This is a first-person narrative from the point of view of Anahita Sahani – the protagonist of High School Never Ends – a book my sister, Kritika, and I are working on. The story published here is based on the same characters, the timeline matches the events in the book, and the narrative style is exactly the same. However, these stories are in addition to what’s in the book, ergo, exclusive. 😛
Previous Episode –> #4 Catfights are fun to watch!
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May 10, 2014
Film City, Mumbai.
None. No notifications on that status and barely any likes on it either. I shouldn’t have been surprised.
And even though Pinky’s friends had disappointed me, I had some real-life drama to get the scoop on.
Some people do breathing exercises, some people take walks, but I need gossip to relax before a big meeting.
“Hey, let’s go find out what happened,” I told Neel as he walked towards me.
“They were fighting over a boy,” he said casually.
“How do you know? You barely spent a few seconds there! Don’t tell me you guessed,” I raised my eyebrows.
“Well, I am Neel. I know everything,” he shrugged his shoulders.
“You’ve plagiarised that line. Chor saala“
“Doesn’t mean it’s not true. Can we get back to work please?”
“This is work. A part of your job is to do what I say and I’m telling you to give me the scoop or I’ll throw you under the bus in today’s meeting if it comes to it,” I said, as we walked towards Vikram’s office.
“Yeah, I’m classy like that. So tell me!”
He stared at me for a second. I knew he wanted to tell me, but he just wanted me to be more interested in listening to the story than he was interested in gossiping.
“So one of the extras playing a gunda is a good-looking dude…”
“You know, I was actually wondering why he’s playing a goon? Was casting drunk the day the picked him?”
“Do you want to get into that right now? Time is of the essence,” he said, a little annoyed.
“Sorry. Please continue,” I did half a bow.
“Anyway, both the girls had a crush on him. One of them didn’t even try to hide it and kept ooh-ing and aah-ing every time he was mentioned. The other one was a little shy. But the first girl found out that the shy girl and Akash went on a date last night and now the not-so-shy girl is pissed that her “boyfriend” – she forgot to mention imaginary – was stolen from her. Hence the catfight,” he said.
“You know his name?” I was stunned.
“Yeah. He’s an interesting dude. We made plans to hang out tonight. He’s very well ed…”
“I don’t care. Fighting over a boy? That was all it was about it? I feel ripped off.”
“You asked for it. Literally.”
“Where is Nimisha?” I asked suddenly realising that Neel’s second-in-command, the third assistant was nowhere to be seen.
“She must be taking a break. She’s been here since 7 AM,” he told me. “
That sounded suspicious. Why would she come to work so early?
Nimisha Agarwal was this short, round woman with the frizziest hair and darkest lips I had ever seen, and she didn’t even smoke. Her dark soul had to show somehow, didn’t it? I shouldn’t be calling her short because I’m just five-two, but hey, she was shorter, so…
She was the third Production Assistant, and yes, those numbers mean something and ‘third’ meant that she was answerable to both, Neel and me. And of course, she didn’t like being number three. So clearly, she was in at 7 AM because she was after Neel’s job.
And to cash in some chips by being friendly with the director – Anurag Tiwari.
Anurag was everything Vikram – my boss – was not. Anurag was short, crass and a womaniser who looked at every girl as if she were a piece of his favourite food on a plate. There were rumours that he was sleeping with a few women on set and that’s how they got their jobs in the first place, but I heard things like that about Directors all the time, so I didn’t know if they were true.
Plus, he was married and had a daughter. Quite frankly I don’t know how someone would want to have an affair with him because even though he was at least five years younger than Vikram, he looked older. He had this whole French-beard thing going on that he really couldn’t pull off. And whenever he spoke, he sounded like a fisher-woman at the market in Malad.
He always got into arguments with Vikram in an attempt to show everyone how smart he was and sometimes, even though Vikram agreed, it was only so that Anurag would stop talking. To add to his false sense of superiority, his name was not even Anurag, it was Bajrang Tiwari. When he became a director, he changed it to Anurag because it worked for Anurag Kashyap and Anurag Basu.
Nimisha, surprisingly got along well with him, probably because they both had something in common – a stinky personality and a harsh tone.
That had to be it. She, too, spoke like a fisher-woman, and that was pretty disappointing considering she was an English Literature major, just like I was. I mean, didn’t Shakespeare and Poe inspire her to, I don’t know, at least learn to pronounce properly? Couldn’t she tell when she heard others speak, that she was saying it all wrong?
Okay, it wasn’t even the English that bothered me that much; it was the way she spoke to people. It was funny when pronounced it core-poe-rate but not so much when she said, “Hug raha tha kya? Kitna time lagata hai? [Were you taking a dump? What took you so long?]” to a spot boy who took an extra two minutes to bring her tea and special biscuits, that he had to go out and buy. It just sounded harsh and cheap and that’s why I tried to avoid any direct interaction with her as far as possible.
She was good at her work, no doubt, but she liked to pick arguments with us over trivial things like the placement of a cushion. NOBODY CARED ABOUT WHERE A FUCKING CUSHION WAS KEPT, but she had to make a big deal about it.
And today, she was in at 7 AM. But was nowhere to be found.
That little back-biting bitch.
To be continued.
This blog post is written for Blog Chatter’s AtoZ Blogging Challenge #BlogChatterA2Z