A Taste of Her Own Medicine
"Bye Papa," Bani said, as she
bent down to take her father's blessings. It was almost week since she had the
'talk' with her mother and made reservations back to Canada. While her mother
tried her best convince her otherwise, Bani remained firm on her decision and
refused to even talk to her.
"Take care Beta," Nishikant said.
"Dhyaan se jaana!"
"Papa," Bani said, rolling her
eyes. "How many times did I travel to Canada and back?"
Nishikant smiled. "But you are still
my baby. Kal jab tumhare baache ho, tab bhi tum meri bachi hi rahogi!"
Bani ignored the comment about her
children. That was not going to happen, but she didn't want to break the news
to her father yet. He had enough to worry about, without his daughter's broken
"Mujhe late ho raha hai," Bani
said. "I have to go." She gave one look to her mother, who remained
emotionless and said, "Bye Maa."
And with that, turned her back on India and
proceeded to the checkings. The lady at the counter smiled and asked for her
"I am sorry to say Ma'am," the
lady said, after scanning the barcode. "But your passport is
Bani raised her eyebrows in confusion.
"How is that possible? I just renewed it last year!"
"But it clearly says on the system
that your passport expired yesterday!"
Shocked, Bani looked at the computer screen
that the lady turned for her and sure enough, in big red letters, it said her
passport was expired.
"But I booked a ticket and
everything," Bani said.
"I am sorry Ma'am," the lady
replied. "But you cannot travel without a valid passport."
Bani was outraged. "Who is your
manager? Let me talk to him!"
"But it won't make a difference,"
the lady said calmly. "No one can do anything with an expired passport.
The only thing you can do is figure out how your passport expired early!"
Bani nodded dejected and took the number
for the passport office. After being on hold for more than an hour, she was
able to get in touch with a senior manager, who could not offer much of an
"An internal problem ma'am," he
"What problem?" Bani asked,
"Uhh... Paperwork. Your documents are
"Seriously?" Bani yelled.
"Thats all you can tell me after two hours of being on hold? What
paperwork? What went wrong?"
The manged fumbled, nervous at the direct
questioning. "I am sorry Ma'am, but I don't control whats wrong. I just
tell you whats on the computer!"
"Oh really?" Bani said,
sarcastically. "Then why the hell are you called a MANAGER? If you do not
tell me the issue, I will have to complaint against you!"
Now the man trembled and stuggled to find a
way to explain to his customer the fault. "No, please don't do that. I am telling
you, these are orders from board to cancel your passport and I can't do
anything about that!"
"And why would the board cancel my
"Umm... Well, think about it. The
board does only what benefits them. So, cancelling your passport would have
been profitable to them."
"You know... bribe..."
"BRIBE?" Bani was shocked.
"But... but that happens only in hindi movies!"
The man laughed. "But its true."
"Why would someone waste their money
to stop me from going?" And even as she said it, she understood.
"I don't know," the man replied,
relieved that Bani atleast stopped yelling. "I am sorry that I can't offer
"Thank you so much," she said, in
gratitude. "And sorry for yelling at you."
And ending the call, she instructed the
driver to take her to the Walia Industries.
* * *
Jai walked into the meeting room, to see
all the board members stand up to greet him. He nodded and sat down at the
"Good morning everyone," He
announced. "My father is out for the next week for the Pune project, so I
will be filling in since, as you will agree, Ranveer has enough to do already!"
Ranveer shot him a smile. "Not as much
you little brother," he replied.
Jai laughed. The board was surprised to see
their MD in a good mood, after almost a month. They all smiled to see him
happy, for Jai was more like a friend than thier boss.
"So, I know that this project is
dragging," Jai said, coming back to business. "And I want to know
why. For the first time in history, the Walia Industries are lagging
And with that the meeting started, as Jai
for the first time in days listened properly. The work, which seemed almost
boring in the last month, did not seem mechanical anymore and like once upon a
time, he enjoyed it.
It almost an hour later that the meeting
was suddenly interrupted.
As Jai listened to the finances department
explain the profit of the project, the door burst open and a fuming Bani walked
The room was silenced as everyone watched
Jai continue to sit quietly in his chair with a smile on his face. No one knew
or even suspected the elation of his heart as his eyes feasted on her.
"What the hell?" Bani yelled, not
bothering to stop and think that the entire board of the Walia Industries was
watching and listening to her.
"Good Morning Bani," Jai said,
not affected by her anger. "Aaj yahan kaise?"
Bani glared at him. "You very well
know why I am here! How dare you cancel my passport? Who the hell do you think
Everyone in the room looked away, not
wanting to hear this personal fight between their boss and his wife.
"If your passport is cancelled, then call
the agency. Not me."
