Joined: 05 November 2009
Joined: 22 September 2012
Shipra was watching TV. She was channel-surfing and stopped suddenly to read the FLASH NEWS. She immediately called Sudheer. He rushed there, read it and could not believe his eyes. He said "KYA!" Sudheer called up other family members. Within minutes, the Kapoors and Sharmas were glued to their TV sets.
At Kapoor Mansion
Peehu came home and obeyed her mother. She recalled her mother's words "…refresh karlo and watch TV". "Maa itne cool kab se ho gayi" she said to herself and happily turned on the TV. She started to switch channels and halted at one of them.
The Breaking News banner read:
"Priya Ram Kapoor Quits Business, Embraces Teaching. Live and exclusive interview with Mr and Mrs. Ram Kapoor coming up at 18:00 hours. Stay tuned!"
At the Media Conference Room
(It was a huge room with a seating capacity of 500 and was diagonally behind Kapoor Mansion. The entrance to it was from the road behind the mansion.)
Priya desperately waited for Ram. At 5:58PM, he arrived. He looked tired as he entered the hall. Priya was waiting for him near the entrance. He smiled at her and she smiled back. They both walked towards the dais.
Priya: "Kaise hai aap, tired lag rahe hai"
Ram smiled (he had not heard her): "You look gorgeous in this sari Priya."
Ram: "Sacchi mucchi"
They both exchanged a little glance and realized they were near their chairs by now. Ram pulled out a chair and offered her to sit. She thanked him and sat. Ram sat next to her and pulled out a handkerchief to wipe his swat. Priya pushed her bangle back, set her hair and set her bindi.
Reporter: "Sir, should we wait for Peehu?"
That didn't go well with Ram!
Ram: "Gentleman, please address her as MISS Peehu Ram Kapoor (stressing each word)
Priya was smiling to herself seeing how Ram was possessive not just about Peehu but even about her name. The reporter apologized.
Ram: "It's alright. She is too young to join us."
Cameras flashed. Video reels rolled. Lights beamed. A barrage of questions began…
Priya: "The company is under safe hands (looking at Ram), the momentum is good. So it's a perfect time to move on. I had been contemplating a career change in a while after thirteen years with the company."
Priya smiled: "Please subtract one year. I took a year's sabbatical when our daughter was born."
Priya: "I have seen the company grow from strength to strength. Ram has carried it on well and built it to what you see today. I got to work closely with Ram and offer my 2 cents and he was ever so encouraging. So it's been a fantastic experience."
Priya: "My daughter needs my time and attention. About a month ago Peehu told us that her teacher Mrs. Jaya who mentored her was quitting the school shortly. We did not want Peehu to miss on guidance. So Ram and I visited her teacher the very next day and had a detailed talk to understand Peehu's needs. It was my chance to spend quality time with my daughter and I encashed on it. So I submitted my resignation to Ram that evening. He took care of the relieving formalities. I have been studying her syllabus since then. I hope to fill in for Mrs. Jaya. Time will tell."
Priya laughed: "Peehu loves surprises so I hadnt mentioned a word. She was delighted to find me land in her classroom today. Only Ram, Vikram and I were aware of the plans."
(Peehu who was watching the live coverage on TV was in for another surprise. Her parents did all that ground work and she had no clue. She had assumed her parents to be too busy to pay her attention…)
Priya laughed again: "The school management told me I am over-qualified. I had to demonstrate Physics and Math lessons to the school authority. I must have done something right there to gain this job. Btw teaching is not new to me. I coach at our NGO in my free time. Plus have sincerely learnt high-school Physics and Math syllabus!"
Ram liked her response, he acknowledged it.
Priya's heart sunk. Yes, she would miss Ram dearly and clearly. Who else knew the pain better than her? She tried to answer but got emotional. Ram sensed her discomfort. It was a live telecast so Ram handed her a tissue from beneath the table and squeezed her hand slightly, as if to tell her he will take care. He drew a sheet of paper closer to her and signalled to her to read it. She bent her head and pretended to read. Ram cleared his throat and started to speak.
Ram: "Let me answer it. Trust me…I am extremely happy that Priya resigned."
Priya was stunned and so was everyone else. She could not believe what she just heard. Her emotion changed from sadness to anger. The room became noisy as everyone started discussing among themselves. Ram remained composed.
