Aparajita was haggling with the fish seller in the Lake Gardens Market when she received the strange whatsapp message from her boss.
It was a Saturday morning, the day when Aparajita stocked up her refrigerator for the week with fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken. She really liked this weekly ritual. The sight of the fresh green vegetables, fish , fruits relaxed her mind. Some of the vendors had become pally with Aparajita and they too looked forward to this weekly visit.
“Didi , take these tomatoes, they are red and juicy, fresh from my garden. Not hybrid. I have kept them especially for you “
She looked at her cell phone and nodded absent mindedly . She was a bit unsettled. The CEO usually never called her or send any message on weekends. What could be the reason ?
She had almost finished her shopping. There were a few items yet to be bought but Aparajita decided to buy them on Sunday. She quickly walked towards her car and settled down on the back seat, indicating her driver to head towards home.
She opened her whatsapp and read the message
“What do you think we should do if we find out that an employee is not behaving quite ethically ? No I don’t think that is the right word.. “
Aparajita was very confused.
She read the message a couple of times but could not understand head or tail of it.
Finally she wrote back.
“What do you mean boss ? Is anything the matter ? Should I call you ? “
Aparajita got a prompt reply.
“No! Nothing very urgent , You are coming here on Monday , Right ?”
“Yes . I will be in Delhi on Monday”
“Ok. Will discuss then !”
Aparajita looked out of the window. It was end October and Calcutta was enveloped in the crisp sunrays of autumn. The city was still recovering from the Durga Puja festivities. The Bengalis plan for the festival throughout the year and once it is over, there is usually an aura of gloom. The feeling is just like when you finish your ice cream and you know that you will not get one before 10 months.
Aparajita was glad that it was over. Nothing moves during that period. Go to a shop , ask for a mechanic to fix your tap, even go to a doctor, they will give you this incredulous look as if you have done a sin by calling upon them.
“It is Pujo !!! “ Then they trail off. How can anyone work during this period !
God save this land !
Aparajita worked as an Advisor and Global Head IT for an organization headquartered in Delhi. She had an impressive career, 24 years of rock solid experience ,rising from the level of a developer to Head of IT. She was an accomplished leader, capable of motivating a staff to its full potential and proven ability to communicate complex information clearly to individuals at all levels. She had varied experience and was adept at working with international customers from various geographies.
Two years back, when her husband got transferred to Calcutta, she decided to hang her boots and take a sabbatical and study. But then this offer had come up. The arrangement suited Aparajita. She visited the Delhi corporate office for a week in a month and the rest of the days, she worked from home using Skype, Video conferencing , emails etc. She could adjust her routine and work to attend her M.Phil classes. Though the money was minuscule as compared to her previous job, Aparajita was happy. She liked the leaders in the organization, had the joy of coaching and implementing best practices and processes, setting up the IT team , the testing centre of excellence, giving inputs to the HR function, mentoring the people there. She liked working with the CEO, her boss.
The strange whatsapp message lingered on in her mind.
Even during her flight to Delhi.
Soni was very happy that the weekend was over. Aparajita Mam will come today.
She breezed into the office , opened her laptop and while it booted, she went around the floor as usual greeting everybody and smiling deeply.
“Hi Sir ! Good morning ! You look good in the blue shirt today !” She smiled at Subhash, the Head of HR.
“Good morning Dulip Sir ! I have got nice ripe guavas for lunch . I know you were eyeing it that day when I was having lunch ! I will share some with you today. “ She laughed as she passed by Dulip, the Infrastructure manager.
“Hi Priya ! Good moning Vinay ! Want some tea, I am going that way !”
Soni was like a gush of fresh air. Bubbly. Chirpy.
And highly efficient at work.
Soni liked bright colours. Orange was her favourite colour. She wore smart Salwar suits, churidars and occasionally trousers. When there was any event or function like the Annual day, she wore formal western dresses. Her dusky complexion and straight hair went well with the bright hues. She spoke fast and got exasperated when the people with whom she was interacting did not follow her at one go. She did not like inefficient people and got impatient with them.
“Mam ! “ She would tell Aparajita “ Why don’t they understand ? How many times do I have to explain ?” .
Soni worked as the Quality Coordinator and reported to Aparajita. Aparajita depended a lot on Soni. It is rare to find employees where you can be assured that once you delegate a work , it will definitely get done. Aparajita knew that and trusted Soni and Soni looked up at Aparajita as a mentor and a guide. Not only work but Soni could speak about anything to Aparajita and get her guidance.
