A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.
In the beautiful eastern sunset of the sub-continent of India .When the sun was just shyly beckoning to the clouds to cover her naked rays as she gradually hid from human gaze, Papagi Kumar was pacing two and fro with his bare feet making footprints in the sand as he anxiously waited for the news outside the mud hut.
Is it a boy or a girl he wanted sons to work in the field for him. He already had three strong handsome boys who were aged 15 to 7 years. He was proud of them. Ramu the eldest now worked in the field with him. He was a strong boy and he worked hard. The next was Raju who was 12 and always getting into trouble.
He remembered the day when the village women went to bathe in the river and Raju took all their clothes and dropped them in a well. The poor women had to wait till it became dark to make their way back to their homes covered in their husband’s clothes that the men left for them to wear.
Papagi Kumar still remembered seeing mamagi in his old shirt and shivering in the night as her hair long and wet covered her breasts and she looked so mystical in the moonlight as the moon illuminated her long and thin body. He just had to have her that night and as a product of their passionate fantastical night she was now in labour pains.
Her labour cries were heard throughout the neighbourhood all the village women came out and were gossiping around the hut where mamagi was kept.The village women had come out to fetch water from the well but that could wait was it a boy or a girl.Now having spectators staring at papagi he prayed to this unknown God for a boy then a long period of silence ensued, suddenly a loud cry from mamagi and the sweetest cry ever heard the baby was born. Papagi took the turban in his hand and threw it in the air and cought it he was sure it was a boy.
Till the midwife Omagi a lady who was 50 yet looked 90 years old brought out the baby. The baby was the colour of the desert sand with green eyes and papagi held out his trembling hands to hold this unusually beautiful looking son it omagi told him it was a girl and apapgi knew this was no ordinary girl. She was a gift from the Almighty to their family she was like a delicate lotus flower from the pond.
Papagi went in to see mamagi she was covered in a thin cotton sheet that papagi saved hard to buy her long hair drenched in sweat but her body smelled of detol. He closed the door and laid the baby in mamagi’s hands mamagi decided to call her Alaghi which means beautiful one and she was one of the most beautiful creatures papagi had ever seen.
He now had to show the spectators who were impatiently waiting outside so he reluctantly took the baby out and there was silence. The baby from the time she was born made people awestruck by her beauty and true to her name she was Alaghi the beautiful one.
Alaghi grew up oblivious to her looks she was protected by her three brothers and played boy games but her best and closest friend was Bablu her neighbour, they were the same age and Bablu and Alaghi used to love the puppet shows that came to their village and after the show Alaghi used to enact the whole story from memory while Bablu cheered. Bablu came from a family better of than Alaghi, ever since Bablu was a baby he was drawn to Alaghi something in Alaghi he wanted to conquer yet at a tender age of 8 years he felt defeated already.
At the age of 12 Bablu noticed slight changes in Alaghi her breasts developed she was complaining of stomach pains and she started using turmeric on her skin a sign of womanhood. Bablu did not understand it but everytime he saw Alaghi in her bright clothes of yellow and red with anklets on her feet, bracelets in her hands and flowers in her hair he felt an adrenalin rush, he tried holding her hand the other day and she ran away laughing.
He saw his appa and mama putting their lips together for a long time and all he cauld think was he wanted to do the same with Alaghi.So he decided to take Alaghi to the water falls close to their home so Alaghi wearing her half saree which was a long skirt a short top and a long scarf covering her waist and her blouse and Bablu was just wearing his shorts walked to the water falls it was not deep and Alaghi was scared at first and held on very tightly to Bablu as they both entered the refreshing and cold waters as they held each other tight Bablu brought his lips onto Alaghi’s lips, Alaghi was fascinated by the desires it aroused in her and held her lips closer to his not knowing how to kiss. Bablu’s hands slowly left her shoulder and travelled to her left breast,just then she caught his hand and said no, with her long skirt soaking with water ran home, mystified yet frightened about her passions. She knew if she let go she will be in trouble.
