CHAPTER ONE: THERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT CAN KILL A MAN.
I MUST be either insane or suicidal. Maybe both, because these two are certainly not mutually exclusive.
Pankaj, my manager, sits in front of me, a lazy smile on his small face. My mouth hangs open as I look back at the paper and then back at him again.
"There is a lot of room for change," he leans forward and whispers reassuringly, and it is clear that he won't hesitate to squeeze some more dates in here if he can. That will make him happy, bloody money hungry bastard. He is without a doubt the most money hungry hippie I know.
I shake my head, laugh in disbelief, but my manager ignores me.
"Come on!" I cry out to get the attention I deserve. My voice echoes in the small room, and seconds later everything becomes quite. I can clearly imagine interns and cleaners leaving every work as they stick their heads to the door and witness my emotional breakdown. You don't want to miss seeing a superstar suffer, believe me.
"Is there a problem?" Pankaj asks me calmly, his voice resembling the cold winds of a dense forest. His shoulder length hair softly fall in front of his face, and that's right. Hide, you bastard.
"Yes!" I scream. My voice echoes inside the small room, and if this is what it takes to get what's mine then be it. I will scream until everyone knows that this front man is not happy.
Pankaj breaths out, and slides a piece of paper towards me. "Shahid, why are you making this difficult. This tour is a very good opportunity for you. Plus, it's not like you have other plans."
"What?!" I bang my fist against the table. Of course I have plans. I plan to get high. Get laid. Write some poems. Then erase them. Ignore Mom. Call Dad, and remind him about the constantly forgotten existence of family. Maybe live in his cottage for a day or two, just me and the pine cones.
But nobody cares about what I want.
"Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?" He whispers. I stay quite.
"I will not share hotel rooms with other people." I finally give up, and his smiley face and bright eyes are enough to make me sick. I hate myself. "And I want a separate single bed in the tour bus. I don't know how you plan to do it, I don't care."
"Okay!" He exclaims, and I wish I hadn't woken up this morning.
THE WEATHER outside is chilled, the clouds black, and the roads clear. My driver runs towards me as soon as I step outside the building.
"Sir, let me bring the car." He says in an enthusiastic voice.
I put a hand on his shoulder. "No, I will drive alone today."
I start the car and switch on the music system. My head jerks upwards when I realize that the radio station is talking about me.
"We have just got the news that Shahid Singhaniya will be touring too with the most know faces of Bollywood . . ." I tune out the rest.
I find Shasha smoking outside my house when I get there after parking my car. She smiles at me, and I smile back before taking the cigarette from her and putting it between my lips. She talks about her day, and how bitchy her co-models are. I tune out most of it. There is a hickey peeking through her shirt, right above her collarbone, and I know she would want me to be jealous. But I can't. It's just not in me. Not for her, not for anyone.
"Their bitchy remarks won't really affect my confidence," she finally looks at me. She is a beautiful girl with a model-like face and an amazing body. I laugh, because she is right. Shasha is confident, and she is confident for the both of us, which is probably why I have stayed; or is she the one who has stayed? I have no idea. She keeps me wondering about that.
"How was you day?" She asks. I shrug. "I heard that you agreed to go to that stupid tour."
Her eyes light up when I nod, and I know that look. It means that we are up to no good. She is amazing in bed, and plenty of men know this. Some women too, if there is any truth in her late night stories.
We don't make it to the bedroom. We are half-dressed in the hallway with her panties on the floor and my hair between her fingers when I tell her that I don't plan to take her with me to the tour. She swears, and pushes me away before going inside the bedroom and slamming the door behind her.
If she never comes back, I can have her panties as a memory.
"Baby, there is no work for you there. Believe me." I shout. There is a long pause before she opens the door. "You can fly to Delhi if you miss me."
"And what the fuck am I supposed to do in Delhi?!" Now it's her turn to scream at me.
"Baby, come on." I try to wrap my hands around her waist.
"Fuck you, Shahid Singhaniya. Fuck. You." She points at me, as if she wants me to know that I am the Shahid Singhaniya of her nightmares. I roll my eyes, and step towards her before kneeling down.
"I hate you," she whispers. I run my fingers on her thighs. This always gets her. As her moans become the only sound in the room, I realize something. There are three things that can destroy a man: alcohol, lies, and young women with no character.