Soni’s efficiency, initiative and hard work was visible to everybody. Inevitably she would get pulled into various kinds of work , mostly which were critical and there was a deadline to be met. Like arrangements for the annual day , planning and coordinating the recruitment drive or arrangements of the leadership offsite training and many such things. Aparajita could see a bit of herself in her earlier avatar in Soni …
When Aparajita entered her cabin , it was spic and span. She saw the flowers on her table, the bottle of cold water and smiled.
“Dear , dear Soni … “ She knew that Soni followed up with the driver who went to pick up Aparajita from the airport, she must have already arranged for her lunch and will be peeping in a few minutes to say “Hi !” .
“Hi Mam ! How was your trip ? “ Soni peeped.
Aparajita looked up from her laptop and smiled at Soni.
“Come on in Soni . How are you ? All well ?”
Somehow Aparajita felt that all was not well … something about Soni’s face… maybe she is just imagining things .. she brushed aside her feelings.
Though both of them talked almost everyday over phone, still Soni always had a lot to say . Aparajita let Soni speak. She was a bit indulgent towards this charged up subordinate of hers. Though Aparajita tried to camouflage it, it was evident to everybody in the office. And several people on the floor envied Soni’s proximity to Aparajita.
“Mam, when can we sit with our to do list ?” said Soni . “What is the matter mam, you seem to be preoccupied. Shall I come back later ?”
“Uh … huh … “ Aparajita pulled down the lid of her laptop and got up from her seat.
“Yeah Soni, let us meet after lunch. I have some important discussion with the CEO” . Aparajita was eager to meet her boss and solve the mystery of the whatsapp message.
Mr. Jaideep Saluja, the CEO was a self made man. He was in his fifties. He had started this organization with two PCs and now the firm employed about 10,000 employees.
“Good Morning Jaideep !”
“Hi ! Come , come Aparajita ! It is always a pleasure to see you in office. So when are you shifting base to Delhi ?”
Aparajita made a face and he guffawed. This was their usual joke. But both of them knew that Jaideep wanted Aparajita to become the CEO so that he could concentrate on his newly incubated e-commerce business.
“Boss, can we talk about the whatsapp message ?” Aparajita came to the point. “I could not make head or tail of it “.
Jaideep looked away and fiddled with his pen. He looked uncomfortable. It was so very uncharacteristic of him that Aparajita now got worried.
“Boss … “
“Er… not so very urgent … we can talk later ..” Jaideep fumbled. He shiftily looked at the paper kept on his table.
“Ok… but I have meetings lined up after lunch .. so … “
“Uh … Actually it is about … er… it is a bit sensitive …”
“Tell me” Aparajita was prepared for the worst. Is the company shutting down ? She is getting fired ?
Jaideep looked at her and blurted “It is about … er … Soni and her ways”.
Aparajita was completely taken aback.
“Soni’s ways ?? What about that ? “
“Well, my wife got a call last week from Mr. Dey’s wife… “
“Ok … but what did she say ? “ Aparajita was curious.
“She sent two photographs of our Leadership summit in the Dolphin Resort in Gurgaon which happened three months back. His wife was really upset and cried and … “
“And ? Why was she upset ? What photographs ?”
“Photograph where Soni was in the swimming pool . Mr. Dey was also there … ”
“Swimming Pool ? “ Aparajit could not help but repeat like a parrot.
“Well … er… she found it objectionable … had a big tiff with Dey and then she spoke to my wife so that we take some action against Soni “ Jaideep said in one breath.
“Did you see the picture ? “. Aparajita’s voice was grave.
“Hmm… Maya showed it to me. It was a bit dark, but I could see Soni , Dey, and few more people “.
“So, it was just not Dey and Soni. There were others too … And did you find it objectionable ? ”
“Well … “ Jaideep gave a pregnant pause and then looked directly at Aparajita.
“Aparajita. I know that you and Soni go along very well. I want you to talk to Soni so that she … well …er …”
“What ? “
“She can amend her behavior”
Aparajita felt her anger start as bubbles inside her heart.
Cool down Apu… cool … cool … she closed her eyes to compose herself.
Aparajita had a strong personality. Everybody , including her boss were intimidated by her. Maturity had made Aparajita a seasoned professional and unlike her junior days, she knew how to control her anger and when to show her anger to get things done.
She took a deep breath and looked squarely at Jaideep.
