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HE - Episode 1

Discussion in 'HE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    HE

    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy

    Episode 1
    Timeline A


    The auditorium was full. It was the annual State convention of Advertising Agencies. There were more than a 1000 delegates in the hall. There was pin-drop silence in the hall, which was made semi-dark for a powerpoint presentation.

    The Master of Ceremonies was quite restless. She had one eye on her wrist-watch and another on the entrance of the hall. The waiting was killing and she badly wanted to do something about it. She pulled out her mobile set from her hand bag and started to punch numbers on it.

    Her table was a little away from the main podium. The convention organisers had wanted to provide some assistants to her to handle two days’ proceedings of the mamooth convention. She had flatly refused and had been handling the job all by herself.

    Of course in an emergency she could give a missed call to some of the members of the Organising Committee, who would rush to her place. That was what she did right now.

    Her complexion was dark. There was always an engaging smile on her face. She had come dressed in an off-white cotton saree and a sleeveless blouse. Her hair was cut in layers and curled. The shining black hair which just about touched her shoulders added an extra grace to her looks.

    Though she was sitting, one can easily guess that she was quite tall. Her facial features were not very sharp. But there was something in them that made people look at her, stare at her and even ogle at her.

    And precisely that was what many of the middle-aged delegates were doing at that time with the semi-darkness of the hall providing them an excellent cover.

    The Secretary of the Convention came running to the MC’s table in response to her missed call.

    “Any problem, Priya?” – the Secretary’s whisper was quite loud. A bunch of delegates sitting near looked in that direction.

    Priya placed her finger on her lips and told him in a barely audible whisper.

    “The valedictory session is right after this. We have barely twenty minutes to go. The Chief Guest for the Valedictory Session has not yet come.”

    “Oh, Priya, that’s Madhavan. You don’t have to worry about him. He will be on dot. He has never let us down in the past.”

    “He is cutting it rather too fine. Once this presentation ends, it will be difficult to hold the audience, if there’s a delay.”

    The Secretary laughed.

    “You know something, Priya? The delegates have been waiting all day only to hear Madhavan. This session is full because the delegates wanted to have advantageous seats for the next session. Madhavan is the best crowd-puller I have ever seen.”

    She was not impressed.

    “Ok, what shall I do after this session ends and he does not turn up? Ok, ok, he is reliable and will surely come. The audience will wait. But I want a Plan B.”

    “No need for Plan B with Madhavan. I tell you, once this is over, start introducing Madhavan. By the time you complete the intro, I am sure, he will be on stage. Is that clear?”

    “Very.”
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 2!

    Episode 1


    Timeline A


    At that very moment the subject of their conversation was walking towards the ample car park in his office complex. Another young man was following him carrying a sheaf of papers, a lap top and a couple of cell-phones.

    A black C 350 Mercedes Benz and a golden colour Honda Accord were waiting side by side, with their engines running and the chaffeurs waiting near the front door. Madhavan chose the Benz. And the two men got into the leather upholstered rear seats of the classy automobile.

    As soon as the car pulled out of its privileged parking place and started to glide on Khadar Nawaz Khan Road, Madhavan said,

    “Rishi, can you give me a brief on what they did for the last two days at the Convention?”

    Rishi was in his late twenties. Rishi was his Executive Assistant, the most coveted post in Madhavan’s company, Ad India Limited. In terms of power wielded, Rishi was next only to the CEO of the company, which was Madhavan himself.

    Rishi was an IIT and IIM graduate. Personally handpicked by Madhavan from the IIM Ahmedabad Campus. An investment bank in the US had already offered top money to Rishi.

    Madhavan upped that offer and brought him in. Rishi’s compensation package was far better than that of the heads of many nationalised banks doing business in lakhs of crores.

    Rishi had to be with Madhavan most of the time. Apart from overseeing his programme and travel, Rishi could take many decisions without even consulting Madhavan.

    Madhavan’s management style of having a powerful, well-qualified Executive Assistant had been the subject of a case study in one of the IIMs.

    Rishi smiled as he passed over a piece of paper to Madhavan. He had anticipated his Boss’ request and the smile was a kind of patting himself on his back.

