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BROKEN MIRROR

I jumped the bandwagon of looking at the past decade only after I became part of this amazing blog hop. Hope you all like my take on the decade, with a short story. Thank you.

Vanessa picked up the Vogue magazine. She smiled. She was on the cover page again, for the eighth time in a row. She was leaning against the bay window of the opulent penthouse in suburban Mumbai. The stunning panoramic view had to compete with her beauty. Her face was perfect, almost ethereal. She was photogenic and drop dead gorgeous. She was tall with beautiful Auburn hair. Most women envied her perfect figure and would gladly give an arm and a foot to look as attractive as her, at 28.

She could not believe it had already been a decade since she first stepped on the ramp. A decade of being a model, a decade of living a dream. She looked at her home. The lavish architecture, the pools, the garden and the stunning interiors were a far cry from where she had begun.

Vanessa Barbusse picked up the script for the interview sent in by Harper magazine. The questions were always the same, nothing different, nothing remarkable, yet she sat herself infront of a small mirror which had cracked in places. The mirror meant more to her than her life. It was like the mirror in Snowwhite. It never lied.

She would read the question and look in the mirror and answer the question. This was her only way to remember her past which she kept well hidden. Also, the mirror was the only souvenir left of her father, mentor, guide, God, Louis Barbusse.

Question 1 (Q): How does it feel to see yourself on the cover of Vogue for the eighth time?

Answer (A): I’m grateful that I’ve been chosen. Vogue is very close to my heart and I’ve been associated with it for long, almost a decade.

Mirror (M): It feels great. I love the attention, the glamour, the glitz. I was greedy for it and still am. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Q: You call Louis Barbusse, the greatest designer our country has seen, your God?

A: Yes, Louis has been the father figure for me. I’m not overtly religious, but if there was God he would be like Louis.

M: Mirror smiled. That was true. Louis Barbusse is my God. He helped me live, when many years ago. I was lying naked on the streets of Mumbai. He picked the thirteen year old me and gave me life.

Q: You lived in Goa before moving to Mumbai. How was life in Goa?

A: Goa is a beautiful place. The beaches, the people, the festivities, naturally would be the happiest time for any kid. It gave me security to be who I am today.

M: Mirror was sad. Growing up was wretched and glum. My parents, sisters, teachers, classmates hated me. I was an outcast, right from the age of three. I was always deviant, an outsider, a rara avis, a black swan.

Q: You don’t talk much about your family?

A: There isn’t much to say really! Louis Barbusse is the only family I have. My birth family was killed in a plane crash, and I’ve been with Louis since then. I don’t really have any memory of them.

M: Tears welled up in Mirror’s eyes. My family ostracized me. At 3, they hated me for playing with my sisters. At 6, they detested me for stealing a skirt from my sister’s wardrobe. At 8, I was loathed and abhorred for wearing lipstick, a string of pearls and high heels for a birthday party. “Are you a whore? A slut, to dress up like this.” I was screaming for them to let me be, to understand what I want, but all I got in return was scorn. I was turned out of my house at 11. My soul was ripped and torn. I was trapped in blackness of despair. I had to survive. I was living in the streets begging for food, but was given drugs, drugs to numb my senses. It felt great to be relieved of all the agony. I felt free. By 13, my body was giving up. I was in a ghetto in Mumbai where I was beaten to a pulp, because I did not conform to the oppressive norms the society laid for me. I was smothered with desperate terror, a soundless agony of being silenced.

Q: Being beautiful is a gift. Do you feel privileged? Isn’t it the reason for your wonderful life?

A: Thank you for appreciating. Yes beauty is a gift and I’m thankful for it. It did help me open doors which would have been difficult otherwise, but I’ve worked for my better life. I’m definitely lucky.

M: Mirror felt choked now. Beauty? Privilege? Louis brought the 13 year old me into his home that ugly night. It was the blackest night. It was pitch dark, the thunder seemed to rip open the heart of heaven. Even the skies were conspiring against me. There was not a shred of cloth on me, only bruises and blood which refused to stop even in the incessant rain. He nurtured me back to health. Asked my name. Victor, I said, feeling ashamed. I was trapped, trapped in the wrong body. I knew it at 3, but boys don’t play house with girls. At 6, boys don’t wear skirts. At 8, boys never wear lipstick and high heels. You are devil incarnate. At 11, stop growing your hair, stop wearing makeup. NO. I’m not a boy. I’m a girl. I’m not Victor. I’m Vanessa. Leave the house now. At 13, Mumbai, dressed as a girl, performing at a bar. Found out by rouges, beaten, molested, raped, left to die. Louis Barbusse hugged Victor. You don’t need to feel trapped anymore. We’ll transform together. Louis took Victor to a room and directed him to pick any dress he liked. You are Vanessa from now. Louis did not have the courage and killed his desires when he accepted his fate, but Vanessa shall live. Not just live, she shall conquer the world.

Mirror says let go, understand, forgive. Vanessa, having risen from Victor’s ashes, only wants to proclaim to the world: I SURVIVED !

“This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organized by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored byBeyond The Box, Wedding Clap, The Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee”

DEEPIKA..

152 replies on “BROKEN MIRROR”

This is absolutely brilliantly written. I really appreciate you for coming up with this amazing post for this theme. Creativity at its best. Am glad you decided to join the blog hop and shared such a wonderful post with us. Would love to read more from your blog 🙂
– Rashi

Liked by 1 person

Really beautiful post is all I can say right now. Aur han hindi me Jabardast…I never thought a take like this can be given on the prompt. Kudos to you.
I have already shared my advice with you regarding your blog.
Time to take the next step madame. You are about to board the best flight of your life. Just believe and take the leap.
Keep flying,
#DecadeHop #RRxMM

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Mirror says it all and this everyday rendezvous with mirror is such a creative way of peeling of all the veneers we gather over us years and deep somewhere lies the real we
Lovely concept of conversation with mirror,so well crafted

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I started reading it as fiction but once the twist unfolded I realized it could be a reality to many in the past years but not all are lucky like Victor to find an understanding Godfather neither our society nor the law accepted this in the past years. Loved your storytelling skills, would love to read more of your creations. Thanks for sharing this lovely piece of fiction!