“Jaideep, first I need to know what behavior you are talking about , what behavior Soni exhibited and yes, I want to see the pic you are talking about”.
“Hmm… I will forward that to you in the evening and I know that you will keep it to yourself. But …”
“What now ? “
“It is just not Dey you know !”
“What do you mean ? “
“Siddharth has been doing some talking around … “. Siddharth was their HR manager.
“And ? “ Aparajita’s expression was tense.
“She was seen with … er someone … at the domestic airport arrival, about 4 weeks back …”
“So ? And let us cut out the pronouns and the fill in the blanks boss ! Who , where and what ? Please spell it out”. Aparajita was getting impatient now.
She was famous for her direct talk .
Jaideep knew that.
“I think a few weekends back, she was spotted by Saira . Soni was getting into a taxi with Laxman, our new Chartered Accountant . “
Aparajita tried hard to control her anger. But she knew that her fair face was flushed pink .
She stood up .
“And Siddharth has been going around asking for data like this and now the whole floor must be aware of this … ! “
“Hey ! Don’t get worked up ! I had asked Siddharth to be very discreet about it and maintain secrecy ! Sit down”.
Aparajita was fuming and she showed it.
“How can we insinuate such things without going into the depth of things ? And you know how strong the grapevine is ! Do you really believe that no one knows about what is going on in our conversations ?”
“Aparajita, Aparajita … that is why we need your help ..” Jaideep tried to pacify her.
Aparajita did not sit down. She knew that if she stayed even a minute more in the Boss’s cabin, she might end up saying something unprofessional which she will regret later.
“Boss, I have a meeting with the IT Managers now. I will talk to Soni and check things with her and let you know.
Aparajita came inside her cabin, sat on her chair and turned the AC on.There was already a nip in the air but suddenly she felt claustrophobic .
A strong sense of Déjà vu prevailed through her senses.
She had a glass of water and closed her eyes.
Scenes from her memory fleeted through her mind. A young bubbly Aparajita, highly productive , effective , a great communicator and collaborator …jealousy on the floor .. peer rivalry … Apu coming to office that day … everybody looking at her … Apu trying to make the HR manager understand … trying to clear her name …
It is wrong .. It is not like what you think … I was called by him to give some important papers… Anju is the alibi … Young Aparajita had cried out hoarsely.
Though no official dictat came to her , but Apu could not bear the askance glances and slight smirky grins and winks.
She had cried.
She resigned. The hurt and the wound took many months to heal. Did it ever heal ? It seemed raw again …
She opened her eyes.
Soni was standing outside the glass door, waiting for her.
“Soni, come in”
“Mam , are you not feeling well ?”
“I am OK …”
“Mam, I want to talk to you … regarding something …” . Just like Aparajita, Soni always came directly to the point.
Aparajita looked at her quizzically and said “I too want to talk to you , something not quite related to work . You go first Soni .”
Soni hesitated. So unlike her… Aparajita thought … Soni … maybe I had too much trust and faith on her…
“Mam … last week Priya talked to me … she told me something very vague … she said that I should not get too friendly with people … er.. “ Soni faltered.
“People .. ? “
“She said that my way of talking and behaving is being noticed by everybody. That I should keep my dignity. And that I should not cross limits. When I asked her to explain what she meant, she said that she cannot say anything more and if I had any question, I should talk to Siddharth, since he had asked her to talk to me because she was my best friend… Mam, I am very perturbed with this … “
“Did you talk to Siddharth ?”
“No.. Actually I wanted to discuss with you first .. and I knew that you are coming today so .. I wanted to discuss face to face with you .. Mam .. what dignity is she talking about ? What limits ? What have I done ? “
Aparajita did not speak.
Soni looked at her fingers. Her lips were trembling.
Aparajita cleared her voice.
“Soni, I have a few questions before I answer yours. I know you will tell me the truth, however bitter it might seem”.
“OK. Let me tell you bluntly. And let this be between us and these four walls. There has been some allegations around you . Tell me the truth Soni. In our Leadership Summit, in April, did you .. er… have any fling with Dey ? Like, were you in the swimming pool with Dey … ? “
Soni looked dumbstruck .
“Pool ? Dey Sir ? What the … “ she checked herself .
“Yes … tell me “
“Yes, I did … “
“WHY ? “ Aparajita’s voice was stern. ”Tell me in detail Soni “.
