“Let’s get going…or else we are going to be really late” said Rohan. He had finished his studies in Europe and had joined an Indian company purely due to his passion for electronics and secondly to be with his parents. “Why do we have to wait for so long, can she not come by herself?” he snapped with sheer restlessness. Gaurav looked at his watch and said…I have known her for 5 years and she is punctual, let’s wait for some more time, Delhi is not her city man.” Gaurav was known as a cool dude in the office, he was never seen serious and was known as a helpful soul.
Delhi had not seen this kind of rain since years. It was pouring since morning and hadn’t stopped except for an hour in the afternoon. “I don’t know why you had to tag her with us. It’s already 7.00 pm; I really don’t like waiting for ladies like that. If she doesn’t turn up in another 5 minutes, I’ll leave. We are invited by the client for the get together and I can’t be late there. India doesn’t really care for time leave aside women.” Before he could finish his sentence, an auto rickshaw(a three wheeler vehicle), stood at a distance from them. In the heavy showers visibility was bad but Gaurav tried to figure out if Ananya was here. The auto stood there for 5 minutes and all Gaurav and Rohan could see was the auto driver turned behind talking to someone which seemed like a quarrel over money. After a while a blue umbrella popped from the auto and a woman in plain white chiffon chudidar (Indian ethnic wear) got down. All Rohan could see was the 6 inch heels, the white bottom, white and silver bangles in both the hands and a blue umbrella.
The person started walking towards them managing her large bag and her dupatta getting wet from the rains. Gaurav stepped forward recognizing Ananya and swiftly moved towards her, ‘what took you so late? Anyways let’s get into the car and talk about it” Rohan just understanding that she had arrived had already started the car and was ready to go. They quickly got in, Gaurav in the front and Ananya sat behind, folded her umbrella and calmly asked, “It’s wet, where do I place it? Do you have a bag I can put it in?” Rohan was at his restless best and snapped again, leave it on the seat; I can’t waste time over a bag now.” And he started the engine and zoomed off. On the way he left no opportunity for Ananya to explain of her being late but gave all he could that it was Delhi, its notorious for its traffic, it’s the client who had thrown this party and another lecture on time management. It had been 4 months that Rohan had joined the company but had no opportunity to work with Ananya, for that matter didn’t know much about her.
The tires screeched and they reached the venue. Gaurav quickly got off and rushed in to tell his boss that they had arrived. Rohan got down too, opened the door for her and said please go in quickly ill park and come. As Ananya tried to get down, Rohan got the first glimpse of her. She looked in her early twenties, her bright face, droplets of rain on her brow, black eyes, wavy black hair, fuller lips and simple but perfect make up. Rohan was a keen observer but not the one to believe in love at first sight. She quickly got down and moved towards the hall. Ananya joined the company after her post-graduation when she was 23, had been with the company for five years now and was known as a dedicated and sincere colleague. She and her boss Madhukar had almost grown in the company together. Madhu never behaved as a boss to her, the entire office knew that the ladder to his success was his hardworking attitude.
The party hall was not too big but very well decorated. Ananya loved white and yellow flowers and the hall was decorated with lilies. Madhu walked towards her to greet her. Ananya looked at him and remorsefully said “Sorry Madhu, I got late.” Madhu smiled at her and said “you are not late but on time, the client has just arrived and it’s your day Ananya, so cheer up! I have a small surprise for you. Ill refill my wine and be back, would you like something?” Ananya nodded in negative. By that time the project team was all around her and Gaurav in an extremely dejected tone mentioned, “Man, I hate such get together, no beer dude, its classy it’s just wine…..” Ananya smiled “chill we can have another party and that will be on me”
Rohan walked towards the group with his wine and said, “The wine is awesome, heavy bodied and not to dry, just the way I like it.” Gaurav rolled his eyes at that gesturing to say, you are more European and less Indian now.” The party was in full swing when the client signaled the music off and took over the mic, “ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce that the product has had a successful launch and would like to thank Madhukar and his team for toiling hard to make this happen. The team’s effort is well appreciated and would like to specially thank Ananya for leading the team to make this a success.” Madhu took over and started, Madhu was known to stick to the mic given an opportunity and the minute he took over, there was a hum in the group. “Mr. Shyam, it is our pleasure indeed to have been able to work with your esteemed company. In my career of last 15 years I have not seen a better run project than this. The team has left no stone unturned to make this happen. We look forward to our journey with you and this as a start. Last but surely not the least I would like to personally thank Ananya for leadership and contribution on this engagement.” Smiling at Ananya, he continued, “We have a small token of appreciation for Ananya for this project completion and a certificate of excellence as she has completed five successful years in the company.” Ananya confidently moved ahead, took the glass plaque certificate and said, “Thanks for the surprise, Madhu, when you score a goal, or hit a three, or get a touchdown, you don’t do it for yourself, you do it for the team because the name in the front of the shirt is more important than the one on the back. So this is for the team who never gave up. Thank you!”
The party was young and peppy, post dinner Ananya excused herself and left in the cab she had booked, Madhu waited chatting with the client; the team joked around and played games. Late in the night Gaurav left with Rohan in his car. The one thing he loved more than his life was his white Santro which he missed in Europe. On the way back Rohan asked, “I had no clue that Ananya was with the company for five years? That’s something isn’t it?” Gaurav messaging his girlfriend on the blackberry answered “dude, have heard that when Ananya joined there were only two members in the team, Madhu and her. They did the pre-sales, got the business, executed and closed. And look now we are almost 15 people.” They got the bucks to get this going. The rumor is also that the management wanted to merge the unit with Asia Pacific, but they didn’t let that happen.” After dropping Gaurav, on the way back Rohan thought Ananya would have felt bad the way I spoke to her, I should apologize. My short temperedness is going to destroy things someday.
Girl meets Boy….not really…..love at first sight…. definitely not……Would leave you with a nazm by Daag Dehlvi,
uzr aane main bhi hai aur bulate bhi nahin
baais-e-tark-e-mulaaqaat batate bhi nahin
[uzr = hesitate; bais = reason]
[tark-e-mulaaqaat = terminating acquaintanceship]
khub parda hai ke chilman se lage baithe hain
saaf chhupate bhi nahin saamane aate bhii nahin
ho chukaa qata ta’lluq to jafaayen kyon ho
jn ko matalab nahin rahataa vo sataate bhi nahin
zist se tang ho ai ‘Daag’ to jite kyon ho
jaan pyaari bhi nahin jaan se jaate bhi nahin