She was a ravishing and successful actress; the country’s
sweetheart in the 1980s while he was the heir of the country’s first political
family; handsome, charismatic and well read. This is the story of Kriti and Milind.
This is the story of what happened when two different worlds collided.
‘Kriti wake up it’s time for your shoot’ said Mrs Singh. She
had been Kriti’s only family for years. Though she was not related to Kriti in
anyway but circumstances made them the perfect companions for each other. She had
known Kriti since her days of struggle. Infact she was practically a mother to Kriti.
‘Not so soon Mrs Singh’ frowned Kriti. She would behave like
a child with Mrs Singh and why not she was the only mother figure in her life
after the death of her own.
Kriti had grown up in poverty. Her mother died when she was
just eleven and since then life has been a long struggle for her. Her step
father would abuse her and she would be up all night nursing bruises while
crying incessantly. When Kriti was unable to take the violence further she ran
away from home. Since then her home had been various alleys and shelters. It
was in one of the shelters that she met Mrs Singh and since then they had
shared a strong rapport.
Kriti hadn’t finished school and that limited her avenues to
earn a decent living. One day while she was waitressing at a cafeteria in
Shimla, a casting agent happened to see her. She was a tall girl with long
black curls that accentuated her beautiful face; she had deep blue eyes which
seemed to tell a million tales. She was perfect for the role he was about to
cast for. Lack of cash and the want of a comfortable life led Kriti to accept
the project though she had no clue about acting. How hard could it be she
thought! She moved to Mumbai, then called
Bombay, and began a journey towards a new horizon. It was like it had always
been written in the stars; Kriti became successful instantly. Offers kept
piling in and life now took a positive turn for Kriti. She was like the modern
day Cinderella waiting for her prince charming.
Around the same time Milind entered into active politics
just after his marriage to his college sweetheart Dona. Infact such was his
charm that the news of his marriage caused girls around the country to write
letters of heartbreak to him. Though he was a practising lawyer but that wasn’t
what his aim was. He wanted to take his family’s legacy forward and hence began
his sojourn into the field of politics. He was among the youngest politicians;
handsome and belonging to the new generation with new ideas. Unlike the kurta
pyjama clad politicians of the country he dressed in jeans and shirts; he was
trendy yet very close to the land he wanted to work for. He was a breath of
fresh air in this crowd of murky and brash politicians.
Kriti was overwhelmed by the level of success she had received.
Some would say it had gotten to her head. She became harsh and brazen;
defaulting on commitments and spending more time drinking. Yes the success had
taken its toll on her. This added with the lack of a partner and love in her
life catapulted her to the arms of virtual destruction. She started doing drugs
and drinking at an alarming rate. During
that time she had to shoot for a film in Dehradun; it was right in the middle
of winter. Mrs Singh had accompanied Kriti to keep her from drinking and drugs
during the shoot. It was also the time when Milind had gone for a holiday there
to his ancestral home along with Dona.
Inspite of Mrs Singh’s efforts Kriti had become so dependent
on alcohol that never for a moment was she sober. It was evident but the crew
kept silent for fear of pushing her into one of her fits. One night during
their stay there, both were invited to a party at the Collector’s residence. An
inebriated Kriti dressed in a dark red saree with a sleeveless golden blouse
with her black curly tresses reaching upto her petite waist stood at one corner
with a drink in her hand. She looked divine but for the wine and no one at the
party seemed to be able to take their eyes off her.
Milind entered the party with Dona and from the moment he
set his eyes on Kriti he was in awe of her. Of all the good traits of Milind
there was one habit of his which was spoken of in hush tones in the elite
circles. Ofcourse he couldn’t be all good afterall he was human. He had to have
a flaw and his was that he was a ladies’ man. Though Dona was whom he loved and
eventually settled down with; he needed a ride on the wild side every once in a
while. Dona too wasn’t oblivious to this but as long as he came back to her at
the end of the day she gladly ignored all his misdoings.
So that night too at the party when Dona noticed the vibes
between Milind and Kriti she chose to overlook it thinking that it was just momentary.
But was it just that? Granted Kriti caught Milind’s attention because she was
oozing with oomph that night but was it just that. It was actually Kriti’s eyes
that haunted Milind; there was something in those dark blue eyes perhaps the
pain or perhaps the void which called out to Milind. Milind was so much taken
in by Kriti’s sultry charms that he drove himself to where she was put up the
very next day.