Omagi knowing now the boys gazed at Alaghi gave her a long and exciting talk about sex more so to warn her but Alaghi now at the age of 13 finally realized she was a beauty and she could get any man do what she wanted.It was a frightening feeling yet knowing she was in control was exhilarating and she felt powerful.
Alaghi wanted more in life she remembered seeing a movie for the first time in her village she was 10 years then, and during the song Bablu who was sitting next to her gave her a pinch, she smiled as she thought of Bablu and her heart skipped a beat but she wanted to be on that big screen, she wanted to dance, she wanted to act she remembered the time she was a child and knew all the lines of the puppets by heart.
One day two years later when Alaghi was 15 there was a buzz in the village that the director of a movie was coming to their village to direct a film Alaghi knew then it was now or never, so she wore her favourite red blouse and red skirt with yellow flowers and yellow scarf called half saree, she braided her long black hair put flowers in her hair wore her favourite gold earrings and she got some cocnut oil and rubbed her lips with it to make it glow and she put some eyeliner and a red bindhi on her forehead and she knew with her green eyes she looked striking as she ran to the place where they were about to film the movie.
Alaghi came across a flock of sheep and a big car was coming toward the sheep not wanting the sheep to get hurt Alaghi did her best to push them to the side not knowing the film director was in that car as fate or providence would have it.
The car stopped and a young man around 30ish got out of the car and came toward her, she was scared she wanted to run but he looked so posh so handsome he asked her , her name Alaghi looking shyly at the floor told him her name. He gently lifted her chin up with his forefinger and asked her how old she was, she said 15 very quietly wishing she was older. He was mesmerized by her green eyes. He could see her on the big screen she had beauty that was rare to behold. He had found an exquisite precious jewel. This jewel was going to make him a very rich man.
He took her hands in his big hands and promised her fame and fortune but there was a price to pay like Bablu he wanted to conquer her, to be the first man in her life he wanted her virginity. He promised the world at her feet if she gave him her virginity.
Alaghi being a beauty was like a trapped butterfly that wanted the success and freedom of the world to have running water in her own home, To have more clothes, to go out to restaurants and parties. She weighed the pros and cons very carefully and he the film director named Vivek was a handsome man she reluctantly agreed.
He promised her she wont regret it they drove back to the way they came. Vivek sent word back to her parents through one of his men that they wanted her in the movie so they were anxious and innocent not knowing their daughter was selling her virginity for fame and fortune.
That night he brought her a green lingerie and she let her long hair fall over her breasts her bare legs folded together and she was biting her lower lip and playing with her fingers she was 15 and nervous. Vivek came into the beautiful pent house his bare chest strong and muscular and he was wearing jeans he looked like a majestic God. He gave her some champagne she coughed and made the cutest face he had ever seen and he gave her coco cola instead which she drank and let out a cute burp which she was embarrassed about then he kissed her first slowly and softly and then with wanting as she let out a moan and kissed back her passions rushing to form a river of fire, he touched her breast she let him and slowly and surely till early dawn they made love her pain and pleasure pulsating through her whole body and then she fell asleep Vivek watched her sleep her lips slightly apart and her fair skin and long black hair covering her young breasts. He knew this young woman was no ordinary woman he will make her a star and she will become his wife.
She arose from slumber and gave her some breakfast and she opted for orange juice instead of coffee and then he gave her his treasured script that nobody in the world would have made justice to except Alaghi. She adapted to her new life very well she often thought of Bablu but she knew he was a boy she preferred and needed a man. Within three months her movie was in the theatre and she grew in fame and fortune she bought her parents a new home.She helped her brothers financially and Ramu decided he too wanted to act and Vivek gave him some roles as well. Within a year she became the most popular film actress of the sub continent of India and became the wife of the most popular film director Vivek Chakravarthy. Bablu watched her movies many many times love stricken and grief stricken till he got a scholarship to study in Austaralia the subject he wanted Engineering but he had no clue about the price Alaghi had to pay for her fame and fortune.
The price Alaghi had to pay was a very hard one but the rewards were magnificently glorious now I am asking you the reader a question .Does all great things in life always come with a price ?