“Here comes Mr. Roy—the rising young star,
He steps out of mansion and heads for the car.
His girlfriend is with him in a stunning blue dress.
He himself in casuals is dressed to impress.
Rumour has it—they are headed for a play.
They met at a party an year ago, this day.
Will he propose? His fans want to know.
If he does, we will be the first ones to show.”
She moves her mic, “Do you have it on tape?”
Her cameraman assures, “Don’t worry. It’s safe.”

Back in the office, her boss is annoyed,
“What are you doing? Roy is unemployed.
Two years have passed since he had his last hit.
Rich dad has saved him from hitting the streets.
His girlfriend is spoiling his money and his head.
Now go edit that story on Kabir instead?
He has a future. You will have, too,”
And points at a junior, signals her to pursue.
The junior smirks. Inside she feels dead
And silently obliges hanging her head.

Small concrete cage, two hours to return—
All she can afford for the salary she earns.
Two hours in a crowd that’s trained to destroy
Motivation, enthusiasm and last drop of joy.
Her mom calls her up, “How was your day?”
She puts on a smile; says, “It was okay.”
Mundane exchanges, then she winds up the call,
And stares at a poster hanging on the wall.
Roy from his last hit stares through her soul.
There boss, here crush—no freedom, no parole.

Next day arrives to shake yesterday off.
She gets off her bed and forgets she was scoffed.
She puts on her make-up; puts on a dress
To ride in a crowd to that upmarket place.
Her cameraman’s there. He hands her the mic.
They wait for their prey and a moment to strike.
As soon as he's spotted with his girlfriend behind,
She fixes her hair and the state of her mind.
Her cameraman signals as he shoots from afar.
“Here comes Mr. Roy—the rising young star.”

Notes: The topic came from a discussion with Amit Prabhakar. I told him that I can write a very short story. It became a poem instead. —S.B (09.08.2020)