Click! Flash! Flash!
Shreya twisted herself ever so gently, adjusting herself into a new pose, as the white light blinded her again. Her flowing red gown reached the bottom step of the white staircase despite her sitting five steps up. The tight satin bodice fitted her like a glove, while the colour stood out majestically against her powdered, fair skin. "I wouldn't have worn it anywhere!" she thought,recalling her pageant lessons. "A gown that is more than two inches below the foot always spells danger, especially if you are wearing heels." But if someone pays you to look earth-shatteringly gorgeous in something, then you just have pretend you are having a good time, whether you like it or not.
"Stop!" Vicky shouted.
Tarun had to bite the tip of his tongue to stop his inner frustration, turning into single swear words, from coming out.If there was one thing that could turn this compassionate urbaner into an cannibalistic barbarian, it would probably be someone stopping him from shooting a perfect scene set in front of him. Being the Midas without whose touch fashion-photography is not 'in vogue', as they call it, he could tell a good pose from a mile away; thus having Shreya with her head at a soft angle, oozing femininity yet confidence, was his dream shot, which the bald egg-head just ruined. If justified had a physical definition, it would probably have looked like Tarun strangling Vicky right now!
Oh! what is it with him now!Shreya herself felt a similar rage as Tarun's, as her pet peeve was someone ruining the perfect moment when her mind finally manages to get into the groove of the shoot. But being trained in congeniality and public presence, her reaction stayed within her mind, not effecting her composure at all. A girl must be only three thing, as Sophie used to say, congenial, beautiful and gorgeous.
"Tarun, you can't shoot her like this! Those lips need more red on them! You know that's what's in panache right now!" The head make-up artist was already running with his 'Perfect Pout Kit' towards her, before Tarun could respond to deter him.
Personally, Shreya thought red lippy was something that never suited her. Despite being fairly fair for a south- east Asian, and often caked-in with make two shades brighter, she still thought red wasn't the best colour for her natural ivory tones. It just made her look like an 'attention-seeking wannabe' as Tarun had put it once, which coming this soft-spoken person, crudely meant 'an attention whore' in general terms. Yet, there was no way of saying no to Vicky, as it is his boyfriend's magazine she was making the cover for.
"Panache" was the best-selling fashion magazine in the city, and any girl could literally sell herself to be on its cover, never mind looking like a hooker. Thus, only silence, and in Shreya's case, also, Vicky's 'Cherry Red' Lip-colour coated lip-brush, were the only things that lingered on their lips.
Shreya pulled out her Blackberry Bold 9900 from behind the fall of the dress, which she had placed there strategically to avoid showing in the pictures, yet be near enough for her to promptly respond to the one message which had tormented her for so long, by not fulfilling the promise of arriving since yesterday evening.
The BBM was the one she expected: Madeline of Starlet Model Management. Starlet was the agency every girl wanted to part of. Starlet managed the likes of Mikhaila Kahn, the supermodel who ruled every ramp, every billboard, every cover; though that was till Shreya came into the industry. The teenager had been spotted by Madeline from the Miss Teen Universe contest, and had been offered a deal to join the pipeline. But Shreya was no sideline creature, she was born to be in the spotlight. Polite, well-mannered and professional, a stark contrast to Mikhaila's snobby, anti-social character, Shreya soon rose the ranks, replacing Mikhaila as the face of Starlet, and now, thanks to Mikhaila herself, Panache as well, two-thirds of the cartel that rules the glamour industry. Mikhaila has sworn revenge on Shreya for this, but she was the last thing in Shreya's mind. Her mind was filled with only one thought: the contents on the BBM.
Battling the lip-gloss wand that Vicky was so determined to swipe on her lips, Shreya managed to open the message, which read:
Congratulations Shreya! "The Indian Premier League media and broadcasting committee and Nimbus Sports Entertainment has decided that, you, Shreya Tanzin, shall be the brand ambassador and media presentation head of IPL Cricket Tournament 2012." The contract and stuff are ready and emailed to your assistant Fahtima. The signing is tomorrow at 6. let me know if you want anything. Well Done!!
followed by the usual tagline:
because talent always comes in the best of packages, Starlet is always the first to spot beauty. I know you are gorgeous; I know you shall be successful!
For the second time in her entire career, Shreya forgot Sophie's laws of presentablity, and let her feeling rush out.Blowing kisses to the heavens, she fanned herself with one hand, afraid that tears would ruin the mascara in her dark-lined eyes. The other hand clutched desperately her BB, as if she was afraid this opportunity would leave her should her grip slacken on the phone.
"Shreya, Maddy's emailed me the stuff. Do you wan' me to forward it to Mirza uncle to check for legal stuff?" Fahtima clearly wasn't paying attention to her 17-year old employer's moment of euphoria. Being an ever-vigilant assistant, her first response to the contract was to get it checked by her "ma'am's" lawyer.
"Oh! Do whatever you please! I am in love!!" Shreya shouted, getting lip-gloss on her teeth thanks Vicky still going on, in his own world, unaware of the sudden outburst of passion that happened within kissing distance of his.
Tarun was probably the only person who realized what had just happened. He had already dropped his camera on the table, knowing the shoot was over for the day. For Shreya Tanzin to be behaving like this, something huge had happened.