    But many times his Boss had asked for something which he had not provided for. Working with Madhavan had been a profound learning experience for Rishi. He had learnt more during the last three years of working with him, than during all his IIT and IIM years put together.

    Madhavan’s decision making style, his eternal preparedness, the way he handled a crisis and above all his ability to remain cool even in the worst of the situations – well, one day, Rishi was going to write a book on them and was sure that book would be the prescribed text for the leading Business Schools of the country.

    He cast a sideward glance at his boss who was immersed in the paper in his hand.

    He looked better than most of the men who modelled for men’s suitings. Madhavan was tall at 6’ 1” . The unruly hair on his head contrasted by his clean shaven face made him irresistible to ladies.

    But Madhavan was not just handsome. There was something in his face, a vague sort of vulnerability which attracted people towards him. When Madhavan asked for help people thought he was doing a favour to them by giving them a chance to help him.

    Madhavan handed over the papers back to Rishi and looked lost in thought. He was actually preparing his valedictory address. He never believed in typed speeches. He had been wanting to tell something to the industry all along and he was just organising his thoughts.

    In spite of the reassurance given by the Secretary of the Convention, Priya was restless. She saw the time. Barely twelve minutes. ‘How the hell is he going to make it?’

    Then out of curiousity she pulled Madhavan’s biodata from her desk and started reading it.

    Madhavan never knew who his parents were. He grew up in a large orphanage in the outskirts of the city. My God! Priya thought. A classical rags to riches story.

    By the time the car reached the signal at the Gemini Flyover, Madhavan had finished preparing his speech. He knew how he would be introduced at the convention.

    They would say that he was an orphan and his was a rags to riches story. But not all things could be said on the intro.

    Madhavan never remembered living in a proper house with parents or relatives. His earliest childhood memories were in the orphanage he grew up.

    He remembered the Swamiji who was in charge of the orphanage. The Swamiji was a kind individual but never let his kindness stifle the growth of orphans under his care. He made them work, he punished them and subtly taught them what the world outside would be like.

    Madhavan was a care-free child at the orphanage. He never suspected of a possibility of life existing outside its claustrophobic buildings. But when he tasted outside life for the first time, it was a great shock for him. And his life-defining moment too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    Episode 1



    Timeline A


    Madhavan was hardly twelve. It was Deepavali time. The members of a voluntary service organisation had offered to take the children to their homes for the festival. Madhavan was assigned to the house of a very rich couple. They had come a day before the festival to pick him up.

    As Madhavan stood before Swamiji to take leave, Swamiji told him: “Be prepared for anything. The world outside is neither fair nor kind. Whatever happens, do not show any reaction in your host’s place. And do tell me later what happened and how you felt.”

    Of course it did not require any clairvoyance to issue such a warning. Swamiji had been seeing for years. Boys went out to hosts’ places in a state of ecstacy but came back crying in a state of disillusionment. And that, thought Swamiji, was the best practical demonstration of the outside world, which the boys had to see sooner or later.

    Madhavan’s hosts were very kind and sweet. They showered him with gifts. And they invited all their friends to show what they had for Diwali this year. A real orphan!

    And they were going to be so good to him that he would never forget his stay with them. Of course Madhavan could never forget the stay – and it was for the exactly opposite reasons.

    They had a boy who was of Madhavan’s age. The boy took an immediate liking for Madhavan. Soon the boys were playing together. They shared the same bedroom All went well till the next morning.

    The boys were woken up at four in the morning. They had their bath and were asked to wear the new, festival dress kept in another room. Both the boys ran to the room.

    The rich boy had a silk sherwani with dazzling art work in it, while Madhavan had a set of cotton shirt and shorts. Of course for Madhavan it was the best dress he ever had in his life. But besides that glittering sherwani his dress paled into insignificance. After all Madhavan was just twelve to know these differences.

    With a mind that only a child can have, he asked the rich boy, “Can we swap the dresses, Anand?”

    With a mind that only a child can have, Anand replied with a smile. “Sure.”