“It was a bit warm that night and Dey Sir, Gehlot Sir , Rajeev and Abhi were there. They wanted to swim. I was very tired aftert he grueling day and I was tired. So were Preeti and Priya , who were sharing the room with me. We were all relaxing in our room when Dey Sir knocked and he said that he wanted to keep his laptop in our room as it had some confidential and important data and his room’s lock was defective. As he was leaving, he asked me Soni, want to come for a swim ? I said no, I am tired. Preeti said that she wanted to go swimming and will do so only if Priya or I accompany her. You know Priya … how obstinate she is .. she did not go so I had to agree. I went inside the pool and was waiting for Preeti. Dey Sir, Gehlot Sir and the other two were already in the pool. Preeti damn her, did not come ! She suddenly had a bout of migraine … Finally, I too came back to the room … after about 20 min or so ..
But … what about it mam ? Why are you asking this ? “
Aparajita threw up her hands in exasperation.
“Soni ! You must be a bit careful !! We are in a corporate environment AND we are females … ”
“Huh … what ? I …”
“Who clicked photographs of the pool ? “
“I think Dey Sir’s son.. he had accompanied him to the meet … he was using an iPad to click .. “.
“Soni, Sen’s wife has called up our CEO and said that you are creating a rift in their marriage . She has a couple of photographs of the pools which she has forwarded to Maya, his wife “
Soni was stunned.
“No buts … Someone has also well seen you at the airport … “
Now Aparajita fumbled for words. She did not know how to tell this . Soni .. her favourite Soni …
“What are you saying Mam ?” Soni’s voice was steely.
Aparajita looked uncomfortable.
“Soni, Did you go anywhere with Laxman on the weekend of 15th August ?”
There was pin drop silence. No one spoke. The minutes seemed like eternity. Both of them understood the undertone and innuendo of the question.
When Soni broke the silence, she could barely whisper.
“Ok… now I understand what Sonia was talking about … things are pretty much clear now .. “
Soni’s face was expressionless. She continued .
“The other day, I got a whatsapp call from Sonia – our HR executive She got married in February and is now in USA . After some small talk , she asked me where I had been to on the weekend of 15th Aug … Then she had laughed and asked me about Laxman .. Sonia is a close pal of Saira …“
Too many things were going on in her mind.
“Soni, where were you ? “ Aparajita asked her softly. “If you don’t want to tell me, that is also acceptable .. it is your personal matter …“
Soni could not control her tears. Neither could she speak. Aparajita let her cry. Soni got up and said “Mam, it is already 5 pm and I want to leave for the day. I am not feeling well “
Aparajita nodded, she too was unable to speak.
As Soni went outside her room Aparajita saw the people sitting on the floor look at Soni’s swollen face and exchange glances. Some shrugged. A few quirked their lips. Another bunch winked.
History was repeating itself.
At 8.30 pm, when she reached the company guest house, Aparajita felt unusually tired. She had seen the photograph Jaideep was talking about. The pic was taken in the evening and it was dark. She could only see Soni’s face and Rajeev’s face. And the pic was not objectionable. But Soni was the only female in the pool.
Too many questions bothered her.
She had heard stories about Dey and his affairs. Why was Dey not asked to give an explanation ?
Why was Laxman not quizzed about his trip on 15th August ?
Just because Soni was a female, all eyes were towards her ? And even if she had had an affair, it is her personal matter. Has it hampered the office work?
What she does on weekends is her lookout. Why should others be bothered ?
Just because Sen’s wife shrieked and cried to the CEO’s wife, he becomes the martyr and Soni is the villain ? Why can’t she keep her husband around her little finger ?
Damn everybody !
Aparajita picked up her phone to talk to her husband. She knew she will calm down after talking to him. He understands her… thank God .. a gem of a husband he is …
Just then the phone buzzed. It was Soni .
“Yes, Soni ?”
“Mam, if I don’t answer your question, I will not be able to sleep.”
“Go ahead girl “ Aparajita tried to sound normal.
“On the weekend of 15th August, I went to the airport to pick up my cousin brother who was coming from Bangalore ..”
“Oh … “
“When I went to the airport, I came to know that the flight was delayed by 6 hours and I decided to go back home. It was raining very heavily and after waiting for a long time, I got a taxi. Suddenly I saw Laxman waving at me. He had returned from Bombay but due to the rains he was unable to get a taxi. He requested me whether I could give him a lift till the Dhaula Kuan Metro station from where he could go home easily. I kept his request … ”.
