Vanamala is a new face in Kollywood much in demand and sought after by upcoming heroes for the pictures they do. The public also took a great liking for her as she gave the feel of the girl next door with her dimpled smile and sparkling teeth. She was medium in height, slim and delivered her dialogue with perfect clarity. In the five years this village girl turned film star could acquire an independent bungalow and a couple of swanky cars. But the climb up the rungs to stardom had not been easy without its price. From the innocent belle she had become street smart and learnt to take the compromises frequently made in her stride. She brought her parents to live with her. The first floor of the house was exclusively for her with two entrances and restricted only to those whom she allowed.
She hardly stayed here as she was mostly outdoor on shooting at various locales. She had an elderly manager recommended by a hero close to her to assist her. Having established herself as one of the few leading heroines with mass appeal, the compulsions of initial adjustments needed were now no longer there. She commanded respect from co-workers and the producers. Even her small whims were instantly complied without demur. Her life despite the busy schedule seemed to her meaningless and lonely. Marriage was unthinkable at least immediately if one were to continue in the field. She had everything but life seemed dull and empty. .She could and did have the company of men but what she yearned was for real love and committed companionship. But this was not to be. She gradually started drowning her dejection by drinking. She was always lost in thoughts of her care free village days and her boy friend. She sent someone to find about his whereabouts only to learn he had left the village five years back.
Life in village was simple. Wants were less and she could run around the village freely with abandon. She could not forget Jagan, her soul mate and secret lover. She used to go frequently to the nearby forest under the ploy of plucking tamarind fruit but actually to meet him there. They would spend time cuddling each other, talking of their dreams, promising to marry and about their lives together thereafter. He went to the adjacent town to learn car driving to take up a job. He often brought her small trinkets like bangles, ear rings and talcum powder. These escapades to forest were the only bright moments for her in an otherwise placid life.
It was then fate took her to Chennai in the form of distant relative who supplied extras to the studios without telling her parents his real intention. The rest is history. She had amply rewarded the relative with money for the initial help after she became rich and famous and now forgotten him too. She was resting watching some Malayalam movie as she had no call sheets for three days. It was then her manager announced that he had shortlisted three persons for driver’s job for her car as the earlier driver had left..
“Ok, send them one by one “she said
The first two were alright and had proper credentials. But they were past middle age. She preferred a young man. When the third was ushered in, her heart stopped beating for a moment. It was the long lost Jagan in trim white uniform well built, muscular and clean shaven.
“Hey Jagan, what a surprise? I have been searching for you for all these years and had given up hope.” She exclaimed with joy
“I never knew it was you, Madam. I am happy to see you well placed in life”
“Cut out the madam business.You are appointed. I need a reliable and trusted person to be with me and help. I will pay you whatever you require. You can stay in one of the apartments at the rear of the bungalow. Except when I am on shooting, I may need you all the time. I still remember fondly the wonderful time in the forest years back” she smiled as she said this.
"Thanks madam. I will stay where I am and report for duty early in the morning and leave at night”
“Why, are you married or what?”
“Yes madam, I have a small baby too”
She kept quiet for a few minutes and then said “It does not matter. You can be here as long as I want and then go back home” and in a whisper said “I want the old days of our friendship back. I have no one whom I can call my own. I want you. Money is no matter. I will pay you any amount .Sky is the limit. But I need your companionship. It will be discreet. No one comes here without my permission. This can be our love nest”
He kept quiet looking at her hungry and lustful eyes when she said “Come at 7am tomorrow. I wish to go to Kanchipuram temple to thank the god for my luck in tracing you”
When he bowed his head , she said “You don’t have to do this when we are alone”
The next day morning. It was past 730 am.Vanamala was pacing in her bed room eagerly waiting for Jagan.He had not turned up. It was then the security brought a sealed envelope. She opened it hurriedly and read
I still have lots of affection for the village girl Vanamala that I knew of and not the one I saw yesterday. I am hurt at your evaluation of me. I have not changed as you have. I am happy with my wife and baby and would not do or want anything to take away that joy. I decline the job offered to me
She tore the letter into pieces and fell on her bed crying hysterically.