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Being in the limelight was never easy. And who would know it better than Amaan. He was a superstar, a man who was loved by millions worldwide. But he had sad eyes and a soul which was always empty. People believed in his characters, bought what he sold but no one knew he was scared of solitude. Amaan is sick of leading this dual life and wearing this mask of happiness.
Amaan had lost his parents in flash floods when he was twelve. Adi, his little brother was only five then. Amaan has been a father, mother, brother and also a friend to Adi. Adi is now his celebrated brother’s secretary. Well that’s what he does for a living but his passion is football. Adi is happily married to Paro his football coach’s daughter.
Amaan was always lonely and his favourite past time was sit all alone in his private theater with a Do not Disturb board his phone on flight mode and watch Mera Naam Joker.
Madhu, about twenty six years of age was trapped in an unwanted tradition. Her family women were Rudaalis. They would cry professionally, mourn for the death of rich unknown people. That was their only means of earning. Incidentally her family didn’t have any male member. She didn’t know if her Bapu, Mosa, Nana, they were all dead or had they abandoned their women. She begged her mother to let her study but after her high school she was dragged into this trade. Like all other young women she had dreams of her prince charming. She found it hard to feed her Masi and herself. Her Nani and Ma were long dead; she lost them to a desert storm. Now she had an ailing Masi who had lost her ‘mourning charm’ so Madhu was now the Rudaali. She was seen in all the rich people’s mourning sessions clad in a black skirt and choli her head covered in a black dupatta crying her heart out. Her real tears had dried long back and her hopes of love and a better life were long lost.
Amaan was in a small village in Rajasthan to shoot for his upcoming film “Registan”. The plot was about the arms trade in the deserts of Rajasthan. It was a typical commercial film most of it shot in studios of Mumbai and three item songs with women skimpily clad in revealing Ghagra cholis most of it backless. These women had funny tattoos on their naval and wore heavy silver jewellery. Now when Amaan reached Rajpura and he didn’t see a single village lass so skimpily clad. These were the times when Amaan would be ashamed of his profession. Amaan borrowed a jeep and went out on his quest.
Amaan was sitting on the sand dunes when he saw a woman sitting far away. “Is she real or she is a ghost? I had one wish to see a ghost I guess this wish is coming true. ” He quietly went towards the woman. “Arre ye to ga bhi rahi hai…” The woman was sitting at a distance on top of the dune. Amaan went to the side from where he could get a glimpse of her face. Her face was covered in a red dupatta flying slightly in the wind. She was facing the setting sun and her voice was soulful.
He felt a magnetic attraction towards her and went up the dune. She felt someone’s presence and stopped. “Tum ruk kyon gayi?” She jolted out if her supposed solitude. She at once made sure her face was covered. “I may be a stranger but I am harmless.” She felt a tingling sensation and said “ap ki zubaan sunke lagta hai ap yeha ke nehi ho kaha se aaye ho?” “Mumbai…” “Oh you don’t know the desert and that’s the reason you are here at this time all alone.” “But even you are here all alone…” She laughed “akeli kaha yeha meri Ma hai Nani hai…..”
Amaan was now scared “arr emm tum insaan ho na?” Now this girl was laughing like mad “nehi bhoot hu…” She was in splits and Amaan all the while was trying to look at her face. “you are a funny man I am not a ghost. But you better get going from here there will be a desert storm soon aasmaan rang badal raha hai…” “Then why are you sitting here so comfortably?” She took a handful of sand and said “because I am not scared to die. And any case I will not die in the storm. This desert has taken a lot from me. It will not take me. You leave your family must be worrying for you.” “No one worries for me. So which village are you from?” “Rajpura” “Oh even I am going there. Come I have my jeep I can drop you…” “Adaat mat bigaro saab mein chalke wapas chali jaungi…” She got up and was leaving when he called “Hey listen I know you won’t show me your face at least tell me your name. ” She laughed again and said “rudaali”