Mitra Khatoon had been born in the U.S. of Indian parents. Having lived there all her life, Mitra thought of herself as American. Other people thought of her as Indian.
It was this difference of opinion that fueled Mitra's self esteem problems. She never felt as good as the lighter skinned Americans. She felt alienated and alone.
Mitra wanted to show everyone that she was just as good as anyone else. That's how she got into show business. She went to a comedy club with friends during an open mike night.
When Mitra took the stage that night, she felt a thrill. For once, everyone was looking at her and hanging on her every word. For the first time in her life, she was free.
Free to be herself. Free to express herself in ways that made people laugh. Free to express her opinions without facing the condemnation of her family or school mates.
When she finished her set, the sheer euphoria struck her. The best feeling she had ever felt raised her to an unimaginable height. It was the purest unbridled joy.
Mitra experienced the feeling that so many people felt when exiting the stage to applause. It was intoxicating and addictive. At that point, Mitra had found her calling.
She went home that night and set about making her dreams come true through hard work and dedication. She immediately began writing jokes for her next performance.
Within a year, people were taking notice of the young "Indian" woman. She knew she had to shed as much of her Indian heritage as possible to be taken seriously.
Mitra knew that her Indian heritage made her a novelty. Once the novelty wore off, people would turn their attention to the latest star. Mitra wanted to last in her new profession.
Thus, when someone said she had cat like grace and feline symmetry, Mitra became Kat.She changed everything about herself, except her beautiful brown skin.
Her career took off after that. She found and hired an agent, Bernard Muscovitz. Bernie, as she called him, arranged bookings in the better clubs. She started getting noticed even more.
Bernie convinced Mitra to go on tour. She would travel six states, twenty-two cities in thirty days. Bernie arranged the bookings and rented a bus, then Mitra left.
When Mitra returned, she brought newspaper clippings and online reviews praising her as new and fresh, a breath of fresh air. Mitra joked about being Indian in America.
Within days, Bernie was getting more and more offers to have Kat Khatoon perform. The next trip, Bernie went on the road with Mitra. Kat Khatoon was a hit.
Bernie booked her in her home town. Mitra had to show her home town what they had been missing out on. She had to prove that they overlooked a star.
Most comedians know that one's hometown is always the toughest crowd. Everyone remembers what they want to. They grew up alongside you. They think they know you.
But, Mitra was determined to show her hometown how wrong they were about her. She had been booked in the largest theater in town. The show was to be taped for release on DVD.
Once on stage, Mitra stepped into character and Kat took over. Kat was confident and self assured. Kat was funny and enigmatic. Kat commanded the stage. Kat was a hit.
After the show, Mitra was surprised to see a man waiting for her at the stage entrance. He asked if she could spare a minute to let him pick her brain. She said yes.
Mitra thought the man wanted some pointers on how to break into show business, maybe even comedy. She was happy to help people in any way she could.
They drove to a restaurant nearby and John Rudd asked Mitra question after question about herself. "I thought you wanted to pick my brain," Mitra said.
John replied, "Mitra, I've been following you from town to town trying to get to talk with you. You don't remember me, do you?" Mitra looked puzzled.
"Should I know you?" John smiled and said, "I remember you. We were seven years old and in second grade. You were the first girl I ever kissed. You called me Johnny Honey, remember?"
"Johnny Honey? Is that really you? Of course I remember you. You've changed a lot! But, then we were seven, then." Mitra studied his face and saw the traces of the seven year old.
John took Mitra's hand. "I've always thought that you were the best looking girl I ever met. When my parents moved away, I thought I'd never get to see you again."
'How did you find me?" Mitra was intrigued. John said, "I went to a comedy club a few months ago and saw you there. After I left, I wished I had spoken to you.
I've been trying to catch you ever since."
Mitra thought that John was sweet for going to all that trouble just to catch up with an old acquaintance.
Just as Mitra was about to thank him for tracking her down, John asked Mitra if she was going to be in town long.
Mitra told John that she was leaving in a week for another tour. John asked Mitra to dinner the next night. Mitra accepted. It was the least she could do, after all John did just to say hello.
During dinner, John asked Mitra if he could see her again. He said that he wanted to see if she was still as sweet as she was when she was seven. Mitra was flattered.
Thinking that it was just two old friends catching up on what their lives had become, Mitra accepted. The next day, they spent the day together. John took her to luch, the park and dinner again.
Each time the date was almost over, John asked to see Mitra again. Mitra, for her part was happy with John wanting to spend time with her. He was just a nice as she remembered.
Each day, until she had to leave for the tour, John and Mitra spent the day together. The night before she left, Mitra slept with John. Mitra was starting to feel something special for him.
Mitra learned that John owned his own business that allowed him plenty of free time. Then, Mitra wondered if she would see him again when she returned. She really liked him.
Three days into her tour, Mitra spotted John in the crowd. Or was it a figment of her imagination? When she exited the stage entrance, no one was waiting for her.
Mitra started missing John. She called her agent and asked Bernie to contact John. She wanted him to fly out to meet her at the next stop. Mitra was falling in love.
Two days later, when Mitra exited the theater, there stood John holding a bouquet of flowers. Mitra ran into John's arms and kissed him.
Mitra lived the life of a comedian on tour. She rarely stayed at home for more than a few days each month. She didn't know if she could make it work with John.
All she knew was that she wanted to try. She wanted to try as hard as John had tried in finding her. As long as John was willing, so was Mitra.
John went with her as she finished her tour. John knew what he wanted. He made Mitra see what she wanted.
Together, they were very happy.