by Roshna Rusiniya
“Mom, what is sugar rush?”
The curiosity of a seven year-old has no barriers.
“It’s when you act so excited after eating so much sugar.”
“Is that why you are always unhappy? Because you don’t eat sugar?”
Unhappy? Really?Am I?
“I don’t eat sugar because I don’t like it.”
I gave my soft stomach a pat and sighed exasperatedly. I have the so-called mommy belly. Not fat, but not flat either. And the stretch marks? It’s a nightmare!
I envy those who can afford a personal cook, a trainer and the endless figure correction surgeries. But as a struggling actress, the only luxury I could afford was the small house where we are living now, without the mortgage. My father used to tell me that I need to get a real job. But acting is the only thing I know and the only thing I have always wanted. I don’t have a college degree. Other than the odd jobs here and there I never had any other career too.
I remembered my conversation with the agent yesterday: “Noorie. You were great. I am sure you will get the role.”
“But… It’s been more than two weeks now and don’t you think it’s way too long?”
“You have to take it easy. Maybe they are still auditioning people for other roles.”
“Is it possible for you to call them up and ask if…”
“No. No, Noorie. I cannot do that. It’s against the company policy. I am sorry.”
After the call was finished, I sat there thinking about what I would do if I don’t get the role. Should I check with my mom’s friend if her offer is still open? Why would she offer me the job of a receptionist in her salon when I don’t have any experience? Out of pity for a single mom, maybe.
Just then, my phone rang. Seeing Mili’s name flashing, I answered with an overenthusiastic ‘Hello’.
“Hey! Noorie. It’s me. How are you? And how is little Sera?”
“Later Mili! Tell me what happened. The wait is killing me!”
“OK! I have good news… and then… some bad news.”
“Good and bad? What does that mean?”
“They were impressed with your performance. But unfortunately they want someone younger to play the heroine’ sister. However the heroine’s aunt’s role is yours if you want it.”
“Tell me more.”
“A fifty-year-old lady with some mystery around her. But…”
“I am still listening…”
“They want you to gain around twenty kilos for the role.”
My head is spinning already.
“Noorie, listen. You are in your late thirties, and you are a mom. The industry is infamous for it’s sexist and ageist attitude. You know what I mean, don’t you?
“Is the weight part negotiable?”
“Mom! You are eating ice cream? I thought you don’t like anything sweet!”
“I guess it’s time for some excitement in my life darling…”
Roshna Rusiniya is a homemaker and an aspiring writer. She is originally from India, but currently resides in Qatar.
Our Reader said:
I was glad to see some wry humour amongst the pieces I read: this tale about a woman struggling as an actress – as well as with her weight – was a lively, clever twist on the theme!