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Title: "Ashanth (The Opposite of Peace)"
Author: monimala
Fandom: Om Shanti Om/Bollywood
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and am making no profit.
Summary: 375 words. Post-film. Written for the Diwali/light prompt.



Om still hates fire. Long after Shanti's soul has been put to rest, and the ashes from her pyre have been scattered to the winds, he can't even bear to look into the flames. He couldn't even be there to light the chitha. Pappu, who hadn't loved her, hadn't died for her, stood as father, brother and husband. "Deowar," Pappu had corrected him, gently. "Woh mera bhabi thi, na?" After all, she was my sister-in-law, wasn't she?

He'd laughed to the point of weeping, remembering that bewakoof boy who lingered every day on the bridge and declared his love to a Dreamy Girl who would never awaken to him. Shantipriya had never been his, she'd belonged only to Mukesh and moth, and all he has now are 30-year-old memories of those delusions. He still wakes up screaming with the pain of being burned, feeling a thousand shards of glass slice his skin, and cringing from the blinding glare of headlights. He still wonders why he was born anew, given two lives in one body.

When Diwali rolls around, Sandy and the makeup girls urge him to go out with them and celebrate. They look like a flock of beautiful birds, the silk of their saris filmed in Technicolor. "Oh, come on, Om," Sandy begs, her eyes big and doe-like, her mouth a candy pink shade that Shanti would never have worn. She looks at him steadily now, her knees don't knock, and she doesn't swoon. He's no longer her cinema idol… except for all the times that he is. "Please," she says, "don't be alone when we're all having fun."

She tugs at his hand, giggling, and he knows that some day he will give in. Some day he will go with her. Some day he will kiss Sandy like she wants him to and love her only for who she is and not whom she resembles. But that day is still a long distance away. Decades. Lifetimes.

When Mumbai welcomes Lord Rama, conquering hero, its brightest star goes to sleep in his big circular bed, cocooned in complete darkness, and he ignores the bursts of color in the sky outside.

Om still hates fire.

And he hates even more that his heart is ice.

--end--

November 14, 2010

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
gruskek
Nov. 15th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
That was amazing. Less than 400 words and I'm basically in tears. It just hurts so right. I love the brevity of your style. So much conveyed with so little words.
gruskek
Nov. 15th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
Also, I loved how you subverted the plot and wrote it logically into the fears of our hero. I never would have expected such believable Diwali angst.
monimala
Nov. 15th, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's funny, because you'd expect Diwali fic to be joyous but this just didn't turn out that way. I couldn't stop thinking about how the "happily ever after" in OSO really isn't one, because Om still has to carry such a burden.
gruskek
Nov. 15th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I actually loved how ironic in this sense your fic was.
I also felt at the end of OSO that this is not a happily ever after. They have a chance of being happy but there's a long way ahead of them. BTW it's interesting how OSO seems at first like such a happy movie but when you think about it it really is sad.
monimala
Nov. 16th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, the movie is really quite tragic, and it never really sets up Om and Sandy as love interests, because he's just SO driven by his agenda. When he kisses her on the forehead at the end, it felt so familial, so brotherly, to me, because it's like he's not even in a place yet where he can see her as an option.
caitie
Nov. 16th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
Aw, this was sad and pretty! The ending of the movie is bittersweet, but I'd never really bothered to think about how Om would feel after his plants to avenge Shanti were accomplished until reading this.
monimala
Nov. 16th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't bother to think about it much either. And then I was sort of like, "My God, he still has to live with all of that..."

Thanks for reading! :)
blushingsigh
Nov. 19th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC)
Oh you know I love your stuff so I had to read this even though I never cared much for this film.

The writing is poetic and it paints these beautiful images like this:
When Mumbai welcomes Lord Rama, conquering hero, its brightest star goes to sleep in his big circular bed, cocooned in complete darkness, and he ignores the bursts of color in the sky outside.
This is completely and utterly gorgeous.

I think what I enjoyed most about this fic is the fact that it dealed with the fact Om still loves Shanti and he can't really put that behind him. Unrequited love is bitch, especially when it stops you from appreciating the good things you have (Om, man, Sandy loves you, okay? It's not just hero worship).

:)
monimala
Nov. 20th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The abrupt ending of OSO, fading right into the bouncy credits sequence, is one of those things that always jars me when I see it, because I feel like there could be a whole other movie about Om *after* the events of the film and how he lets himself fall for Sandy. As they keep saying in the movie, "the picture isn't done yet."
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )