Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wedding on Valentine's day

The love between Suneeta and Raghav commenced ever since they were studying in the same B school.While she chose HR, he had opted for Marketing.Luckily both of them got employed in Chennai in different MNCs.Their love grew in intensity as they met daily during lunch time and evenings with their offices being situated in adjacent buildings.Strangley it was Raghav who pressurised her for marriage.There was a snag.She was from an orthodox Tamil community from a small town in Trichy district while Raghav was from Hassan in Karnataka..She had kept her love affair a well guarded secret from her parents as she knew her father would hit the roof.the old man was in fact requesting friends and relatives to suggest a good match for her.Suneeta was afraid to confide even to her mother as her mom was very timid by nature and totally dominated by her dad.

Raghav suggested that he would ask his parents to approach her parents seeking her hands for him.She knew this would not work and would only make matters worse.They discussed endlessly how to overcome the hurdle till she finally succumbed after a lot of persuasion to Raghav’s suggestion that they get married on Valentine’s day at a small temple near Chennai and present a fait accompli to parents on both sides.They decided to invite only about twenty close friends and colleagues on each side.Raghav undertook to arrange the wedding preparations at a temple over a small hillock.It was agreed she would come sharp at 8am.

Raghav along with his friends were there at 6am overseeing the arrangements.Someone brought the pundit.Caterers had come with refreshments and were waiting in a hall at the base of the hillock. It was 8am and Suneeta was not to be seen.Her mobile was switched off. A few friends of hers had come.One of Raghav’s friend was at the base of hillock waiting for her.Around 840am Raghav got a call in his mobile from his friend at the base that Suneeta and her fiends have come in a van but there was a big problem.It appeared that a few other vans had also come and that one aged man purporting to be her uncle was holding her hands and not allowing her to climb up.She was surrounded by the people who had come in the vans.There was a minor scuffle between Suneeta’s friends and those people.

It was then Raghav’s friend Sundar who was in police unifom assured Raghav that he would rush and sort out the matter and that he remain at the temple.Sundar was a tall and hefty fellow with a stentorian voice.When he ran near the crowd that surrounded Suneeta, he barked a command to her uncle”Whoever you are take your hands off her.Do you understand? All of you who are crowding around the lady move away.”

His big figure, loud voice and the police uniform had the desired effect.When Suneeta was freed, Sundar asked the old man what the problem was about.

The old man said “Suneeta is my brother’s daughter.Some Kannadiga chap has abducted her with the help of his friends and trying to get married to her.Her parents are against this marriage.We are from othodox Tamil community.My brother had asked me to bring her back home.He is in the process of finalising a match in our own community.”

Sundar in a quiet but firm tone said “Good, let me talk to the lady.Please wait”He tuned to Suneeta and asked her “Are you a major? What is your age?Are you being forced to marry the chap waiting at the temple or are you doing it on your own volition?Answer me loudly”

“I am 25.I am in love with Raghav and we decided to mary at the temple as my parents are against our marriage.These people are all my friends and colleagues whom I had invited for the function.I do not want to go with my uncle to my house.My decision is purely my own and I want your help in seeing that my marriage takes place without any hurdle.The auspicious time is around 9am” Suneeta said

Sundar told in peremptory voice”She is a major and no one can prevent her from marrying anyone she likes..If someone confines her by force it is against law.Sir,I see your concern and your wish to help your brother.But what you are doing is illegal.Please leave her alone and go away if you don’t wish to be present to bless her”

They quietly dispersed without one word.The marriage took place quickly on time.While Raghav thanked him profusely for defusing the situation, Sundar told him “Raghav, I am in a hurry. I cannot wait for lunch.I must be at Alwarpet at 10 am for the final rehearsal of the drama where I am acting as Police officer.I came in the same attire as there was no time for me to go home and change.I wish you all the best and will see you later”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine soup