Ram: "Let me complete. The company had to pay Priya a fat salary for 12 years for her brilliant ideas and contribution. Going forward I will get them for free! Isn't that a good thing? Our company is a family-run business and she is family. So nothing prevents me from discussing company matters with her - at home, at ease, unofficially. (He looked naughtily at Priya and continued) Every morning I can gather her ideas over a cup of tea, go to the office and present that idea as if it were my own. So there's nothing for us to miss."
The room burst into laughter and Ram got a round of applause. An amused Priya looked at Ram. He was smiling at her, anticipating appreciation. Priya whispered "Not bad, my polar bear is smart."
Ram: "Mota kaha tuu ne mujhe?"
Priya: "Arre kab kaha mota? Waise Ram log dekh rahe hai, so please…"
Ram thought of something. He put his tongue out, twisted it across his lips and smiled.
Ram stood up: "Thanks all, that's all we had."
The reporters thanked the couple and left the room. Ram asked Priya to leave for KM and assured he will join her soon. She agreed.
Priya kissed her: "Most welcome beta. Ok let me change and come back. Papa thode der me ayenge, saath mein dinner karenge."
In about 30 mins from then Priya got a call from an unknown number. Someone said "Thanks Ma'am for your quick response. They will be published in our 'Frankly Speaking' column. You can read it tomorrow morning. I must tell you, we did not expect such replies." Priya was too tired to probe. She thanked the caller and ended the call.
Ram came home to a loud reception by Peehu. She screamed with joy, hugged him and kissed him. He reciprocated with an equal enthusiasm. Priya was smiling at the sight. Nothing new, she thought.
Ram: "Priya, woh 'Frankly Speaking' magazine se abhi koyi call aaya tha kya?"
Priya: "han but I dint understand head or tail of what he spoke."
Ram: "They are based in Delhi. They tried to call you this morning but your phone was switched off. So they gave me a questionnaire and asked me to get your responses. I wrote the responses on your behalf and faxed it back now. Kal subah padh lena internet par."
Priya sat on the bed and stretched her legs: "Hmm. Waise kya questions the? What did you reply…who bhi mere behalf par?"
Ram handed her a sheet of paper: "Padh lo"
Priya read the contents and jumped out of the bed: "Yeee…Don't tell me this…this non-sense will be published..now I can relate to what that guy said…RAAAM HOW COULD YOU?"
Ram smiled: "Polar bear kaha na mujhe madam…ab jhel lijiye" and sat for dinner.
Peehu: "Kya hua?"
Priya: "Ku…kuch…kuch nahi."
Priya read the contents again. (Here is what naughty Ram had written on her behalf)
Qn 1: Now that you have a 6-hour job per day, how do you intend to spend spare time?
Mrs Priya Ram Kapoor: I'll ensure Ram comes home early every day. Then I'll load Peehu with lots of reading and writing, so she cannot disturb us you know…
Qn 2: Any plans for a vacation?
Mrs Priya Ram Kapoor: Of course. I wont disclose the location right now. Btw, Peehu wont accompany us. J
Qn 3: Tell us one thing about your husband that we do not know.
Mrs Priya Ram Kapoor: Is that important? Some things are best left unsaid.
Priya was shocked. What had Ram done!
Ram: "Aao na Priya, dinner karenge."
Priya did not respond. She was fuming. She could not say anything – Peehu was there and the response was faxed to that company. She cried.
Ram rushed to her: "Oye oye Priya…yaar tum ro rahi ho…arre ro mat…you know I cant handle it dear…please please Priya"
Priya: "Get lost Ram, I hate you!"
Peehu was upset and helpless at the same time.
Ram: "Ok I'm sorry I'm really sorry…dekho I was lying to you ok? Mazaak kar raha tha darling…please don't cry."
Priya wiped her tears: "What? I don't believe you."
Ram: "Arre tumne mujhe polar bear kaha na tho I wanted to tease you…isi liye ye sab."
Priya: "Tho wo phone call?"
Ram: "Arre yaar maine STD booth se call kiya tha…Rahul se bath karwaya. You can ask him. Waise wo publication doesn't exist. And this questionnaire was made up…sirf tumhe chidhaane ke liye."
Ram (wiping her tears and caressing her hair): "Sacchi mucchi"
They hugged each other.
Peehu: "Excuse me..pehle dinner kar lijiye then you can get back to this pose."
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