People think becoming an is the end of it. I would say everything starts afterward, says Ira. It was another humid day during pre-monsoon in Mumbai and, I was sitting inside a crowded CCD, sipping my cold coffee in one corner.
Ira is in her early 20’s, round face with cute dimples and an athletic build. It felt like she returned from the gym or some dance class. The multiple piercing of ears and tattoos in her hands made her cast of some Hollywood movie already.

The person sitting in my next chair had left and, Ira had appeared with her broad smile. She asked if I am reading some ghost story, I said almost. I think it was cinema and stories of Satyajit Ray which started our conversation. Ira is from Ranchi and is in Mumbai now to make wings to her dream. Like many others in her age, she also thinks of making her name in Bollywood. It all started after her participation in the local beauty contest. It won her a few modeling assignments.

She mentioned how her first break as a cast in Bollywood put his family in shock. Her mother celebrated, her father was furious, and her brother was in rage and still not with her in talking terms. All because reel life portrayed her as an escort in that cast.

She mentioned the life of an actress is till the ’30s and, she has another decade ahead of hers. Life on-screen is different than reality. Acceptance, expectation, pressure, and morality are a few things one has to keep questioning daily. She starts her day on Instagram connecting with her fans and rest on running door to door at one or the other production house. Life has been a mixed bag for her, but she is not a quitter. She has been saving from her work, living frugally with three other friends who like her trying luck in Bollywood.

I had a meeting in another hour, so I exchanged pleasantries and left. I could have exchanged our numbers, but kind of Dork I am, I did not.

Fast forward seven years, I found her name trending on Twitter. She is making it big with a star kid in an upcoming romantic movie. Ira arrived with a big bang in her early 30’s. Her hometown and mother must be very happy and proud of him.