There was always riot of laughter in the common room for women in that office.The employees often escaped the boredom of the files at their work place by rushing here for the fun and gossip that is found never in dearth.You could see clusters of ladies talking animatedly or loudly or in hushed tones depending on the explosive nature and the secrecy that shrouded the matter. It could hover around a plain topic like the new hairstyle of the staid Angela or the plunging neckline of vampish Vanita or the stale smell of upma laced with heavy dose of hing that emanated from Soundarya’s lunch box or just the rude behaviour of the manager Manickavasagam or the unctuous smile and double entendres of the aged Muthuswamy iyer.But more often than not the chatter revolved over the known Romeos and stylish hunks of the office on who they flirted with currently and who are their likely quarries.Some even boasted of their dates with them.There were a few prudes who pretended not to be paying attention to what is being said but their ears actually tuned sharp not to miss even one word.It is in this room that reputations are made or marred as nothing escaped their hawk-like eyes and wide mouths.

However we are concerned about Namitha in the same office who has fallen in love with Sekhar her colleague, a handsome chap who was quiet and deep.Very few know about him as he kept his counsel to himself. Namitha was attracted to him when one day he offered to help her reconcile some discrepancy in her work.They stayed late and it took much effort to locate the mistake.That was about a year back and since then she has been dating him.Whenever she broached the subject of marriage, he was evasive and pleaded for some time till his younger sister got married.He never took her to his home and kept his love for her away from his parents.There was one thing that bothered her.He was miserly by nature and whatever gifts he gave her were cheap stuff.Namitha’s parents were affluent and she was accustomed to use only classy things.Even this she did not mind but was upset about what he did two weeks back.They took a day off from work and left for Mahabalipuram on his motorbike to spend the day amongst the rock temples and the beach.When it was lunch time they came to an expensive restaurant for food .He ordered many items and it was a fabulous lunch. When the bill came Sekhar had gone away.She then remembered he always did so making her pay and quite often plead that he had inadvertently forgotten his purse or the card.She paid for the lunch and when he returned he took no notice of her settling the bill nor did he mention one word of apology.

Namitha pulled out Savita another colleague from the common room and said to her“I wish to talk something personal in private with you.” She knew Savita was an ex friend of Sekhar and that they moved away after a short but intense friendship.

“Tell me Namith what I can do for you” she asked

“It is about Sekhar.You are aware of my friendship with him for more than a year.There are two things that worry me.I wish to seek your advice.” Namitha said

“Proceed, I am listening” Savitha replied

Whenever I broach about marriage he recedes into his shell and tells about his sister’s pending marriage.Ihave a suspicion he just wants to prolong the friendship without any commitment.Secondly I find him tight fisted.He never opens his purse and makes me pay for all expenses.Though I can afford I do not want to be tied to a stingy person.I am also not sure whether he is open with me as many times I find his mobile switched off for long time” Namitha said.

“I am not surprised.Let me take you to Sukanya who put me wise about that rogue before I broke away from him.”

Sukanya laughed when she heard from Savitha and said “So you are the new prey.He is a scoundrel of the first water.He has no sister and it is all hogwash.He will have the fun with many girls at their expense.With his meagre salary he cannot entertain the many girls with whom he has liaison.He should be thrown out but I have a suggestion before you ditch him”

Three days later Namitha took him to a five star hotel saying she wanted to celebrate the Valentine spirit.She ordered a lavish dinner and some costly drinks for him..She giggled and made him think she was an easy lay.Just before the last course she excused herself to the restroom.Sekharr happily enjoyed the drink dreaming about the pleasant time ahead.When the server brought the bill, she was not to be seen.He waited for nearly 30 minutes and there was no trace of her..This time he truly neither had his purse nor the credit card.The rumour doing the rounds in the women’s common room was that he was in a real soup at the hotel unable to shell out five thousand and odd rupees and that Namitha wisely ditched him as if he was a plague.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cupid strikes

Suresh was a handsome and good student given to studious habits.He was in the second year of his graduation course.He was considered a well behaved and decent chap till a girl student of another discipline lodged a complaint with the Principal that he winked at her while passing by.She ignored initially but found him always winking at her.He was summoned to the Principal’s room and questioned.He flatly denied that he ever did such a thing and that he did not remember having noticed her.Considering his past good behaviour, he was let off with a warning that he should be careful.