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I went back and read the part about Victor thinking that I missed something. A powerful message indeed. We cannot imagine the pain of existence when one feels trapped in a different body. Well written! This interview format really brought the irony out.

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I always felt the ones at the top had calculated answers, now I know the reason. Your article, interview, bloghop post… whatever name you give it… was perfect. It portrays reality, and also portrays how reality is covered up and that is what meets the eye. People like you can figure out the real and bring it in front of us.

Liked by 1 person

Your story-telling has such finesse that it engulfs the reader from the first sentence itself. i thoroughly enjoyed this creative. It was bold but heart-warming at the same time. You have the art to evoke emotions within the reader through your words. Incredible. keep writing

#readbypreetispanorama

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Wow!! So well written I loved your idea of using a mirror to show how every one especially the famed one has two sides. One for the world and the other for soul.

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Omg what a beautiful story! Firstly you have chosen such a great theme to write!! And I really loved the storytelling style. You know Deepika, I really love the storytelling style in which the storyteller tells many things but with a subtle yet heart touching way. I found it in you. Best wishes for more fiction to come your way.

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Such an amazing write up Deepa..since beginning you had created a perfect set up for story..I really liked the idea of “Mirror” ( like age old tale of snowwhite)..yes I agree, we all have dual personality and many times mirror tell us reality. I get the goosebumps at the end of the story. it is one of the most controversial subject in our society and you had tackled it very well through this story. keep it up!

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Wow!! What a brilliant piece of work. You have so beautifully penned down the two versions. You have touched a very relevant topic and the ugly truth of our society. You had me hooked from the beginning to the last word.

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You ripped open my heart, Deepika. While most people categorize and accept others by male or female, non-binary humans are largely ignored and tossed out of life. You shine bright with your lucid writing on a sensitive topic. Glad to find you here.

~Pragnya (www.lifewithmypenguin.com)

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I loved the way you presented the story. It’s a reality that so many of us feel trapped inside our bodies and people around are unable to understand so they ridicule. That only worsens the situation. Writing stories like these will make people think. Thank you for sharing this

Liked by 1 person

The of the idea of the questionnaire is really brilliant. And the answer which mirror gave takes me in the another world, if I say right in the world of reality. I didn’t expect this at all. You Nailed it Deepika, seriously. Love you for this.

Liked by 1 person

Goosebumps and i am shaken to the core.. i didn’t see this coming.. the end left me in a state of shock. u have amazing story telling skills and i am sure u r there to win the hop with this entry.. Kudos to you for writing such an impactful story..

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A raw and unique take. Families are often the first to shun those who do not “fit in”. I loved the concept of a mirror.

Glad to have discovered your blog, all thanks to the blog hop. Wishing you the very best.

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What an interesting take on a decade! I think everyone has a two take like Vanessa one of self and one of Mirror we often tend to loose ourselves and forget our true version of the mirror where our true self is pressed down. Stay down to earth and never forget your roots!!

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Wow, what a weave.
Hope its a fiction as there is a possibility some Venessa has seen it all. I pray for her and many such victors.
I loved how you have written it with a mirror who saw deep within the heart.
A very touching and unique take on a decade.

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This is a powerful story presented in a way it would create the maximum impact. The detached tone added more grit to the narrative as did the sue of a cracked mirror. Very well presented.

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Totally wowed by it, Deepika. Stories like these need to be told. We are so advanced technologically, yet our society is backward. Article 377 brought in some relief yet many are living under wraps out of fear of being ostracized.
Janaki (@beyond the familiar)

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I completely love how the entire story unfolded from being beautiful on the outside to the inside.. Indeed like is a lot more than being beautiful and accepting oneself as one is.. I love the involvement of mirror here because our eyes are definitely the mirror to our inner soul and when we look into the mirror through our own eyes, reality unfolds to ourselves and I’ve always believed that one cannot lie to ones own self.. the best blog of the decade 🙂

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A very beautiful story told so simply and wonderfully. I liked how you used the mirror to tell the story hidden inside Vanessa, It indeed was the mirror to her inner soul. Lovely!

Meena from balconysunrise.wordpress.com

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Wow what an interesting twist at the end. The story kept me gripped till the end.Mirror is the real hero here. Glad to know that Vanessa finally got what she always wanted to be.It may be a reality for many people out there but struggling to accept reality under societal pressure. Well done..best wishes !!

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Such a sad face of the world we live in. Most people trapped..In wrong bodies, in wrong circumstances, in wrong professions, in wrong homes…And yet we always have another face to show. The deepest scars buried within. How I wish we would allow people to open up about their lives.
I really loved the idea. Of the mirror and the dichotomy of existence. Very well spun and kept me hooked. Welcome to blogging…Formally!😊

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A fiction that could very well be somebody’s reality. I hope scrapping 377 will make things easier for those who’ve had to suffer because of society generated stereotypes.
You have written on an extremely sensitive topic.

I loved your writing style. The mirror in your story reminded me of HP’s ‘Mirror of Erised’. 🙂

On a slightly unrelated note, human nature is such that what meets the eye is not always true. The mirror in your story is a metaphor for our soul. It is only when we allow someone (or even ourselves for that matter) to peep into it that we realise/remember who we truly are…

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