Tag Archive | story

Going away

Ketan took out his bag, stuffed in his new jeans, a couple of T-shirts, some comics, a pack of biscuits, his water bottle closed the zip and went near the door. He was just closing the door when her remembered his nani’s words-Never go out without telling anyone at home. And so he came in, went near Mama’s and Baba’s room and said,’I am going.’

‘Where?’, Mama asked.

‘Away’, he said

Ahaa’, said Mama, ‘And why are you going away?’

‘You don’t let me play on your mobile or the computer, you don’t let me eat chocolates for breakfast, you wake me up early, so I am going away.’

‘Hmm, you can play outside with y our friends, chocolates are bad when eaten too much and you have to get up early to go to school.’

Thoughtful and then,’ You don’t love me so you don’t let me do anything my way, so I am going away’.

‘And where will you go?’

‘To Sneh Sadan’.

‘Sneh sadan is for children who don’t have Mama and Baba’.

Thoughtful…..

‘And then there is no TV or computer… and you have to eat very fast and clean your own plate. And you don’t get chocolates too.’

‘No problem, there will be a lot of other kids to play.’

‘Oh yes, there will be but you will have to sleep by yourself, no one will sing lullabies for you. And yes no hot water for bath.’

‘You mean I will have to take bath by myself?’

‘Yes and that too cooold water.’

‘By the way, I have made some gulab jamuns, want to have some?’

‘No, no I am going away.’

‘Al right, I will call Neha and give her.’

‘You will give Neha?’, asks Ketan

‘Yes I will call her up and then give her some gulab jamuns and then we will play hide and seek and then maybe I will invite her for lunch too and after lunch I will sing a nice lullaby and make her take a nap and…..’

‘What you will make her live here only or what?’

‘Good idea. With you not here I will feel lonely. And as such Neha’s mom goes to work and she has to stay with the maid, so I will ask her mom to leave her here only. What say?’, said Mama

‘gulad jamun, did you say?’

‘Yes and paneer for lunch’.

‘And you will call Neha here?’

‘Yes, it would be so fun, I will dress her up in nice flowery frocks, plait her hair and…’

‘Hmm I think I will postpone my going away for another day.’

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For more of Ketan, check here

Acchoo

‘Acchoo’, I went and AK growled at me. We were in the midst of a meeting, both the Boss and AK were having heated arguments and I was in a confused state about whom to support, the one who had appointed me or the one who paid my salary.

Tired of working in an audit firm, I had applied for a job in sales finance. Instead I had been appointed as a team leader for a DSA (Direct Sales Associate) by AK for his financing company. The owner of the DSA had good connections, was situated strategically and yet the business was going down. And so on a lark, AK had appointed me for the DSA.

It was fun actually, making my team work, close deals, make reports, everything. The best part was motivating the young chaps and yet the employee turnover was high and almost closed deals collapsed. But whenever I went along with any of the sales guy, we closed the deals. The boss called me his lucky charm and AK just said that I could do better. 😦

The fact was that whenever we had a sales pitch, a meeting or a party, I had to sneeze or cough. Now that irritated AK. ‘Are you an old woman to cough/ sneeze like that’, he would say. For the life of me, I could not understand the relationship between old age and sneeze.

That day we were having a meet- BOss, myself, AK. Topic- our best and longest staying sales guy had quit. AK said that it was because the Boss employed losers and he got losers because he paid less. And boss opined that why should he pay more for someone who he trains and then that person quits just like that. I agreed with both of them. But the fact was I was hungry. Lunch was ages ago and by the time I reached my hostel refectory would be closed. I knew if I had dinner out, the hostel gates would be closed too.

The meeting concluded inconclusive. I took my bag and ran. When AK said, “wait” and I swore-to myself of course. ‘Lets have dinner’, he said. ( he always saw that we were fed properly). ‘But my hostel gates will be closed by then’, I said. ‘Don’t worry, I will drop you’, he said.

We had just sat down for dinner that my sneezes began. ‘Ther you go again, can anyone have an interesting discussion with you?’ Now how could I explain that his perspiration combined with his Eau de cologne in the closed A/C room gave me sneezes. I did the next best thing, Moved a little far. And miraculously the sneezes stopped.
‘Who do you think is right me or he,’ asked AK. ‘Errrr actually both, I think the cause is something else’, I said.

‘Meaning?’, he asked

‘Somehow I feel that there is some other reason. I have a doubt, can you give me a few days. Meanwhile can we eat and talk, I really have to rush,’ I said and we chatted on mundane topics.

