievers of our country and I had to ask myself the simple question, “what does the term achiever mean to me?”
For me, achievement is to seize an opportunity, despite the adverse situations and to create an opportunity for myself, and others. So, I decided to take charge of the situation. It made me realize one thing, if I am transparent and clear about my actions, none can defeat me. I decided, to fight not for myself only, but for the hundreds of young girls, who leave their homes to make their career in this amazing city!
I am a creative person, with a proactive mind. I take frequent trips to Kolkata, Pune, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, San Francisco and New Jerssey; in my mind, because I gave away tiny pieces of my heart, to all the members of my cultured, educated and intellectual family. I don’t need any man, to validate my existence in this patriarchal society. I love reading, writing, shooting, watching films, listening to music, singing and uploading them in our family group, and dancing by myself. I have been a classical singer, and a western dancer, who was once attached to Shaimak Davar’s Institute of Performing Arts. I love to paint, to decorate my home, to come up with more creative ideas, when I am not doing anything. I love to constantly update and enrich myself, in order to achieve perfection. Plus, I am a small scale entrepreneur, dealing with digital contents.
I know what I am doing, and where I want to see myself after ten years. Am I wrong if I want to stay alone all my life and dedicate my life to art? I want my parents to feel proud, when another girl like me, might want to cover my story as a “woman achiever of India.”
I believe in Karma Theory, and I believe that I am innocent with all my heart. But, Mumbaikars are you too taking the regressive route? Oops! I must remind you, that I come from the land of Tagore, the land of progressive, cultured, intellectuals; from my beloved Jadavpur University, where we are taught to fight back as long as we breathe.
Unfortunately, once I start speaking, you might start crying! So, I choose to pity you because I know where to use my superpowers, and where to use my motherly instincts and forgive people!
I forgive you Mumbaikars, but do not mess with our next generations; else you will surely end up behind the bars for harassing an innocent girl mentally.