Anandi returned to her hotel suite, tired, exhausted but ecstatic and no her happiness was not just because of a job well done.
Her mind flitted to a time 15 years back. She was sitting in her room at her parental house. The mehendi ceremony had taken place the previous evening and her wedding was the day after. The henna in her hand had colored beautifully and everyone had teased her that her would be husband loved her a lot. It was common belief that if the henna colored nicely, it meant that the bride would be loved a lot in her in-laws place. She blushed at this thought but was very happy when there was a knock and she found her fiance Sanjay at the door.
‘Sanjay? Hi!! But we are not supposed to meet till tomorrow’, she said
‘Yes, Anu but….’, he hesitated, Anu there is a problem.’
‘This marriage has to be called off’
She has shocked. ’Why?’
‘I have understood that I love somebody else, Anu’
‘And I have waited 3 years for you Sanjay.’ She had been engaged when she was only 18, still at college. Sanjay was 23 then, wanted to settle down and so she ha waited for him. Other than her father and brother; the only man she knew was Sanjay. ‘Is this the reward I get for waiting for you, have I done some mistake or is it because of my limp’ Six months back she had been involved ina freak road accident, which had left her with a limp in her right leg. But throughout the ordeal, the hospitalization etc Sanjay had been at her side.
‘Its not because of your limp but your accident. Meaning it was during that time that I met her and fell in love. With you it was just compliance to parental wish. With her its bonding. If I marry you, it would not be just to either you or to her, Anu.’
“and who is this ‘her’”, she asked
‘Err.. its Sowjanya.’
Anandi still remembered the shock and the pain for Sowjanya was her cousin-her aunt’s daughter and she had nursed her after the accident. She had not realized what was happening beyond the ward doors.
And so her wedding had been cancelled. While Sowjanya and Sanjay got married on the same day and place that her marriage was to take place.
She had found herself at crossroads, without a professional degree she could not find a good job and with a cancelled wedding and a limp, her parents could not find a suitable match for her.
She had proceeded to do an MBA from IGNOU and had joined a CA who was newly diversifying from just auditing to management consultancy. To her good fortune from the day she joined the company, it started doing well and Mr.Bhatia believed that she had brought good luck to his firm and started involving her in most of his projects. She also did Project management, CMA, CFA etc so that whatever consultancy the company got, she could be a part of it. ‘Yes luck helped me but it was hard work too.’ She thought.
Meanwhile her brother’s colleague Mr. Shinde proposed to her. Mr. Shinde was a good honest man, earning well. The only drawback was that he was 12 years her senior and had a 7 year old daughter. But by then she had matured a lot and understood that good men were few and for a marriage to be successful you had to have understanding with your partner. And Mr Shinde was a good man and they understood each other well, so she agreed.
It was 10 years since they got married. Their daughter was now 17 and they had a son who was 7. Mr. Shinde had been supportive of her career. True they had their arguments but till date there had never been ego clashes.
And so here she was consulting for Awani enterprises. Awani had diversified into too many avenues- retail, manufacturing, food etc and was finding it difficult to manage. So they had called upon Bhatia’s to evaluate on their portfolio and advise them as to which ones to keep and which to liquidate. And she had met Sanjay again. He was a manager there at one of the divisions.
Surprisingly she didn’t feel any emotions, seeing him after such a long time- no anger, no bitterness. But yes her ego did get a boost while he bustled around her, arranging papers fulfilling her requirements.
‘No she was not angry with him. Good that he called of the marriage.
Because of him she discovered her inner strength, because of him she studied further, because of him she got into a job and because of him she married Mr. Shinde.
Behind every successful man is his wife and behind every successful woman is a ‘MAN’, she thought and smiled.