    Twenty minutes later the boys walked down the stairs, Madhavan dressed in the silk sherwani with glittering art work and Anand in the nondescript dress intended for Madhavan.

    The lady of the house was waiting with a camera on her hand to capture the boys in their new dresses. The moment she saw them her face darkened. She did not even have the grace to hide her feelings.

    She grabbed Madhavan’s shoulders violently.

    “Why the hell are you wearing my son’s dress?”

    Even then Madhavan was not disturbed. He was not old enough to pick up the body-language of hatred so manifest in the lady.

    “I asked Anand if I can swap my dress with him. He said yes…..”

    Anand was telling his mother that it was all right. But the lady would not listen. She slapped Madhavan on his face with such a force that Madhavan would have fallen down, had not Anand held him.

    “You worthless orphan! How dare you wear this dress? Do you know how much this costs? Five thousand bucks. And you cooly swapped your worthless piece of dress for this. That’s why I have been tellling that people should be kept in the places where they belong. And you, you, belong to the orphanage. Not here. “

    Madhavan was stunned. After a while he told them in a drained voice, that he wanted to go to the orphanage. They unceremonioulsy dropped him there, of course only after making Madhavan take off the expensive Sherwani.

    Madhavan had his pride in tact and flatly refused to wear the new dress they had bought for him or take the gifts they had given him the previous day.

    He donned his old clothes and went crying into the arms of Swamiji.

    “You feel hurt? You are stung, right? And you want to slap that lady on her face, right? Well, she deserves that is another matter.

    “But son, she represents the outside world. The typical,materialistic, selfish world where there is no love. But wait. What do you think about the boy? Didn’t he give his dress just for the asking? The world has good people too.”

    Madhavan was still crying.

    “You want to take a revenge, right? Yes. You will, eventually. And I will help you. But remember son, revenge does not mean slapping the lady.

    "She did not just slap you on your face. She hit your pride. She gave a blow to your self-esteem. You need to study well and succeed in life. And there could not be a sweeter revenge than your success. Start working for it from today.”

    For Madhavan the lesson was too powerful to ignore. To become successful became a magnificent obsession for the happy-go-lucky boy who had not so far taken his life seriously.

    Madhavan joined an ad agency when he was 20, when he was barely out of college. He was a creative genius in his profession and by the time he was 32 he was the CEO of his own company Ad India.

    The Benz had reached Hotel Chola Sheraton, the convention venue.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 4!

    Episode 1


    Timeline A


    And today his company Ad India Limited has a billing of close to a hundred million. One of the ad agency giants Lintas is sourcing out its prestigious work to Ad India. The Business Week has listed Ad India as the fastest growing advertising agency in the South……”

    Priya was introducing Madhavan. The audience stood up and applauded as Madhavan walked to the centre stage. What a perfect timng! Priya could not help admire the man.

    “And ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Madhavan, CEO, Ad India.” The applause was deafening now.

    Madhavan waved his hands to the audience.

    Priya wanted to tease him. She knew very well that Madhavan was not married yet and as on date the most eligible bachelor in town.

    Nevertheless she wanted to embarrass him. And she spoke on the mike in the naïve tone of a MC who wants to make every thing interesting,

    “And Mr.Madhavan a small question, before you start to speak.”

    Madhavan saw Priya for the first time.

    “May I know Mr.Madhavan why haven’t you brought your wife along?”

    Even from that distance Priya’s beauty captivated Madhavan. And her courage in asking that question impressed him. He knew that she wanted to tease him. Because the whole world knew that he was not married.

    The hall was silent for a few seconds. Madhavan recovered himself.

    “Lady, for that to happen, they should have postponed this convention by a year. Because I have planned to get married only next year.”

    The audience applauded. But Madhavan was not done yet.

    “And lady, may I know why have you not brought your husband along?”

    The audience applauded again. The lights were now on Priya.

    She shivered. She tried hard to hide her tears. But she could not. She was lost for words. But that was only for a few seconds.

    Then she wiped her tears, forced a smile on her lips and talked in the microphone.

    “For that to happen, they should have held this convention a year ago. Yes, my husband died last year.”