Aparajita took in her breath sharply. He could feel Soni’s pangs of pain in her heart when she heard Soni’s sobs.
“Mam .. where did I go wrong ? How have I crossed my dignity ? Why are my colleagues looking at me that way ? “. She sobbed.
Aparajita let Soni cry.
And the young, naïve Apu too cried with her.
At 9 am next morning , when Aparajita reached office, she met Ajita Gupta , the Legal Manager in the elevator.
“How are you Aparajita ? Your sari looks so ethnic and elegant ”.
“Thanks Ajita !”
“Did you talk to Soni ?” Ajita came close to Aparajita and whispered. “ She will definitely listen to you and mend her ways ..”
Aparajita gave a stony look .
“Talk about what ? Is there anything to mend ? “
“Oh… Jai Bhaiya did not speak to you ? “ Ajita was distantly related to Jaideep and she never missed a chance to call him Bhaiya and let others know about it.
“Jaideep did talk to me about it , but I think everything is just bullshit !”
So forceful was Aparajia’s voice that Ajita recoiled for a second.
“But you know, Saira saw … ahem… “ she looked around her “Them together , leaving the airport , in a taxi ! Soni stays in Dwarka you know and Siddharth near Munirka, which is away from Dwarka !” She said in her typical sing song manner while going towards their respective cabins.
Aparajita stopped . Ajita too stopped involuntarily.
Aparajita looked at her and smiled sweetly.
“Ajita, the other day I saw you going with Siddharth in his car towards Sushant Lok. Siddharth stays in Sarojini Nagar, right ? “
Ajita’s face was red.
“What are you trying to say ? My car was in the workshop and Sid offered to drop me home .. “
“Sid !… oh …” Aparajita rolled her eyes.
Ajita paced away towards her cubicle.
Aparajita walked slowly and confidently towards her cabin.
Apu … this is your chance … you have to win ..
Soni came late to office. She kept her laptop on her desk and went straight to Aparajita.
“Mam, I want to quit !” She blurted out.
Aparajita did not speak but kept on working on the appraisal excel sheet. Without looking ar Soni she said “Why ? “
“Mam … you know why !”
Aparajita looked at Soni. Her face was swollen. There were dark circles under her eyes. She had not slept.
Aparajita took her time to speak.
“Soni, if you resign now, the false statements will be proven true . Do you want that ? “
Aparajita will not let Soni make the same mistake which she once did.
“But Mam, I will not be able to work here. I feel so demotivated , insulted and hurt … “
“I understand dear lady. I know the feeling … trust me. You will leave, but only when you find a better offer and a better place to work. You will leave under your own conditions , not any condition imposed upon you, do you understand ?” .
Aparajita paused. She spoke softly.
“Soni, I am speaking to you not as your boss, but as a mentor , a female mentor. Understand that we females have a long way to go. Yes, we have crossed many bridges. We have had our wins . We are coming closer. But we have to cross lots of deserts, storms and torpedoes. We have to fight. “
“Mam … “
“Yes Soni. We will win. We have to win. Someday or the other. We will not give up !”
“But I am feeling so weak … “
“You are not weak. WE are not weak. It is just that millions of years have passed by and we have been trampled … slandered … But we will win … yes, we will … and we can !”
Apu could not …
“But to win, we have to tread carefully. Soni, will you follow my advise ?”
“Mam… have I ever not done so ? “
“See Soni, from today, you will talk to only the people with who you have work. If you meet someone, just greet them and nothing more . Be careful … people are watching you ..“
“But Mam, I will feel so stifled like this … “
“I know … but you have to follow this … but remember again, we have to tread a slippery path and we don’t want to slip . We have to be extra cautious …"
Aparajita’s heart was breaking into pieces. She knew that Soni will lose her natural sheen working like this.
“Ok… now let us get to work. Open the To-do list “ Aparajita tried to make the atmosphere normal.
After finishing their work, Soni stood up to go.
“Mam, I want to talk to Siddharth. How dare he talk about me like this . Everybody is talking about me, staring at me strangely. I will give him good. He should know that I am not on the wrong”
“Soni. Cut it out. Will you be able to stop the tongues wagging ? It will put more fuel .. “
“Mam… “ Sony paused and thought for a minute “ I have some pictures of Dey Sir … I want to show it to … Jaideep Sir .. “
“NO . You will not do anything unprofessional. Remember, this is a very small world and everything comes back one day or the other . No need to take revenge. Just do as I tell you to do “
Aparajita wanted to add and find a good job soon but professional ethics stopped her from doing so .
