Ram felt his heart stop as she passed through his cabin again. ‘It was a feeling he never experienced even when he was married’, he thought as he glanced at the family photo in his desk. . ‘This feels like a Teenager.. I should start concentrating on my work.’ Pause on her thoughts was only temporary and as he came out of his cabin for tea, he saw her again. This time their eyes met and it appeared to him as if she smiled at him.
‘Wow! what a girl…’ his collegue remarked as she passed through. She had a very beautiful face, delicate features couple with bubbly personality made her a head-turner. .
‘ Who is she?’ Ram asked
‘Must be some fresher.’ Came the reply.
Ram was curious to find out who she is, but he was in a senior position in office; he couldn’t risk his name by enquiring about a girl who is not related to him work-wise.
Ram ‘s day was usually busy packed with lot of meetings and conference calls. He barely managed to reach home before nine. Many a times, he reached home late to avoid the fights at home. That day proved no different. His wife was ranting about how she is taking care of the children like a single mother to which Ram fought back citing the work pressure he has at office.
Their marriage was definitely strained even though they were married for more than thirteen years. At first his wife, wanted him to scale great heights in career and settle the family financially. When he did so, she complained on him spending lesser time at home. Both kept accusing each other. Their conversations were mostly regarding the children, which Ram didn’t take much interest on.
The girl, from office was kissing him passionately and Ram was lost to the world. He was sad to realize it was a dream. Accidently that minute his wife opened her eyes and after many days Ram made love to his wife. He imagined the girl in the office as his wife and the experience was out of the world.
Ram passed next few days in office lusting over the girl whenever she passed his cabin. It appeared to him as if she is smiling at him whenever she passes his cabin. He too couldn’t take her out of his mind; he started collecting details about her. Her name is Sadhana, Age 21 and she joined the organization as a fresher.’ Why mind is unable to forget someone who is almost twenty years younger than me? He used to think.’ But he didn’t know the answer instead his mind dwelled on her thoughts deeply.
The fights at home were becoming lesser, after he started imagining Sadhana in place of his wife. He suddenly enjoyed sipping coffee, going for dinner with her as what he saw there was Sadhana. Ram started checking her face book profile. In fact, he has created a fake profile and sent her a friend request which she declined.’ There must be a way to get every woman and I have power and money which these young girl fall for’, he thought.
Due to some change in Organizational structure, Sadhana was now in a fourth down reporting to him. ‘Soon I’ll get her’, his inner voice was saying. Surprisingly enough that day came sooner than Ram imagined.
Ram’s manager was in India for an official visit and that made him busy for an entire week. With packed schedules and back-to-back meetings, Ram didn’t leave office until late every evening. It was while waiting for lift, Ram realized it is raining outside and almost entire office was deserted. Ram heard some footsteps behind him and found it to be Sadhana’s. He said a silent thanks to god.
“What are you doing here so late?” Ram asked her authoritatively.
“I left the house key in office rack. Since it’s raining outside, I couldn’t go out.’ She replied. Her voice was much tensed as she was worried about reaching home.
“Where are you living?” Ram asked. He made up his mind to drop her home, how much ever distance it is. Thankfully, she was living in a area nearby to Ram’s place. Though at first, she was bit hesitant to come, after realizing there are no other options she obliged. ‘Day for a good beginning’, Ram chuckled with the thought.
Traffic was annoyingly heavy because of the congested roads. But Ram was delighted to spend extra minutes in car with her. He put her in ease by asking her about simple things like her college, family etc. She told him that she was from a small town, brought up by a single mother. She is living alone from her mother for the first time as her mother’s job is not transferable. Sadhana was almost at ease talking with Ram, her initial fear and hesitation of talking to a senior person in office is completely gone.
‘I love the family photo on your office desk. In fact it makes me smile, everytime I look at it.’ Sadhana told after sometime.
‘Gives the same effect to me’, Ram replied. Inside he was annoyed as he came to know her smile was at the photo, not at him.
“Also it reminds you that you have a family waiting for you.” She remarked. Before Ram was thinking about changing the topic, she continued “My dad had an affair with his secretary who was almost half his age. That had a devastating effect on my family and my parents separated. It made me appreciate those who love their family and that made me respect you. “
Traffic brought Ram’s car to stand still. He looked at her silently. Ram’s mobile rang breaking the silence. It was his wife asking when we will he reach home. He replied that he will reach shortly after dropping someone home. Ram looked at Sadhana and smiled, she prevented him from being the man her father was.