BY RICARDO ALEXANDERS
Sixteen-year-old John Palmieri is living an average life in modern-day Brooklyn until, one day, he is hit by a bus and wakes up as Raj Scindia, a prince in India, in 1958. Suddenly, he finds himself with riches and power beyond his wildest fantasies. Brooklyn is readily forgotten. He makes out with his teacher, he tells about the future; his new life becomes a constant stream of debauchery until he meets “the one.” However, love doesn’t come easy. He must become a better man to win the heart of his love, Ankita Desai. He forms the Beetos, the first rock and roll band in India, and pursues his love by recreating the Beatles’ songs based on his memory.
With the help of those legendary songs, Raj wins Ankita’s
heart but fails to change the mind of her father, who thinks beating a drum and singing songs are what beggars do on
the streets. To prove him wrong, Raj and the Beetos move to London, where they meet Brian Epstein and become inter-
national stars. Just as he is getting ready to propose again, Ankita’s father brings her to her uncle in NYC and cuts off communication between the two lovers.
Desperate to find Ankita, Raj rushes to put together the
Beetos’ US tour. However, he does not have Ankita’s contact information. Raj believes that they will meet at the Bridge of Love if they are meant to be together. So he sends Ankita a message through a friend, asking to meet her at the Brooklyn bridge. Although Raj does not know whether Ankita has received the message, Beetomania arrives America on February 8th, 1964. Against all odds, Raj rendezvous with Ankita two nights later at the Brooklyn Bridge.
Ankita’s father finally caves in to the determination of the couple. With his blessing, Raj marries Ankita and the couple lives happily in London. In 1968, Raj is nominated for the 10th Grammy Awards. However, he is hesitant to attend the ceremony in Chicago since Ankita is nine months pregnant. Wanting Raj to be happy, Ankita persuades him to attend. On his way back, Raj makes a phone call home. Ankita slips when she tries to pick up the phone and the resulting fall kills her
and the couple’s unborn son. Raj blames himself for their deaths and lives in pain. He tries everything, even meditating with the Maharishi in the Himalayas, but nothing works. After Brian Epstein dies of an overdose, for which Raj feels he is responsible, Raj disbands the Beetos.
For the next decade, Raj lives in tremendous pain and con-
fusion. He does not know if he is really Raj or John. He does not know he is living a dream or dreaming a lie. He wants to end it all but cannot do it until 1980, when he meets a man named Mark Chapman. Based on his memory of the other world, Raj thinks that God has sent Chapman to set him free. He creates many chances for Chapman to do what he is destined by history to do. However, Chapman makes no move. Utilizing Chapman’s hunger for instant fame, Raj executes a perfect plan.
After Raj is shot dead in the street in NYC, he wakes up again as sixteen-year-old John in Brooklyn. He barely remembers his dream except being hit by a bus. On his way to school, John is again hit by a bus and loses consciousness despite his precautions. This time, he does not wake up somewhere else. Instead, he gets up and walks into his classroom, where he is hit by a feeling of deja vu. His teacher introduces a new
student who has just moved to Brooklyn from India — Ankita Desai.
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