A dejected Soni left the cabin.
After lunch, Aparajita went to Jaideep.
“Jaideep, I have spoken to Soni and all these loose talks are, to be polite , shit of the bull !”
She narrated Soni’s version of the story.
“Jaideep, I am sorry to say, but Soni can file a Sexual Harassment case against the organization ! And then we will be in deep trouble !”
Jaideep’s eyes were wide and round .
“Did she say so ? “
“No … not quite , but she has a very good lawyer friend “.
“Oh no ! I don’t want any trouble. We have the launch of the e-commerce site next month and I want good publicity “.
“Well … let’s see what happens . And on top of that we might lose a very very good employee … “. Aparajita smiled contemptuously and left the worried CEO to himself.
She knew that there was a very thin line between the slur hurled at Soni and the abstract nature of the vilification for the Sexual Harassment case to be filed. But she derived a sadistic and a very satisfying pleasure in putting the fear of God in Jaideep, which in turn she knew will be transmitted to Maya.
Aparajita started loading Soni with more work. Soni did not get any time to get involved in other activities, much to the chagrin of the other Managers. But Soni lost her sparkle. Her natural ability and quality of collaboration and communication was smothered.
Aparajita’s heart wept for her.
Soni was also going thru the same feelings like the young Apu …and there was nothing that Aparajita could do about it .
4 months later
That too was a Saturday.
Aparajita was settling down with the literary section of the newpaper , when Soni called up .
“Mam, I want to talk to you . Is it a good time ?”
“Sure Soni ! Go ahead” . After a long long time Aparajita could sense some joy and excitement in Soni’s voice.
“Mam, I have got an offer letter from a German Company. I have received a 40% hike and a leap in my designation ! Should I take the offer ? I know that the audit is planned for next month and you need me .. “ She trailed off.
“Go for it girl !! And don’t worry about anything . I will manage. Just go !”
Aparajita was very happy.
Soni put in her resignation on Monday and wanted a release after 15 days – her due notice period. Aparajita booked her flight to Delhi for next week so that she could be with Soni in her last days in the organization.
Jaideep called up Aparajita and asked her to talk to Soni so that she could stay back. Aparajita smiled . There would be a huge gap in the organization with Soni’s exit.
“I know Jaideep. But she will not stay. And I don’t think we deserve Soni !”
Soni hugged Aparajita. There were tears in her eyes.
“Mam, I will never ever forget you … You are my mentor … in several ways.. and you always will be…”
Aparajita’s eyes were moist.
“All the best Soni ! I know you will do well in life !”
“I will now send my Goodbye mail to everybody ! “. She smiled mischievously. That smile … again after a long , long time !
But Aparajita understood the significance of that smile later …
Hello everybody ,
Today, in fact this hour, is my last hour in the organization. I have enjoyed working here. I have learnt a lot during my 4 years of tenure here. I have seen ups and downs , I have taken lessons both from the good and the not so good. I have known whom to emulate and whom I do not want to become. I have interacted closely with so many different people and everybody has left a mark on me and made me a better and a more mature professional. I have received lots of accolades and recognition for the work. At the same time I have undergone a few different type of experiences which I will never forget. I want to learn from all the experiences so that I can become not only a better professional but a better human being too.
I wish you all the best and as a token of love and remembrance, I am sharing a few pictures which I have collected during the course of my journey here.
Soni had pasted 4 pictures in the email.
The first one caught Aparajita’s attention very fast. Dey with another woman. Both Dey and the women were at a beach . Both were in swimming trunks and they were almost embracing each other.
That very second another rejoinder to the goodbye email came from Sony.
I apologize for pasting the wrong photograph of Dey Sir. That is not me in the pic but from his previous organization. I had received it from their HR person, a friend of mine , who was asking whether I knew Dey Sir or not and somehow it got saved in my photo repository.
Sorry Sir !
Soni had done it with elan, without being nasty or unprofessional.
Even if anyone had missed seeing the picture, now they will definitely look at it. Let Dey manage his wife now.
Through the glass door of her cabin, Aparjita could see Soni packing her bag. As she left her seat for ever, Soni glanced back, waved at Aparjita and winked.
Aparajita made a face and waved back.
The young Apu in her heart was dancing in glee.
Soni was having the last laugh, her last hurrah !