Murder Most Foul - 2

by Bala
(Mumbai, India)

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Chapter 2

To understand her present problems one has to understand her background in 3 parts - her early teen age years, her late teen age years and early twenties and her current crisis period.

In her early teen age years she was a confused person wondering whether her mother was a big film star or was only a starlet trying to make out something of her career in the Kannada film industry.

Her mother did act as the heroine in less than half a dozen
nondescript Kannada films due to which she could not command much respect in the industry. She also acted in many other films as a side heroine, or the sister of the hero or the heroine or in guest roles.

Sudha saw her going out of her native Bangalore very frequently for anywhere from 4 to 10 days at a time on what she thought on acting assignments, saw many men and women visiting their house at all hours of the day or her own father, who was a film technician not in great demand, was acting as her agent for some fishy things which she could not understand in those years.

All such scenes and experiences made her very insecure and made her suspect everyone including her father and mother.

So one firm opinion formed in her mind during those years.

Whenever her mother told her to prepare herself to become a big heroine in films she said "No" to her.

When her mother asked her the reason for it, she simply said that she was not interested, that's all, nothing else. But the actual reason or the fear in her mind was that once she tried to become a film actress she would no longer be respectable and so she wanted none of that.

But her mother was firm on her becoming a big film star one day so that her daughter could achieve something that she herself could not do.

She dutifully went through her bharat natyam and classical singing classes routine since she liked them. While learning those arts she slowly developed an interest in becoming a classical singer only. She began to attend musical concerts of both carnatic and hindustani styles.

She also attended film music shows. It was in one of those film music programs she listened to a singer who impressed her no end singing hindi film songs of Kishor Kumar, Mohd Rafi, Mukesh and other hindi male singers. The more programs she attended where the singer took part the more she became enamored of his singing and became his ardent fan.

She became terribly interested in joining him on his stage shows and wanted to sing hindi film songs along with him singing the famous duets which Lata and Asha had sung with those great male singers, in addition to singing their solo songs also.

In other words she wanted herself to become another Lata Mangeshkar or P. Sushila and not an actress as her mother wanted.

Having made up her mind to try to get a chance to sing in the troupe she took courage and went back stage at the end of their next musical show and succeeded in meeting him.

Since she was only 15 years old at that time, she was not very confident about meeting strangers especially males. She gently introduced herself, told him about how she had been attending their musical programs regularly over the past few weeks and congratulated him with great enthusiasm on his singing.

Sudhir was swept off his feet with her unabashed compliments. He was thrilled to listen to her lavish praise with his heart thumping at great speed. He just could not believe that an apsara like figure, a fabulous beauty was talking to him and praising him lavishly. He felt that her praise was honest and truthful and not made up to impress him.

He was not a good looker. He was a tall, thin built man wearing specs for his short sightedness. He always had a bit of complex about his ordinary looks. He also thought that nobody was interested in him in anyway. Otherwise he was a level headed guy.

He was blessed with an excellent singing voice, but without any formal training in music, he used to sing hindi film songs from his young age. He used to sing in his school programs in the city of his residence Ahmedabad and most of the people used to praise his singing.

He used to ask his parents permission to learn music but they never encouraged him but told him not to waste his time in useless pursuits like singing. They wanted him to become an engineer and earn a good salary in a respectable company like any other middle class family member.

Currently he was studying in a Bangalore engineering college for his civil engineering degree having got admission through an entrance exam. He had to stay in a hostel.

For the first time he was a free man without having to report to his overpowering parents each and every little thing in his life. He wanted to enjoy his freedom to the full. So when he got a chance to sing in a musical troupe he jumped at the opportunity and plunged into it with full enthusiasm.

And now look who was talking to him he thought to himself. Controlling his excitement with great difficulty he asked her to tell him about herself. She hesitantly told him that she was learning classical music and bharat natyam and that she wanted to sing on stage like him since she was a good singer.

He was again thrilled to listen to this and his imagination immediately took him to the clouds where he imagined them to the most popular singing stars and being followed by delirious fans everywhere.

He came back to mother earth when she asked him in a gentle voice "Do I have a chance to sing in your troupe?"

To be continued........


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