Sunday night. A small girl was busy watching Zomba: a Real Hero. It was almost 12:45 in the clock. Her father woke up and came out of his room. He instructed her to go to bed, else her mom would wake up and shout at her for staying up till so late. Ivara, the girl rushed towards her room.
Ivaraa’s father went back to bed, thinking about the effects of that reel life hero on his small child.
Next morning Ivara woke up and was again in front of the television. She found 2-3 kids taking pics with Zomba. She felt pangs of jealousy as she thought she was the biggest fan of Zomba. It was 6:00am. She tip-toed to her father and pleaded him to take her to the shoots of Zomba.
He smiled and agreed to fulfil the wish of his little princess. After a few days her father took Ivara to watch shoots. There was tight security at the location. They were unable to meet Zomba aka Shardul.
After the shooting was over, Shardul walked towards his car without meeting his fans. He was headed for a press conference.
Unhappily Ivara returned home. On the very same evening she went to the terrace. She remembered the episode where a boy was jumping from terrace when Zomba came to save his life. She thought of doing the same. She could do anything for a meeting with him.
She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and jumped. No one came to save her.
She lost her legs and henceforth used a wheelchair to move around. Even after such a big massacre, she never stopped supporting him. Days passed by.
Now she was 12 and she decided to write a letter. Every Friday she used to write a letter and post it for her Zomba. The letter was all about the show telecast on the earlier Sunday.
Shardul was in a habit of receiving a review and the corresponding TRPs every Saturday. One saturday Shardul was waiting for the review but he didn’t receive it. He waited for the whole day. Nothing came to his table. He called his secretary and asked him to find out. Shreya, his secretary, searched around. She opened his overburdened drawer. Some 50-60 letters fell scattered. Below every letter was written, “A Letter from a Mad Fan.”
Shreya and Shardul went to the post office to enquire about those letters. The officer told them that a lady came to post the letters but they didn’t know much about her. Shardul felt helpless. At that very moment a man came out. “Sir, I know the lady.” He said. Shardul traced a faint ray of light in the dark night sky. “Who is she?” He asked. That man gave them a visiting card and suggested they must visit that address to meet the mad fan.
The car honked outside the gate soon after. Shreya knocked the door. “Anyone inside?” She asked.
A lady opened the door. “Who are you? How can I help?”
“Mad fan, aren’t you?” said Shardul cheerfully.
“No, not at all.” She slammed the door.
As Shardul and Shreya stood utterly confused, the door opened again. Ivaraa looked blankly, till tears burst out of her eyes. All she managed to say was, “Zomba!”
Shardul watched her, astonished. “You are my mad fan? What happened to you?”
She was going to speak but her father came and took her inside, without allowing her to reply. “I told you not to write letters. I am fed up of you. He is responsible for your condition but you still keep singing ballads for him. Just stay away from him.” He uttered angrily.
Shardul tried to go inside the home but Ivara’s father didn’t allow him to come in. Unhappily he went back to his car. Suddenly Shreya came with an unknown woman who narrated to them the whole story of Ivaraa’s life. Shardul was deeply moved. He felt responsible for such condition of a beautiful young girl.
He decided to leave the show.
The show had the highest TRP all because of him but his decision was final. He called for a press conference to inform everyone officially. After his early morning press conference he was sitting alone in his room, thinking there could be many more children like Ivara who suffered adversely because of his show.
Suddenly he heard the sound of a wheel-chair and rushed out. It was Ivaraa. He took her to his dressing room and apologized.
“Sorry for what?” She smiled. “I am fine, absolutely fine. But if you leave the show, all your fans would be upset. Please promise me that you will continue with the show.” He smiled sadly. “I won’t. But you too promise that from next week I would again receive letters from my mad fan.”
“Why next week? I’ll write from this week itself.” She beamed.
He asked, “With whom have you came here?”
“Daddy”, she said. “He is not a bad man but he sometimes gets angry when it is something related to me.”
“Come with me”, he offered.
“With you? Sure but where?” She asked.
“In a press conference again to tell my fans that I would be back and specially to tell them about my inspiration.”
“I would love to join you,” She said. “But before all that, make a plan to spend some time with your fans. There are many fans like me.”
“Yes. Today itself I will organise something for my fans.” Shardul decided to spend an entire day with all his fans. He organised a fun get-together for his fans. Not only kids, there were many teens and adults and elderly people, who also joined the celebration. It was all fun going on. When Shardul entered, the excitement doubled. All of his fans rushed towards him. That was their best moment since Shardul had changed his mind and decided to join the show with added enthusiasm.
Ivaraa paused watching the happiness everywhere and started moving back, rolling her wheelchair with a deep smile on her lips.