The Turning Point

Cobwebs hung down from the ceiling. The rusted tool box lay on the side, with dust and oil covering it. The air had the scent of smoky firewood. My shiny red Avon cycle was standing there next to our big maroon Scorpio. It had Nat Geo stickers on its main frame which glowed in the bright moonlight that peeked through the small glass window on top of the garage. I filled air in the rear wheel of my cycle. After checking the tire pressure, I mounted my cycle, opened the gate and rode off. The snowy peak shone brightly beckoning everyone to bow in reverence. The road near my house was deserted. Everything was silent, except my cycle’s chain.

It was an unusual noise. Ignoring it, I kept riding as fast as I could. Click. Clickety-Clack. CLUNK! I lost my balance, and before I knew it, my face was centimetres away from hitting the damp cemented ground. Luckily, I regained balance just in time. I got off to see what had happened. My cycle’s chain had broken into two pieces. There I was, standing alone, trying to fix my cycle’s chain and failing. Exhausted, I sat on the ground and looked at my greasy hands, now black in colour. Blood was oozing from a small cut, but I felt no pain. i was lost in my own thoughts. Out of nowhere, a white coloured Micra appeared; its yellow light shining brightly.

At first I didn’t notice it, but as it came nearer, it was hard to miss. It slowed down in front of me. Inside, there were three towering gentlemen. The one who was driving wore blue coloured glasses and had white hair. The other two had big files in their hands. All three of them stared at me. I felt a bit awkward. The white-haired man gave me a blissful smile, and sped off ahead into the darkness. Thoughts started swirling around in my head. Who were they? Where had they come from? Why did he smile at me like that?

Having no luck with the chain, I decided to go home. I opened the big brown wooden gate and parked my cycle in the garage. I walked up the staircase to leave my footwear on the chappal stand. There were three extra pairs of shoes on the rack. I opened the front door and walked in.

My dad was wearing an orange coloured dhoti and sitting on the couch. He was playing with his beard talking to someone. The curtain was blocking my view. When I moved the curtain, I was shocked to see that it was the white-haired man. The other two men were also there, listening to the conversation. All three of them were drinking tea. My mom was in the kitchen, making a special ayurvedic drink for my dad, to treat his diabetes.

My dad noticed me through the corner of his eye. “Hi Anikait. These are our friends from Chandigarh. They are making a short film. Prabhijit is the director, Abhishek is the assistant director and Ritesh is the production head.

“Nice to meet you,” I said, shaking hands with them. Though I was pretty uptight in front of them, all three were completely at ease with me. They were staying at our house for the night. Though I wanted to learn more about these three strangers, I was so tired that I couldn’t stand on my feet anymore. I said goodnight to everyone and went to my small bed in the corner of the bedroom. That night, I dreamt of becoming a film star.

The next morning I woke up at 7:00am as usual, as I had to go to school. I got up and sat, rubbing my eyes. When I opened them, to my surprise, I saw Prabhjit, Abhishek and Ritesh sitting on the floor next to my bed.

“Good morning Sunny!” said Prabhjit. I looked around.

“Who is Sunny?” I asked. “You are, my dear,” said Ritesh. What are they talking about? I thought. My mind became like a Rubik’s cube, which couldn’t be solved. After an awkward silence, Prabhjit finally spoke. “Congratulations! You are Sunny, the hero of our short film!” he exclaimed. No way!? I thought. I must be dreaming. “Me?” I asked in wonder. “Do you remember last night when we drove past you as you were fixing your cycle chain?” asked Prabhjit. “We have almost the same scene in our film, in which Sunny is fixing his cycle.” Without knowing it, I had auditioned for a film!

Sensing my disbelief, he went on to describe the character that I was to become. I was to play the part of a very cheerful and simple village boy. The more he spoke, the more real it became. I was dumbstruck and excited at the same time. No words could come out of my mouth. Instead, I gave them a huge compliant smile. I could foresee just one problem. “Have you spoken to my parents?” I asked doubtingly. “We have already spoken to them and they have said that they don’t have any problem with it!” exclaimed Prabhjit.

I was amazed upon hearing this. I did not expect my parents to give me permission for this — probably, because I had never done such a thing before in my life. That was the first day of my journey as an actor. My life changed significantly thereafter. I went from being a shy person who couldn’t even talk to strangers, to someone who could build lasting friendships. I learnt how to mingle and be more open with other people, as almost every other night we had get-togethers and parties. Being a part of the making of a film was not always as glamorous as I had expected it to be. We would wake up every day at four and, after a tiring day, sleep only around midnight. We struggled during the shoot, but in the end, the hard work paid off. After the editing, the film turned out to be marvellous. So, that was it, the turning point in my life!

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