I began training two new persons. The day I was sending one of them on a pitch alone, I was pensive. SHyam our peon was wiping the table when he asked, ‘Naya ladka gaya kam pe?'( the new guy, did he go on a job). I nodded. Feeling a bit down I decided to go to the nearby coffee shop where I noticed the new sales guy. He got up hurriedly and explained that he was about to go to work but decided to have a coffee first, I said it was alright, as long as he did his job, I did not mind his having as many coffees as he wanted. And as usual I started sneezing.

As I bent down to cover my nose, my gaze went outside the french windows and I saw Shyam talking to another man. That man looked familiar.

The whole day I was thoughtful. The new sales guy failed to close any deal. I was snooping around, trying to get my suspicions cleared. I called AK and said, I am hungry.’

‘Go and eat something’, he said.

‘No treat me to a sizzler today at ….,’ I mentioned a chic restaurant.

‘Why don’t you go yourself’, he asked.

‘The salary you give me is not enough for a sizzler’, I said.

He guffawed and said,’OK come at 8 sharp but for heavens sake don’t start sneezing’

‘Why don’t you wear a fresh shirt and come,’ I said and bit my tongue. I was so worried about the problems we were facing that I had not checked myself.

‘Huh you mean to say that it is me who causes the sneezes’.

There was no point uin being diplomatic and I blurted the truth, ‘Yes your sweat combined with your cologne’, I said

We met at 8 sharp, he in a fresh shirt and me-my usual messy self. Shyam gave me a sly smile when I left office today, ‘I said.

‘So?’ he asked.

‘I also saw him with Nitin’s driver yesterday,’ I remarked.

‘ Why are you talking in riddles, he said.

I told him my suspicions. I suspected that Ntin the rival DSA owner had ‘bought’ Shyam. He got to know all our leads and also saw to it that our sales executives got a better job elsewhere. Shyam giving me a sly smile that evening was the proof that he was spying on my phone calls and had thought that I was having a date with AK
We brainstormed, we argued and finally AK agreed that I may be right. Now he got pensive and I enjoyed the sizzler alone.

My suspicions were proved right. Nitin was indeed insecure of our DSA and saw to it that he got to know of our leads adn got our execs, better jobs. Nitins, DSA lost out Company’s Account

The Boss was happy and gave me a raise and AK asked me to aske him whatever I wanted. ‘Just wear a fresh shirt whenever we meet,’ I said and we all had a hearty laugh.

To the rescue-II

Presenting the conclusion of To the rescue. Though I had presented it as a contest, there were no entries and so my dear readers you will have to bear with my narration only 😦 SO here goes.
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When I couldn’t hear Mrs’ Mishra’s footsteps, I was elated. Happy to have made the escape this time, I continued with my work, but I could still hear the knocking sound. Now you may ask why I was so bothered with a sound. But you see, I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and ever since anything different from the routine makes me curious.I tried to concentrate on the noises outside.There was Azaan from the nearby mosque and the knocking sound. At this time of the day, there were no vehicles.

The knocking continued, I opened the window and peeped out. You may think that how I could lean out of the window but I can. You see windows in Bahrain are without bars. The sliding double doors of the windows are secured only with a tiny button something like the electrical switches. And so I leaned out and listened. The A/cs were off, November is a cool month and also in the day time very few were at home.

The sound came from Mishrajis flat. AT first I thought there must be some carpentry work going on but then my curiosity took the better of me and I ran.

I rang the bell but no one opened the door. Instead the knocks began frantic. I put my ear to the door and listened…..I could hear the faint sound of a ….HELP ME …..help… And I ran again. the Mishras flat being on the ground floor, all the windows could be peeped in from the outside. I ran towards the bedroom but the window was screened, then I ran towards the kitchen. And peeped in. Mrs. Mishra was lying on the floor her right leg in a bad angle.. obviously a fracture and with her hand was a spoon with which she was making as much a noise as she could. I banged on the window signalling that I would help her. I tried to open the window but it was closed. I tried to break the window but could not.

All this banging and yelling woke up the Filipina living next door and she leaned out with a ‘WHath Happenned?’ I told her that Mrs. Mishra had had a fall. Meanwhile her African boyfriend too came near the window, he signaled me to wait, came out and with expertise (or was it practice… don’t ask me, I don’t know) lifted out the window and we climbed in. Mrs. Mishra on seeing me burst into tears and held me tight and both of us sobbed together. Angelina (the Filipina) gave us water and made her comfortable. We didn’t move her.I had already called for the ambulance and the team arrived and lifted her. I locked both the houses, took my mobile and purse and ran along with her.

Some oil it seems had spilled on the kitchen tiles. Mrs.Mishra had not seen the spill and had stepped on it and had fallen down. She had tried yelling for help but because of the closed windows no one had heard her and when she had heard the sound of the ladle falling in my kitchen had started knocking with the spoon in her hand on the floor, hoping that I would listen.

I became the heroine that day and for once my husband was proud of my butter fingers.