“Yeah sure I will call you upon reaching there.”
Nabeel hastily sits in the car and directs the driver to move on. The car is running on the roads towards the airport from his office.
He talked to his wife till he reached the airport. He checked in at the airline desk and after getting boarding pass he was now waiting to board the airplane.
Meanwhile he was waiting he saw Rida Fazal (a popular television actress) checking in at the airline desk. He smiled and thought if Fizza (his wife) would have been here she must have gone to meet her as Rida is her most favorite artist.
He sat on his comfy seat in the business class and take a look around to see the fellow passengers.
“Excuse me! Can I get in?” Rida asked him as her seat was next to him.
“Yeah sure!” He gave her the way.
She sat and took her phone out to call someone.
“Yeah Mummy! I am in the plane now and will reach in 4 hours. Will take a connecting flight then. Will call you after reaching the hotel.”
A lady answered from the other side. “All right dear, don’t forget to inform me. Have a safe flight.”
“Ok take care of yourself. Bye”
Nabeel was amazed as he was of the opinion that she would be a totally independent woman.
They were going to Colombo. Nabeel has to attend a board meeting there.
“Hello, hope you are doing good.” She greeted Nabeel.
“Hi, yeah and I hope the same for you.” Nabeel answered. Both of them smiled.
She picked up a magazine while Nabeel messaged his wife:
I am in the plane now. Switching off my mobile. Take care Honey!
The plane takes off. After few minutes she put the magazine back.
Nabeel looked towards her and asked; “if you don’t mind can we have a chat?”
She smiled, “yes”
“So you are going for a drama shoot or to visit someone?”
“For a shoot, and you probably on an official visit?”
“Yes, I am going to attend a meeting.”
“Right! What do you do?”
“I work for a payment technology and going for Board of Directors meeting.”
“Oh! Sounds boring… sorry!” Rida grinned.
“No, don’t be apologetic. Likewise I’m also not fond of your profession.” Nabeel answered nattily.
A deep pain reflected in Rida’s eyes. “Ahaan! Right!”
They both got quiet. After few seconds, Nabeel started the conversation.
“Listen lady, I didn’t mean to offend you. Still I am sorry because I think I hurt you.”
Rida gave a brittle smile and said “No it’s ok, I don’t get upset easily and more importantly by a stranger.”
Nabeel nodded his head but he knew she is upset.
After a while she asked Nabeel; “so why don’t you like acting?”
“I don’t dislike it, I mean it’s just a variance in thoughts.”
“My wife is your huge fan.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes. She admires you too much. And when I will tell her that I met you she will take my interview about you for instance how does she look in reality?”
“Thanks to her.” Rida took a sip of the juice.
“So why you chose acting?”
“I can ask you the same question but I will not as you have to tell your wife about me. You can carry on with the interview.”
Both of them laughed.
“I didn’t choose it, I had no other option.”
Nabeel raised his eyebrow. She continued.
“My father became a heart patient when I was in twelfth grade. He got two attacks in two years. He was working as an accountant in a private firm. My mother is an arthritis patient since my childhood. We were living happily, his earnings were enough for the treatment of my mother and other household responsibilities. But when my father developed heart problem we came into real trouble. We utilized all of his lifetime savings for his treatment but soon the money finished off and we were left with nothing. My relatives helped us out but being the first child I decided to do something to save my father. As I had no professional education at that time what I could do for our earning. Through a friend I quietly got a side role in a drama. I participated in many performances during my education. I told my younger sister about it she was shocked and said that no one would accept this as we belong to a middle class family. I said we have to do something to save our father. The person who never let us feel any inadequacy. He put all his efforts to give us best of this world.”
Rida continues with her brittle voice.
“My sister agreed and we talked to our mom about this. She was not in the favor but we managed to persuade her. My brother was too young to understand these issues. He became quiet and disturbed during these days. We decided not to tell our father initially.”
Nabeel asked; “did you try any other source of income?”
“Yes initially I went to many schools for teaching or for any clerical work. But no one offered me any job as I had passed high school only.”
“I did my first drama for a small amount of money. But luckily I got chance for others during this time. My relatives were angry with me and soon my dad came to know about this.”
“He whispered I survived after heart attack but I think you want to kill me.”
“We cried badly. I asked him to have faith in me, I am your daughter I will do nothing to defame you. I did it to save you to save us, to live happily again. After long emotional arguments I assured my father that I will never disappoint him even after him as well.
Things were improving but my father lived two more months after our discussion. He left us so soon, I wanted to cry, scream and die but I didn’t as I took the responsibility of my family.”
“A broken and a weak girl with the responsibility of two younger siblings and an indisposed mother. Life was not as easy as it seems to others. I worked hard, I took many projects to work on. I discontinued my education but let my siblings study. My maternal uncle supported us quietly as my relatives were furious upon my chosen path. He was giving my mother a small amount monthly; it helped us very much.”
“When someone’s father dies people turn their faces as if the orphans will become their responsibility. I am so much grateful to my uncle and I think I can never pay him back for the help he putted for us in our hard times.”
A tear dropped from Rida’s face. Nabeel gives her a tissue paper.
“People think that actors live a luxurious and a fantasized life. This is not the case actually. Everyone has to work hard to achieve his targets. It’s been ten years since my father passed away. Our lives are settled now. My siblings got good education. My sister is a lecturer in a reputable university and my brother is doing house job in a hospital. My mother is happy and calm now. Life is good.”
Nabeel was astonished and was at lack of words.
Rida looked him with a smile and said; “what happened? “
He smiled back and said “you are a strong person. Things you did were not easy at all.”
“Madam, what would you like to take for lunch?” The airhostess interrupted.
They both had the lunch.
“So how long you will stay in Colombo?” Asked Rida with a fork in her hand
“Well I have a meeting tomorrow then I will visit Colombo for 2 days. And you?”
“I am in Colombo for 30 minutes.”
“Yeah I have to go to Malaysia for a drama shoot. My entire team is already there. So I will take a flight of 3 hours from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur.”
“Ahh! Long Journey.”
“Yes! As no occupation is easy.” Nabeel laughed as he understood what she meant.
Nabeel thought when he will be back to home he will tell Fizza that now he is also an admirer of Rida not actually because of her acting but because of her personality.
They exchanged good byes at Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo and then Rida headed towards her journey.
Till his arrival to the hotel he kept thinking that every person or life has two dimensions. One the world sees the other one the bearer feels.