    An uncomfortable silence enveloped the hall. Madhavan did not know how to respond. It was game,set and match for Priya.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
    MSNR and blessbabydust like this.
  5. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,


    Is it possible for you to post the whole story in one go. ?? I dont think i can wait every saturday for so many weeks for the whole plot!! :mad:

    Superb start. In football lingo that was a touch down punt!!

    Too bad, i could have stayed up burning the midnight oil to read the whole story.( and yes hubby and kids would have to eat pizza:spin)

    Vandhana
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sridhar,
    You have started answering your Accounts Paper very well, in your typical way.
    This is not a retort to your reply to me, in the curtain raiser;
    You wrote to me
    I did miss you for a long time and am happy to see you back with your typical FB.
    Well, only shows, we both have not changed inspite of no exchange of posts in your “SHE”.

    You are starting with the eternal equation of mankind
    But there was something in them that made people look at her, stare at her and even ogle at her.

    The unruly hair on his head contrasted by his clean shaven face made him irresistible to ladies.

    I liked the way, you gave a glimpse of the two sides of a coin – the mother’s and the son’s attitude in the sherwani dress incident.

    Typical “rich” beginning, with
    A black C 350 Mercedes Benz
    a silk sherwani with dazzling art work in it

    I am waiting to read your novel dessert ideas, you invariably introduce in your stories, of late !
    Grand beginning, Sridhar !
    Love,
    Chithra.


     
  7. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Thank you for your Diwali Gift!

    Mr HE is all glittery and glamorous and suits the sparkling mood of Diwali, to say the least:)

    Yes Sridhar, like my valuable friends have said here, Grand beginning indeed and can't wait....can we please have the whole story??:)

    If this is the sample of what's to come, I can imagine the excitement that awaits us.

    Nice Sridhar...

    L, Kamla
     
  8. padmasowrirajan

    padmasowrirajan Senior IL'ite

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    A trio plot, interesting!

    Wow, wonderful start. So the plot is going to go around Madhavan, Rishi(are you obsessed with the name??) and Priya.Now, you have left me to wonder what's going to be the plot with the trio. What happened from 20 to 32 (is it going to be just a history) or what to happen after 32, of madhavan??This question is going to haunt me till next saturday!!!! Intro
    My heart went out to the twelve-year old child and the lady on the podium. Will their paths cross again after the meeting,hope it does?Let me wait and see!
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vandhana,

    It is more a feeling of relief than happiness when I saw your post. I now feel that I have delivered what was expected of me.

    Can I give the whole story in one go? I can. But then it will not be as interesting as the weekly packets. Nor will there be the excitement which comes only in waiting.

    Osho Rajneesh whenever he talked in a gathering used to make a lot of pauses. One reporter asked him ,"Why so many pauses Osho? Don't you think that is a waste of our time?"

    Osho replied with his usual indulgent smile, "Well, I convey my message more in the pauses than when I do the actual talking."

    So Vandhana to paraphrase my favourite rascal saint (whose book I am translating right now) the story gets built up during the weekly intervals.

    Again when I write week after week afresh, you get freshly cooked food. If I give it in one go.... well it will be like the food offered by a busy NRI working woman in the US. Cooked for the whole week and thawed every day.

    Please tell me what do you prefer. Fresh cooked food or refrigierated one?

    As one of the finest cooks I know, I am sure you will prefer the former.

    regards,
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra, (h in its place)

    This is what I have been looking for. Now I can go home peacefully and prepare for the Financial Management Paper. (The second exam in my CA Final)

    A writer's work will be authentic only if he had undergone a similar experience personally. I want to substantiate on this statement. But cant do it, because you know better, that my better half is also an ILite. I do not want to disturb the peace at the homefront.

    Well, I was interacting with a nutrition expert who gave some good dessert ideas which I used in SHE. Will I have the same luck for HE as well? I don't know. But as we switch between timelines and as the story unfolds, you will find the going so hot, that you will not have any time for a proper dessert.

    Thanks. Pray for me that I should sustain this in future episodes as well. Especially when we shift to Timeline B.

    Thanks once again for the FB.

    Love,
     

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