Fandom: Om Shanti Om/Bollywood
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.
November 14, 2010