He waited there watching Kriti shoot her scenes. As always
she looked heavenly and like that night she had the glass of wine with her too.
Kriti was oblivious to Milind and went about her business in the usual way. At
the end of the shoot, Milind approached Kriti while Mrs Singh looked on from a
distance. For some reason she didn’t like the two of them talking to each
other; he was the big politician; on top of that married too while she belonged
to the industry which was looked at with a sceptical and suspicious eye. There was an instant connect between them.
That day they talked for hours before Milind was reminded of the hour by Mrs
Singh and he left reluctantly.
After the meeting on the set that day, they met a couple of
times more in Dehradun. It seemed like they couldn’t get enough of each other. Once
Kriti moved back to Mumbai, Milind would often drop by from Delhi just to meet
her. Initially it was once in a month; then once in a week after which he would
spend days on end in Mumbai while visiting Delhi only once in a blue moon. There
was a sudden change in Kriti, she reduced her drinking. Not only that; she also
didn’t do drugs ever since Milind came into her life. They sat together for
hours on end talking to each other. They were happy together - people from two
different worlds; with different backgrounds finding comfort in each other’s
presence. Theirs’ was a platonic bond more than anything else.
Was this different for Milind unlike his earlier flings; was
he more interested in her as a person? Did he begin to care for her and feel
emotions for her which were at a much deeper level than anything he had ever
felt before? All this happened while Dona sat as a silent spectator. This
relationship with Kriti was longer than any affair Milind had ever had before
and for the first time Dona was worried about her marriage. But what could she
do? As Milind lay engrossed in Kriti, Dona contemplated her move to get her
husband back to her for good.
Kriti was in love. She was a new person altogether. She felt
complete. Now she not only had the pleasures that money could buy but also a soul
mate to share it with or atleast so she thought. Mrs Singh however was still
worried. The reputation of Milind was not unknown and since he was the scion of
a powerful political family; she knew the dreams that Kriti had begun to
harbour would never be realised. Kriti would break into animated conversations
with Mrs Singh about her wedding with Milind while Mrs Singh would sigh in
apprehension and fear.
Unable to stop Milind from meeting Kriti, Dona called upon
her husband’s brother Mukund. She pleaded him to help her save her marriage. So
one evening just as Milind was about to leave for a vacation with Kriti, Mukund
called upon him. They went on to Milind’s study while Dona waited outside in
anticipation. What else could Dona do anyways after all Milind was her husband
and as much as she had ignored all his misadventures in the past; this time it
was certainly going out of hand. In Mumbai Kriti had already boarded the flight
to Dubai. She was supposed to meet Milind there and they would fly off to
Europe from there. She was happy, ecstatic and eagerly looking forward to the
time with Milind.
As Kriti landed in Dubai, she straightaway headed to the
hotel where she was supposed to meet Milind. As she inquired at the reception
she found that Milind hadn’t checked in yet. He was supposed to reach prior to
her. She waited for hours but still there was no sign of Milind. Finally she
made a call to Milind’s office; the person on the other side of the phone
informed her that Milind was out on a holiday with his wife. They had gone to
Australia and would only be back after a month. As she hung up the phone; she
felt cheated and violated. Happiness had
deceived her again and she was left all alone. She called Mrs Singh and cried
herself to sleep that night.
It had been two months since Kriti had returned from Dubai
and things started to go downhill. She went back to her drinking ways. She
missed Milind and on numerous occasions tried to contact him but failed. She even
met him a time or two in public but he gave her the cold shoulder. She had to
meet him; she deserved an explanation she thought and so one day she decided to
fly out to Delhi.
It was a winter night when she reached Milind’s house. As
she waited in the living room, she looked around at the pictures of Milind with
Dona. They looked happy and it made her sad as this could have been her future
she thought. A picture perfect life with the man she loved! As she stood
engrossed in thoughts, she heard a familiar voice call out to her from behind.
It was Milind, how she had wished to see him and hear his voice. She turned and
for some reason rushed to hug him but he pushed her back.
‘Whatever was between us is over Kriti. I cannot jeopardise
my marriage because of you. It was a mistake and I am sorry if I hurt you but
it’s over’ he said. He looked nervous, almost nauseated. It was strange for a
man like Milind standing there devoid of confidence. He looked no better than a
helpless fellow putting on a show of strength.
