(This is a work of pure fiction and meant as a light read without intending to cause any offence to anyone in particular)
Me: “Maaaa, I’ve got the job I interviewed for in the MNC, last week. I’ll be joining as an Assistant Project Manager.” (I squeal excitedly.)
Ma: It is a wonderful news child. But what about the proposal which Sandhya Aunty has got? What should I tell her? Have you thought about it? The family is waiting.
Me: Forget it Ma. I have just landed up with this job. What’s the hurry to get married? Give me some time.
Ma (fiddle-footed by now): Dear, look at your age! You are already 26. How long do you intend to wait? Don’t you want to marry? You need to get serious about this.
Me: Oh Come on Ma! Don’t pester me now. You know I wish to settle down first for which I need time. (My tone then changing snobbish) Besides, what kind of alliances is Sandhya Aunty fetching for me? Look at the boy’s surname…’Jhandu’…Don’t you know what it even means? I will be made fun of lifelong. I don’t want to even look at such a proposal.
Ma: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Check facts properly, meet the boy and then decide. You need to approach things with an open mind.”, Mom hollers and then leaves the room sighing in hopeless resignation. She knows she cannot force me into anything…. especially not on this one. No point in even trying it, as her well-earning, know-it-all daughter who is forever headstrong, will never listen.
As for me, I sneak a smug, triumphant look at her retreating back, letting her off, with an unconcerned shrug of my shoulders. I probably intend to marry someone of my choice which I can now look forward to.
Couple of months pass and everything is forgotten. My new supervisor is joining next week, with whom I’ll be closely working on an important project and sharing a long-term collaboration. I’m informed he’s handsome as a hunk and super excited to know he’s a wizard in our field of work. I eagerly look forward to fraternizing with him.
Mr. Kairav is introduced to us and he emerges to be one with a dashing personality. Also turns out he’s unmarried and somehow, the fact pleases me. Finally, I get my chance to enter his cabin, which I do, hopeful and quivering with a well-matted nervousness.
His door being ajar, I peep inside. He is poring over a file when he notices me:
“Hello Naira come in and please do take a seat. Kairav…”, he gets up and offers me a formal handshake, coupled with a winsome smile. I am now floored to the boots and get a little more jittery with excitement, which I mask effectively.
“Yes sir”, I stammer.
“Naira, of all the people, at least you don’t call me Sir”, he replies colloquially.
Seeing him easy-going and friendly, I warm up a bit, breaking into a smile, something which instantly disappears when my gaze falls upon the name plate kept on his desk, reading in bold letters, “Mr. Kairav Jhandu”.
I look at him totally flabbergasted and stammer apprehensively. Was he the one I rejected a couple of months ago? What they say about Karma is then probably true. That if she is a bitch, I certainly deserved this bitch-slap. Now I’m completely unsure of even my future in this organisation. How am I going to work with him or even look him in the eye? I somehow wrap up this meeting and excuse myself, for now.
Next day, I reach office a little later than usual. With this disconcert swallowing me, as I am re-organising my desk, I discover a box of chocolates along with a note that read, “Naira, thank you for rejecting me. Because of you I am going to be engaged to the love of my life. I am finally glad to see you in person and happy that we met at last. I look forward to sharing a great work rapport with you as my colleague and friend. Welcome to my team.”
I gawk at it stupidly, a small solace creeping my heart. Forget the boy, at least my future in this organisation is not over-cast.Kairav Jhandu has indeed turned out to be a genuinely nice person whereas I lacked in basic courtesy. As a lesson, next time, I’ve decided never to reject a boy on an inappropriate premise…at least not on the basis of his surname.
Besides, each person deserves a respect that I must accord and it’s unfair to judge anyone without knowing them. Also, if marriage was important to me, I need to respect the process as well, giving each one a fair chance while keeping an OPEN MIND.
Ma was right…I need to be truly serious.