Within three days two other girls came and complained that Suresh made passes at them by winking.They knew about the earlier complaint and made sure that he did wink at them before coming to Principal.When the young lad again denied any mischief, the prinicipal was not amused and suspended him for a week from college.The poor chap pleaded that he never winked and that he was actually scared of girls and gave wide berth to them when they came before him.But the earlier incident having attained wide publicity , all the girl students whenever they passed by him watched to see whether he winked at them.But he invariably turned his face away from them and hurried past his way.

Everything seemed alright after the punishment of a week’s suspension till one day an aged lady professor nearing 55 took exception to the young scamp winking at her while she was hurrying to the library.This was height of misdemeanour and the Principal decided to dismiss him.The boy again pleaded no knowledge.The fact that the lady professor was monstrous in size with ugly face that always wore a scowl and a slouching mouth made the Principal ponder whether any boy of 18 years would ever look let alone wink at such a person.The boys professors had all good word about him The pricipal decided to probe further.

He was sent to an ophthalmologist who had Suresh examined thoroughly.There was no complaint and was found in perfect condition.But the eye doctor was a bit of psychologist.He went out for a minute and sent a young nurse inside to put some drop in Suresh’s eyes.As expected the nurse reported that he did wink at her..He sent another nurse in the room to fetch something.She also reported that he winked at her.The doctor was now convinced that it was a case of neve twitching whenever he was under stress.The initail embarrassment of being pulled up before Principal and the warning admonished had actually aggravated the problem.His nerves in the eye region twitched involuntarily whenever he saw ladies giving an impression of winking.With proper counselling he got over the problem.

When this was reported to the Principal and everyone who had complained were informed, this amusing episode should have ordinarily ended.But the girl who had initially complained against him felt much remorse and went to him to say sorry and tender her apologies.It was then Cupid chose to strike and the young things fell in great love.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Let us separate

“Let us separate. We are not meant for each other. We hardly have anything in common. You need a drudge to take care of your mom. I am not willing to do that. Allow me to go amicably my way” Sweta implored her husband Bhaskar with tears in her eyes.

Hardly 27 and married for two years, she had great dreams of a happy and fun filled married life with a wonderful man. What she really got, after the intial days of honeymoon, was a husband who worked upto 10 pm in the office, came home tired and had no time to spend a few minutes with his spouse. She had to battle with his old mother whose vision was dim and hearing greatly impaired. To add to her woes the old woman was asking the same questions repeatedly affected presumably by Alzheimer. An executive in a leading publishing house, she found it difficult to manage despite the lady cook at home.

“Sweta, please do not lose heart. I love you very much. I think the pressure in the office would come down in a year when I am promoted to VP. I know I haven’t taken you out on holidays or spared enough time daily with you. You don’t have to be a drudge. If you wish I will employ one more maid to take care of mom. Sundays I will devote more time with you. Please bear with me for just a year” Bhaskar replied softly.

“Why don’t you put her in a good paid old age home with comforts? I get sick of her incessant questioning. I get headache daily when I return from office. There is no guarantee that VP’s position will change your nature. I have a life to live.There is no fun living with you. Please allow me to go” she said.

Bhaskar was an introvert while she was a bubbly woman who enjoyed company. Her colleague Ravi had become a close friend in the last few months. An engaging conversationalist, suave, he knew the art of saying things that made women happy. A handsome hunk, he had said he was single and unattached. Whenever Sweta poured out her heart to him of the listless life she was leading, he commiserated with her. He took her out for coffee frequently. She found in him the comfort and care she missed from Bhaskar. She enjoyed being with him and talking to him endlessly. One day when he suggested their having dinner together, she was not willing initially but succumbed to his persuasions.