But that was it. Kriti could see behind his petty little
excuse ‘If you cannot see me because you fear your political career will be
affected then be man enough to say it Milind. Don’t give the excuse of your
marriage’ she shot back.
‘It was never about your marriage. You know it as well as I
do, the connection we had and you just blow it off for your career. You are so
damn shallow Milind. You are such a coward’ saying that she barged out of his
house teary eyed and again cheated.
She drove back to her hotel and called Mrs Singh to tell her
how right she was. She promised Mrs Singh that she would not destroy her life
for Milind who wasn’t even man enough to say the truth. She promised not to
touch drinks or drugs again. Kriti wanted to make a new beginning and she would
do that the very next day after reaching Mumbai she thought. She would
apologise for her erratic behaviour to her colleagues and make up for everything.
Mrs Singh was relieved that Kriti had decided to take a positive turn in her
life. Though while saying all these Kriti cried her heart out and why not, she
felt the pangs of a broken heart but she knew she had to move ahead. She
thought if Milind can give his career more importance then why couldn’t she? She
resolved to make it even bigger than where she was and for that she made up her
mind to give up all her bad habits.
That night Milind stood in his study looking at pictures of
Kriti. She was right he loved her; very deeply indeed. But his brother had
explained to him on the night he was supposed to travel to Dubai how his failed
marriage would affect his career and that’s why it was best for him and the
party that he forgot Kriti. Though it all made sense but perhaps Kriti was right,
he should have atleast told her the truth instead of hiding behind his marriage
as a reason. He spent the entire night in the study looking through articles
about Kriti and pictures of them in a happier time. Dona stood behind him and
when she saw the pictures of Kriti lying in the table, she feared if Milind
would be strong enough to stand by his decision. So she called Mukund and told
him everything that happened that night. Mukund was furious on Kriti visiting
Milind asked Dona to take a good night sleep as all her troubles would vanish
the next morning.
It was around 10 in the morning when Milind woke up the next
day. His secretary was standing next to him. ‘Sir I think you need to read
this’ he said. Milind couldn’t believe his eyes. There it was in bold letters
written on the front page of the newspaper ‘Actress found murdered in Delhi
Hotel’. Yes it was Kriti. Someone had murdered her. She was gone never to
return. He was shocked and stood dumbfounded. As Dona entered the study she
asked Milind what was the matter but he didn’t speak. She took the papers and
to her horror she found Kriti was murdered. Just then she remembered what
Mukund had told her last night. A chill ran down her spine, was it really
Mukund she thought? It had to be him.
The previous night as Kriti finished speaking to Mrs Singh
and was looking forward to starting afresh somebody knocked at her door. As she
opened, it was Mukund standing outside. Kriti didn’t know Mukund, she had never
met him before. Mukund introduced himself and asked permission to come in.
Though Kriti hesitated but she let him in. While Kriti turned away from Mukund towards
the sofa, suddenly he attacked her with a rope from behind. He held the rope
tight around her neck as she struggled to let herself free from his clutches. She
tried and fought till the very last ounce of strength in her but he was too physically
powerful for her and finally she gave in. Mukund made sure even the last
breathe was squeezed out of her. She fell to the floor, all blue and with marks
on her neck. Mukund then carefully made
his way out of the hotel. The next day a housekeeping lady found Kriti’s body
on the floor of her room and alarmed the authorities.
Dona was too scared to even ask Mukund or even tell Milind about
Mukund. Days passed and turned to years but to this day nobody knows who killed
Kriti; nobody except Dona and Mukund. Milind went on to become the party
president and lived happily or it seemed so with Dona and their three kids. Mrs
Singh died after a few years of Kriti’s murder. Nobody remembers Kriti now,
except Milind who blames himself for her death. If it wasn’t for him she
wouldn’t have come to Delhi he repents. He still keeps a file of her pictures
hidden in his study and he still loves her. Their love was forbidden or it
seemed so? But do career aspirations and family name outweigh love? Was it
right for Milind to choose career over Kriti? Was Kriti too naive to fall in
love with a married man and that too one with a history of affairs to his name?
These questions would have several answers and each answer various connotations
but one can’t deny the love that they felt towards each other. But I guess it
is indeed true when they say ‘The love that lasts the longest is the love that
can never be.’