Sandhya entered her room, totally exhausted. Throwing herself on the bed was the only thing she wanted to do that very moment however, there were a couple of things she had to do before she could retire for the day. She had a meeting with a client and then she had to visit her shrink.

She removed the jazzy dress she was wearing and put on her regulars and then she removed the make – up she was wearing. Only after that she looked at herself in the mirror. She loved being this Sandhya. Her own self, when she could be just what she wanted to be. Sandhya, the one who had come from a small town to achieve her dreams. And, now, after becoming what she had wanted to become, all of a sudden, she did not like it. All this had started to annoy her. Putting up a fake smile was something she could never do earlier and now every smile of hers was Fake! She did not remember the last time she had smiled from within, smiled the real smile, which was loved by the people who had meant the world to her, people she had left behind.

She had come to Mumbai to become a model. And, that she had managed to become. She was now a well-known, well-paid model in the advertisement industry. She had even been offered leading roles in a few movies, which she had turned down. This had upset Sanjeev for a moment but then he told her that he understood. Sanjeev, the man in her life, the man who had encouraged her to dare to dream! The man who had told her she had the potential to become more than what she had settled to become. The man who had taught her to fall in love again! The first man she had fell in love with was the man from her home town. That man supposedly loved her too, but had chosen to marry some other girl. Sandhya’s decision to leave the town coincided with his marriage date; hence it was obvious that many people connected both the happenings to one another, which was not true. Sandhya knew that the man was not worth crying over. Sandhya was a fighter and the same fighter approach kept her sane in this sort of insane world where nothing was the way it seemed to be, no one was like they pretended to be, including her.

Now, good or bad … “this” was her life and she was meant to live it.

When had she become like this? She did not know. Time and experience had molded her into a completely different person, the one who did not resemble the real Sandhya from any angle.
After coming to Mumbai, Sandhya had jumped straight into the fake world. Smiling, posing for the camera, wearing dresses she would’ve never worn otherwise. Allowing her co-models to touch her, to hold her as if holding some object of pleasure. During one of the shoots, a male model had intentionally moved his hand over her breast while placing his hand over her shoulder to pose for the camera. She wanted to slap him but she could not. She was being paid for this advertisement by none other than his father.
She had then retreated in her room and cried. What was happening to her? What was she turning into? Was this what people called as growing up and adapting to the surroundings? She had asked herself these questions that day. She got no answers. She stopped asking questions.
She was at least glad that she could let out her emotions whenever she wanted to. She could cry in Sanjeev’s arms who understood what she was going through. He supported her. He loved her, yes, he did … she knew it because he told her that every night as they made love and all her frustrations of the day vanished.

Then, things changed. The tears refused to flow. She was turning into someone without emotions. That is when she had started visiting a Shrink. He was a nice person; he listened to all that she had to say.

Sudden knocking on the door brought her out of her thoughts. She opened the door of her room to find the spot boy with an envelope for her. She took it from him, closed the door behind her and opened the envelope. It was what she had expected. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She looked at the clock; she did not have much time. She walked to the wash room, removed her clothes and stood under the shower allowing the warm water to relieve the stress in her shoulders. She dried herself and wrapping a towel around her she walked out of the bathroom. She wore yet another jazzy dress; this one showed her cleavage more than the previous one. The side cut in the gown made sure her thighs could breathe fresh air. She put on the make-up again.

She sat on one of the chairs and dialed an intercom number. Almost immediately the door was opened and a middle aged man walked into her room and the first thing he noticed was the slit showing her fair bare thigh. He looked at her and said hello to her breasts. He sat next to her, still eyeing her thigh as Sandhya extended her hand to greet him. He shook hands with her holding her hand in the grip for more time than needed. He then opened his briefcase and took out some papers. She took the papers from him and the moment her face was behind the papers, the man placed his hand on her thigh. She looked at him; he looked into her eyes and smiled. He told her how much he admired her work and he was really honored that she had agreed to sign a bond with his advertising firm. Sandhya handed over the papers to him and stood up. The man looked at her, shook his head, kept the papers back in his briefcase and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him. Sandhya collapsed on the chair and closed her eyes for some time. What had she just done? It was going to have a wrong impact on her career. But she was feeling happy; perhaps it meant that she had done the right thing.
She knew this would perhaps upset Sanjeev, because as per what he had told her, it was a one time opportunity. She would be earning millions after she signed this project. However, she did not care now. And, “that” made her feel happy.