Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Curse of the Damsel 1

“When I was your age, I would never be at home for more than 10 minutes. And look at you, Julia. You keep yourself immersed in books." Stella stared into the innocent eyes of Julia and said, "Go out with your boyfriends. Hang out. Have fun! These are the best years of your life."   

"Why do you waste it on your books sweetheart?” enquired Stella.

Advising her granddaughter and sharing pages from her past with Julia was Stella’s favorite pastimes. She was quite fit and agile for her age. Nearing 85, she had all her teeth intact. Though her skin was all shriveled and wrinkled, it still had that luster and you could see glimpses of her glorious past in it. And why not, she had been a top model at a time when modeling was not seen as a decent profession. She had modeled for lingerie brands and skin lotions despite coming from a staunchly traditional family.

Stella had always been a rebel child. Opposing her parents in everything, she had left her family house at a tender age of 15 to model for one of the top lingerie brands in the market. Strangely, she would never bring up her modeling career in any of her discussions with her grandchild Julia. She would change the topic that very instant. But today she was in a mood to talk. She removed the photo album from under her pillow and handed it over to Julia.

“Wow”, Julia exclaimed as she glanced the photos one by one. Her eyes would not believe it.
“Granny….you were drop dead gorgeous. Oh my god! This is what you call an hourglass figure. Look at you. Phew. No wonder you got all the handsome men out there drooling at your feet. I would have been surprised if they hadn’t done so. Just look at you. If only I would have got 10% of your beauty. You are simply out of this world granny”

Julia turned the page and she saw the most beautiful and the prettiest woman of the 50's era.
"Wow! Granny ..you are simply outstanding and so bold. Look at you in this picture. You make a good model granny. Your eyes say everything in this picture. I wish I were as beautiful as you" Julia saw her Granny's portfolio and other pictures with Zaheer

Stella was blushing like a 20-year-old. It had been decades since anyone had praised her so much for her beauty. She looked straight into Julia’s eyes. “I know honey. I know. Why else would they choose me for endorsing the topmost lingerie brand in the UK without experience? And I was paired against the heartthrob of that time, Zaheer. He was a celebrity all brands were dying to lay their hands on and only we had him. And my first shoot required me to drool over him. Something I would not have minded at all. I have always had a crush on him. It was like a dream come true for me. The very fact that the shoot came out so good was that I felt every single emotion that came out in the pictures. I had never met Zaheer. But the moment I was standing before his close up hoarding, I was drawn towards him. It was love at first sight. Sometimes you feel that connection. You feel that you are made for this someone you have never met and in all probability will never meet. Sometimes you love without conditions and inhibitions. Sometimes you love without any logic. That happened with me at the location of my first shoot. I had seen Zaheer a million times on television. But today was different. I was standing before him. I could feel a magnetic pull towards him. His eyes, magical, angelic and seraphic, somehow were sucking me towards him. I fell in love. I fell for him. Crazy. But true. And today, it is the 60th anniversary of that date. The day when I fell in love”

Julia glanced at the photograph once again. Zaheer had everything in him to be the superstar that he was. The looks, the charms, and the style. He had everything that mattered. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by her granny. Stella’s lips were trembling when she spoke. “That love was cursed, Julia. Our love was cursed”. With these words, she started weeping inconsolably

(to be continued..)

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