It was there he said “Why do you persist with this unhappy marriage? He will not change being a workaholic by nature even if he becomes the CEO. He comes home tired and has no time for you. It is a drab life. If you are willing, let us get married. My parents are no more. I have a sister who is in London. Only the two of us. I love you. I promise to give you the life you are dreaming of.”

“Ravi, Bhaskar is a good man and adores me. He loves me no doubt but I see no change in the near future. I hate the nagging old lady. He is not willing to send her to old age home. I really do not know. I love you too but am confused.” she sobbed.

He put his arms around her and pulled her close to him. He softly said “You have to take some drastic decisions if you wish to live your life. Seek separation and we can get married within a few months.”

As he tried to kiss her, she pushed him away and said “I need time to think and talk it over. Dont rush me to do things that are improper meanwhile” she said.

Sweta remembered the conversation with Ravi at the dinner two days earlier. She knew Bhaskar was a good and loving husband but had no time for her. Even the occasional intimate moments were perfunctory and lacked passion. Ravi on the other hand seemed a pleasant type. Unable to decide she put her face in her hands and sobbed inconsolably. She didn’t know how long till she found Bhaskars hands around her.

He said gently “If you wish to leave me, I cannot hold you by force. I love you very much and would not like to lose you. But it is your decision. I get a feeling you have someone in view. Before you commit yourself to him, make sure he is genuine and not after your money. He might have known that you are a heir to a big fortune. Whoever it is get his antecedents checked discreetly by some good agency for this purpose. If they give a clean chit, you may do what you wish to. I will grant you freedom. If there is a change of heart meanwhile, I would be the happiest. Meanwhile lull him into complacence that you are working on your separation. Keep the boundaries till you get the feedback. Go to sleep. I will be watching the TV.”

She found him in the morning sleeping on the sofa. She felt a bit guilty. But she found the investigating agency and assigned the work to them. She avoided meeting Ravi by going on tour. When she returned the report was ready at her house. It was a shocking revelation of a cunning crook who had cheated many women in the past and had a wife and child. The wife refused to give him divorce just to punish him for his dalliance with many women. He had mounting debts and recovery agents were after him. In sum the report concluded that he was a cunning rake.

Just then Bhaskar walked in. She quietly gave him the report. He said “I knew but I wanted you to find out yourself. I have decided to change the job that will see me spending more time with you. I will employ another maid to take care of mom. I love you Sweta.I promise to make you happy. Please do not ever leave me.”

She fell into his extended arms and cried like a baby telling him “Please forgive me. You are a gem and a blessing to me.”

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Early buyer gift

It was early in the morning.The old lady tried to reach the toy on the top shelf but she could not succeed. A young man who was in the same aisle rushed to her aid. When he handed over the toy, her eyes gleamed and asked him whether it is suitable for a boy of eight years. It appeared that she had forgotten her glasses.He looked at the details found it was suitable..

She said “It is for my grandson. He has wanted a remote controlled helicopter for his birthday. How much does it say it costs?.”

“30 dollars”

“Oh, oh. That is too much. Please keep it back” she said.

“What was the price you were willing to spend?” he asked softly.

“Why? Do you work here? Is there any sale? My budget is around 15 dollars.” she asked expectantly.

“No sale. But we are giving a gift to the first buyer today in the toys section” He pulled out a gift cardfrom his pocket and said “. Here is a gift card for 15 dollars. You now pay only $15. It is a good deal. Happy birthday to your grand son” he said as left her in a hurry.

The old woman was grateful to Lord for her luck and walked the counter and said “Thanks for the gift scheme for the first buyer from your shop. I really appreciate it”

The surprised counter clerk said “What gift scheme? We have none presently.”

The lady indignantly told her “Better check with your supervisor. Just now the young man in charge gave me the gift card. That is meant for the first buyer. Please see this. Why should I tell you something that is not true”

“Madam, this is a gift card presumably bought from this store by the young man.For your information there is no male employee in the toys section”

It then struck her that it was a kind gesture by the young man to an old lady who couldn’t afford a 30 dollar present for her grandson.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love”. ~Mother Teresa