Just when Bani was going to retort, Ranveer
cleared his throat. "Ahem... Ladies and gentlemen, lets take a short
break. We will resume the meeting after an hour."
"Fifteen minutes," Jai corrected.
Ranveer gave him a pointed look, which Jai
"We just need 15 minutes," Jai
Thankful, everyone left the couple alone.
Jai continued to sit in his chair, waiting for Bani to break the silence. When
she didn't intend on saying something, he said, "You were saying...?"
Bani glared at his cool posture. "I
was saying who the hell do you think you are to stop me from going to
"I think," Jai replied.
"That I am the MD of the Walia
Group of Industries and more importantly, your husband to stop you from running
"And so what? You control who leaves
the country and who doesn't?"
"Correction," Jai said with a
smile. "I control if my wife leaves the country or not."
"And since when do you consider me
your wife?" Bani fumed. "Why the sudden concern for me, when our
marriage was out of guilt?"
"True," Jai said, surprising
Bani. "But that doesn't give you the permission to leave. Since you claim
that our marriage was fake, you also have to prove it."
"What are you talking about?"
Jai smiled sarcastically. "The ever so
smart Bani, is not following me today?
Bani rolled her eyes. "If you think
that you can play these childish games with me, then keep dreaming!"
"I think you are mistaken," Jai
said. "You are the one who is being childish and running away, not me. It
is you that left for a month, without bothering to sort things out, not me. It
is you that is being childish and ignoring your family and their questions, not
Bani didn't reply.
"And I am tired of your childish games
Ms. Dixit," Jai said. "And hence, I decide to interfere."
"Oh really? And what is that?"
"As I was saying before," Jai
said. "You need to prove that our marriage is fake in court."
"And why would I waste my time doing
"Because I want a divorce."
There was silence in the room as Jai's
words hung in the air. It was few moments, before Bani spoke.
"Yes, divorce," Jai said,
standing up. "You have clearly expressed in the last month, you don't want
to live with me. And I dont know how this relationship will work if you don't
even want to see me. On top of that, I don't want to be bonded to a person, who
stopped caring whether I live or die. So, yes, a divorce... I want out of this
"So you are the one suffering
now?" Bani said, angry that Jai wanted divorce for himself. Despite
everything that happened, she still craved for the care he had for her. His
sudden lack of interest in her was painful. "And what about what I went
through for the past month?"
"Of course," Jai said, in a very
serious tone. "I understand the horror of you being called my wife, so
this divorce is partly because of you too."
Bani was shocked at his words.
"You are being surprised alot today I
see," Jai commented. "But never think I under estimate your
sufferings. Because I dont. Jai Walia always values hard work and since you
have put so much effot in the past month to remain miserable and angry, I won't
let it go to waste."
"Stop it!" Bani said, annoyed at
his serious tone and sarcastic comments.
"You see Ms. Dixit, its prudent for
you to understand this concept of divorce, as I don't have all day."
Bani closed her eyes in frustration.
"So, tomorrow at 10am, we will go see
the divorce lawyer, if you dont have any other appointments."
It was Bani's turn to laugh. "Seeing
that you can even bribe government officials, I don't see why you won't bribe
the lawyer. So, just tell me what you is it that you want."
Jai smiled. "Thats what I love about
you. You understand everything so easily. Your flight was at 9 o'clock and it
took you, what, an hour to figure out why your passport was cancelled?"
"I had help from the manager."
"I see," Jai said. "Its
still impressive though. Things do not usually trace back to me. Anyway, you
saved me time. About the lawyer, he already filed our case and before you ask,
yes, I even have the verdict."
"Our divorce is not approved,"
Jai said calmly. "Its because both your family and mine, have both
disagreed for it. However, I argued and
the usual procedure of the wife and husband living together for a year has been
put in place. But, like you correctly guessed, I bribed the judge to make it a
Bani didn't know what hurt more. The fact
that Jai wanted a divorce or that the fact that he willingly and purposefully
reduced their time together to one month.
"One.. month?" she whispered, the
truth finally sinking in.
"Yes," Jai continued, unaffected.
"And since you have your bags already packed, why don't you just move into
the Walia Mansion."
Bani didn't know how to react.
"And before you argue," Jai said,
watching her expressions closely. "No, we don't have a choice. We have to
live in the same room under the same roof for a month."
"No," Bani said, gaining her
voice back. "I am not living with you."
"With that attitude, you can increase
our time together for a year. And even if you don't mind, I do. So, yes, you
have to live me... for a month. Now, excuse me. I have a meeting to
And without a glance, Jai sat down and at
once became absorbed in his laptop. Having no other option, Bani left.
When the board finally assembled, Ranveer,
whispered "What happened?"
"Gave her a taste of her own
medicine," Jai said and told the finances to continue their presentation.