Day- 23rd December 2018,
Venue- The Royal Plaza Banquet Hall,
Few banquet hall workers were scattered all over the hall. One of them was lifting the empty chairs, one after another and putting it on top of each other. Other was removing the rose and orchid decorations of the stage. Yet, another was removing the DJ set and adjusting the mic and all the wires which were attached to the sound mixer and speakers. Toddlers and kids were running around, playing ‘catch’, after having found the hall almost empty, whereas few late comer guests were still lingering in the hall, finishing their last plate of vanilla ice cream which was served as a dessert in the buffet.
This was the scene of one of the wedding reception hall of a bustling metropolitan city. When everything was almost wrapped up, what stayed was the big rose petaled, heart shaped design of the stage wall which declared “SAROJ WEDS AJIT”.
Ordinary as it may seem now, however, few hours ago, this same hall was filled with people out of whom some were extremely happy with this union, some utterly surprised and some even disgusted. Why wouldn’t they be? As this couple was no ordinary and nor was their story of love…
Day- 16th May 2017.
Place- Creative Wings, conference hall.
Time- 10:30 am
“I know you what you all are thinking looking at these slides and these ordinary women, doing their daily chores. Before we discard them, let’s get to know them, shall we?
See this woman. She looks just like an ordinary ‘housewife’, cooking and feeding her kid, in her cotton dress. Now, look at the next slide. This is the manager’s cabin of an MNC company. Look who’s sitting on the chair, in her ironed, polished, branded formals?”
All the people of the conference hall leaned a little forward, squinting their eyes to get a closer look as to who is the presenter was referring to? As they leaned forward, simultaneously, the presenter zoomed in the picture.
The presenter continued, “It’s the same woman who was feeding her baby and cooking in her ‘not so branded cotton dress’. Let’s honestly ask ourselves this, could we have actually guessed her profession, if we had met her in a super market?
I don’t think so!
This is the point I would like to highlight ladies and gentlemen, a women has many roles and every roles demands a different level of comfort and ‘a look’ for her. So, when we plan to start new women’s apparels, our focus should not only be on the working women but also on the home maker, hidden in them! Because in the end, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE WOMAN OF TODAY, who with time, has not only made a mark for herself in the so called man’s fields but she does so with her kids and family by her side.”
After twenty minutes, the hall broke into a loud applause. The lights came back and the projector was shut. Everyone got up, impressed by the presentation and more so with the presenter. A beautiful woman in her thirties, she was wearing a cream khadi long kurta and black flared palazzo, with a printed dupatta, wrapped around her neck, near jet black curly hair tied in a loose bun out of which few stands played on her cheeks while she spoke and big round black bindi on her forehead, paired with oxidized jhumkas in her ears and a beads bracelet in her right hand. She was Saroj.
Sitting at the opposite end of the conference table was the founder of this ad agency Ajit. Thirty five years old, five feet nine inches had wheatish skin and blackish eyes. Being a gym enthusiast, he had a good toned up physique, had thick bread and a mustache, which was trimmed, with thick black hair.
He was wearing light shade of purple shirt, and trousers. He was handsome. Being the head of this small, yet rising ad agency, he had an authority around him, but not dictatorship. He was a little old schooled, so though being an owner of a creative company, he preferred to wear formals. But he never imposed his believes on his staff and gave them free reign as to how one wishes to express themselves.
By now everyone had got up from their chair and had come towards Saroj, congratulating her on her successful presentation. However, amidst crowd, Ajit was still sitting, leaning on one side of his chair, resting his left elbow on the arm handle, slightly holding his chin with the same arm. He kept looking at Saroj, who was receiving all the adulation, beaming with happiness.
Soon, the conference hall started getting vacant, as everyone now hungry went towards either the cafeteria or towards their cubicle. Within few minutes, the whole hall was empty, except for Saroj and Ajit. Saroj, feeling a little tired, sat on a chair. She looked at Ajit, who by now was looking into his phone, trying to type something. Unable to contain anymore, Saroj asked him, “So?”
To which, Ajit replied, “Soooo what?”
Saroj, “How was it?”
Ajit, “How do you think you did?”
Saroj, “I think, I did well. What do you think, how did I do?”
Ajit, “Does it matter what I think, how you did.”
Saroj, “Yes. It matters to me, what you think how I did. After all, you are my BOSS.”
The utterance of the word BOSS by Saroj was more so in a mocking tone, as she knew how much it irritated him.
Ajit, though technically, was Saroj’s boss, he never actually liked her saying that. He never treated her as his employee, because before being his employee, she was his BEST FRIEND in college. Though he was her senior, they somehow had clicked together being a part of the editing team of their college magazine.
It was more than a decade and Ajit still considered Saroj his best friend…. a friend who was the closest to him, who helped him get dates in college as he was too shy to ask, with whom he could share all the concerns of his mother and his hatred for his father, a friend who never judged him and accepted him for all that he was, which was nothing much at that time.
So whenever Saroj pressed on this word, BOSS, it irritated him more than anything. With a curt voice, he said, ” Saroj…..how many times have I told you….”
Saroj cut his sentence in the middle and with a winning smile said, “So, stop playing this game and tell me what do you think?”
Ajit, now having a hint of smile on his face said, “As usual, YOU AMAZE ME Ms. SAROJ KAUSHIK…..YOU STILL AMAZE ME!!”
Saying this he started walking towards the glass door of the conference room grinning from ear to ear. Saroj's suprised eyes followed him till he was out of sight.
to be continued...