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FULL STORIES: The Flames Of Paradise – Episode 02 [Read]

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Flames
Episode 2
She had worked hard with the script, keeping enough scope for her innovative cinematographic techniques to weave a poetry in images and sound on the breathtakingly beautiful Kashmir, its lush greenery, its vibrant golden sunsets and its lovely people. Snigdha had first visited Kashmir as a teenager when her father was posted in the army at various places including Kargil. The family was only allowed to visit once or twice a year because of the perils lurking in various corners of the valley. She remembered the velvet greens of the valley, the lush plum and apple trees, the riot of colours here and there, the shimmering lakes and the beautiful people. Later during her research, she visited Srinagar once to meet some of her research sources like a few journalists and social activists working actively in Kashmir. Time was near when she would be able to complete her dream of capturing the beauty of Kashmir through her film.
She got up swiftly, toppling the brass urn kept on the walnut stool her elder sister had brought for her from Darjeeling. She couldn’t believe it! She really had not expected the whole project to be hers. She would need to slog like mad. She wanted to share it with someone. Who? Dimple? Yes! She punched her friend Dimple’s number on her old, faded cellphone. Would she be home? She dialled her cell number instead and was glad that she picked it up. Dimple was a freelance Voice Over Artist lately also dabbling in anchoring and Emceeing live shows.
Dimple agreed to come. Being the gossip-monger she was, she would indeed be excited by the very fact that Snigdha had some news! She lived in a two-storied house with her parents, just four blocks away from Snigdha’s neat, planned South Delhi Flat left to her by her parents who had recently settled at a hill station in central India.
Snigdha and Dimple were close friends since her junior school days where their fathers were neighbours in Bhopal. Dimple was a complete opposite of Snigdha. A very fair, fuzzy haired, hazel eyed, not very tall, petite beauty whereas Snigdha was fairly tall at her 5 feet 7 inches height, slender, with honey brown complexion and big dark eyes, her arched eyebrows and an uptilted nose giving a very unconventional touch to her typically Indian looks. The best feature in her face was by far her full, wide smiling lips, with a slight sensual pout giving her face an uncanny glamour. Her long silky tresses fell much below her waist and were usually ruthlessly tied in a pony tail. Her stubborn chin and proud tilt of the head made her look untouchable,unreachable to most of the lascivious colleagues in the industry. Snigdha unaware of her beauty was an unpretentious girl, wearing anything and everything decent available in the market which once again made her carelessly elegant in anything she chose to wear. Usually, it was T-shirts and long kurtis teemed with comfortable denims, sometimes frayed at the ends, sometimes skin hugging. Sometimes, her innate Indianness prompted her to don a silky, flowy sari, which made her look most enchanting with her lissom, and tall figure and long tresses.
Dimple on the other hand was very choosy about what she wore and was usually encased in chic and stylish dresses, skirts and trousers, nearly always belying her short height by the precariously high heels she always wore. Their basic nature differed too. Dimple was constantly looking for a life-partner and excelled in attracting the most eligible bachelors wherever she went. Her slanting mischievous eyes and fluttering lashes flashed messages which attracted handsome hunks like bees to honey but their hopes crashed hopelessly by her instant rejection. Dimple wanted a man with wealth, looks and brains all rolled into one. Her attempts so far had been unsuccessful. On top of it all, she was also a die-hard matchmaker and her present target was Snigdha. Snigdha not exactly an introvert, was a slightly reserved person, forthright and determined never to marry, atleast not in the near future, her eyes firmly fixed on her career.
Snigdha did not want to think about that part of her long forgotten past. It brought on a deluge of bitter, painful memories and reminded her of her own foolishness. It had taken her years to come out of the nightmarish memories, and sleepless nights. And she was not prepared to mar her present euphoria with any negativity of her past.
Snigdha’s thought process was interrupted by loud hurried knocks on the door. Opening the door, she found her friend, who grabbed her hand before entering with a gleam in her eyes, inside her neat, aesthetically-decorated flat. Snigdha noticed with a smile that Dimple had got shiny electric blue streaks done in her frizzy brown locks. That was her friend Dimple. Always funky and experimental with her style statement.
‘Sidhi, what’s up girl?’ Dimple always used her pet name.
Why don’t you put your sweet bottom on that chair sweetheart. The news which I’m gonna give you concerns you too! But before that, how about a hot cup of tea first?’

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