Star & His Stardust
“And they lived happily ever after.” Maya closed the book as she finished reading bed time story for her baby brother and sister. “uff Maya di you always read the same story.” A 12 year old Kartik cribbed but was quickly countered by 10 year old Sneha who jumped to her elder sister’s rescue “so what I love when Maya di reads for us. It doesn’t matter what.” Maya smiled at her little brother and sister and said “ok ok no more fighting. You know why I read Cinderella to you?” they both nodded in no, Maya tucked them in bed and said “because Cinderella tells us never to give up on our dreams. Life maybe tough but it won’t be like that forever. Always do good to others and it comes back to as a fairy god mother and a true love.” She kissed their forehead and closed their eyes as they slipped in the land of the nod; she walked out closing the door behind her.
Maya walked in her room picked up her parents photo frame and walked to the terrace. She sat on the lounge chair looking at the stars as her mother’s words echoed in her ears “Maya when the people we love leave this world they become stars shining bright for you.” “Where are you mumma? I miss you.” She whispered and wiped few tears that trickled down her eyes. She can’t let her tears make her weak, she had vowed to be strong and she is going to fulfill the promise she made to her mother before she died.
Maya, a beautiful 19 year old girl. She was tall with 5"6 height, sharp nose, pink rose petal like lips, long black hair and her skin color was that of dried red rose eliminating the need of blush. She was a stunner that people would often mistake her for a princess with royal blue blood rather than a simpleton from a middle class family. Maya grew up in typical Indian middle class family with working parents and two younger siblings. They were a normal happy family until 3 months back when her parents and siblings went to attend a wedding.
Maya closed her eyes as the memories of that dreadful night played like a movie in front of her eyes. Maya was having her mid terms so she was sulking on missing her favorite cousins’ wedding. She even brought a pair of beautiful gold anklets for her and sent it along with her parents as a gift. The weather that day was practically unpredictable, though Mumbai was always unpredictable during rains but that night the winds were not normal. The rain, the wind everything scared Maya who was alone engrossed in studies, she looked at the watch which showed 10 pm and she knew her parents will be late so she again concentrated back on her books.
After a long time feeling sleepy she gain glanced at the watch and it was 2 am; now that made her concerned. She picked up her phone and called her father but the phone was not reachable; she called her mother and again got the same response. She was scared and the weather also added to her worries. Suddenly she heard the doorbell ring and heaved a sigh. She rushed to open the door only to find police standing in front. “Miss Maya Malik?” the officer asked and a scared Maya nodded in a faint yes. “please come with us.” The lady officer asked Maya. ’what happened? I didn’t do anything. See my parents are not at home you can wait till they come back.” Maya was scared, she was sweating and panting. Her hands shivered as she dialed her father’s number frantically only to be silenced by lady officer’s concerned and motherly voice “beta! Please come with us.” her heart sank, she knew something is terribly wrong and without asking any questions she followed them.
“hospital!” Maya gasped as she saw where the vehicle stopped, her worst fears were coming true. “your parents met with an accident. Your father died on spot and your mother is in a serious condition.” The officer said as she lead her to the CCU room. The doctor was waiting for Maya, she held her hand and said “you have to be strong my child. Your mother doesn’t have much time. Go meet her.” Fighting tears Maya opened the door with shivering hands only to find her mother lying between wires and machines draped in bandages. “mumma” she called out and her mother opened her eyes and smiled faintly. “Maya! I don’t have much time.” She said more like whisper “no no no don’t say like that mumma.” Maya was crying badly by now when her mother used all her strength and squeezed her hand “Maya listen to me.” Maya looked at her with tears as she spoke again “take care of your brothers and sisters. Trust no one, it’s just you three now. The world is a bad place Maya and you are too innocent.” She hiccupped in between as her voice became more low “don’t ever change beta. Promise me you won’t cry. Promise me you will be strong for yourself, for your baby brother and sister; you have to be strong until that one guy finds you and fills your life with love that you deserve. You will cry the day when he says ‘cry Maya I am here to fix you’ promise me.” Maya placed her hand on her mothers’ and said “I promise.” And the machine went blank, her mother left the world leaving Maya alone with loads of responsibilities on her fragile shoulders.
Maya wanted to cry but her promise stopped her from doing so. She walked out of the room and asked “where are they?” she was taken to Kartik and Sneha’s room; both were injured and sleeping on the same bed cuddling each other. Maya gathered them in her arms and said “I am there for you two.” The next few days went in the funeral and the rituals associated with it and slowly Maya understood why her mother said trust no one. All of her close relatives turned their back on her, for three months they survived on the savings but Maya knew she had to find a job. She can’t use all the savings; she would need it for emergency. She started looking for a job but unfortunately she was an undergraduate and inexperienced which was an obstacle.
Maya opened her eyes and looked at the book of Cinderella; she caressed the photo of the prince and said “where are you?” ever since Maya has believed in love at first sight, she believed one day a prince on white horse will come and sweep her off her feet. She was so smitten by Cinderella that she even brought an expensive glass shoes and saved it for a special occasion.
Suddenly her phone rang breaking her chain of thoughts, she looked at the caller and smiled it was Ayush her friend. “hey Ayush!” she said. “Hey! Listen sorry for calling so late I have news for you. Do you know Manik Malhotra?” Ayush asked. Maya got excited “rockstar Manik Malhotra?” “yes missy.” Ayush laughed and continued “listen he needs an assistant so be ready I fixed a meeting with him tomorrow at 11 am.” “thank you! Thank you!” Maya screamed in happiness. Finally after 3 months of gloom things were looking bright for her. “Manik Malhotra. Hmm.” She said as she opened his picture on her mobile.