All my stories are fictional. Maybe at times inspired by life but then I take my creative liberties. Well, that’s a tall order. I don’t claim to have creativity and yet I claim my liberties. Anyway for the first time I am writing a true story. They did tell me when I was in school that truth is stranger than fiction. Given my fascination for dragons and knights and tales of honour and glory, I never believed it.
But then I met Moin (name changed). And I spoke to the man for four hours at a stretch one Saturday trying to understand what makes Mumbai the city that it is.
Moin came to Mumbai like many other young men from UP and
Mumbai was kind to him. He started working at a hotel and started saving money. In fact, he got enough money to be able to send back home. But then the man from the tinsel town came to `meet him.
He told him that Moin had potential. He told him that the world could be his. He told him someone a lot simpler called Shahrukh Khan had made it big in Bollywood. Mumbai, Moin was told was not the land of dreams. If there was a dream, it was called Bollywood.
At this point of time in the story, Moin took out his wallet and showed me his picture of yesteryears. I looked at the picture of a fair handsome and slightly lost young man, posing for the photographer, trying to give the look of a hero. Somewhere in those eyes were however the innocence of a village in UP.
I looked back at the man. Mumbai had taken its toll on him. The complexion had tanned. The eyes had sunk. The innocence; definitely was lost.
So the man from the tinsel town asked Moin to come with him so that he could give him a shot at stardom. Moin left his job and gave the guy his money. The rest of the story is similar. Moin then started operating an auto and finally managed to own a taxi of his own.
Then he decided to settle down and like all good Indian boys, went back to his village to marry the girl his parents chose for him. Things however did not work out between them and he still searches for peace.