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SHE - Episode 10

Discussion in 'SHE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy
    Episode 10

    Shalini chose an raw silk saree in jet black with a plain choli with straps that went well with the necklace and highlighted it. As she got into her car and fingered the jewel looking in the rear view mirror, she indulged in a wicked moment of imagining the shock on Jaggi’s face when he saw that necklace on her.

    Little did she know then that her shock would be much, much greater.

    Shalini was early for the year-end party. The CEO of the company and a few other executives had arrived early to greet everyone. The CEO welcomed Shalini warmly with a hug. Social graces were high since it was a light evening. Soon both the ladies were nursing a Mojito, talking shop.

    The CEO had her own share of problems. She was constantly hard pressed for time and was always in a frenzied state. No wonder she did not notice the expensive jewel adorning Shalini.

    The CEO went away to freshen her glass. Shalini instincively looked at the door. It swung open to let in Nandini, working in the PR Department of the company.

    The CEO was now walking towards Shalini with her drink. Nandini was also walking towards Shalini. When Nandini was fifteen feet away, turning her head the other side and greeting a colleague, Shalini understood what was happening and she immediately retreated.

    Yes, Nandini was wearing that Rs. 158000 necklace. Shalini ran to the ladies rest room unable to hold tears of betrayal and humiliation.

    Nandini was an unusually tall woman – 5’ 10”. With a well endowed body she was a dream girl to the men in the office. To the women and the men not smitten by Nandini colleagues`, she was an eye sore.

    The ladies had secretly nicknamed her the Office Vamp, OV. There would be a hardly a private meeting of women in the office in which OV’s dress sense, or the obscene lack of it would not be discussed.

    OV would come dressed in a tight fitting jeans and a tighter-fitting T-shirt distracting men and irritating women. Office dress code seemed to be non-existent for Nandini.

    OV was sadly challenged on the brains side, but she had enough street smartness to know where her endowments lay and how to use them to her advantage. The PR Manager used her as a bait to get things done with Government Departments.

    When the company had problems with the Central Excise Department, OV was despatched along with some Accounts Personnel. Her presence did make a difference and soon the matter was disposed in company’s favour. OV had earned her salary, playing a modern day corporate Menaka.

    In the absolute privacy of the rest room Shalini could not help wondering, “But how come my Jaggi, my dear Jaggi, fell prey to her charms?”

    She tried to console herself. ‘May be she had bought an identical piece herself.’ But then she remembered the words of the jeweller. ‘Madam, we have sold only two pieces of this exquisite necklace. And both are with you.’

    Shalini’s mind warned her that she was racing to ill founded conclusions. Her intellect replied sarcastically that it did not require a genius to make out that two and two would equal four in this case.

    Anyhow Shalini wanted to get to the bottom of the issue before taking any decision. She wanted the bare truth before she decided.

    She dabbed her tears, touched up her mascara and walked out of the rest room feigning a smile. There was more of pain than feigned happiness in it.

    A forced smile strains the mind a lot more than outright crying. Shalini felt the strain.

    She was of course careful enough to take off her necklace and place it safely in her hand bag.
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  2. varalotti

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    Part 2!

    She picked up another goblet of a drink and went directly to Nandini.

    “Evening, Shalini.”

    “Evening, Nandu. So how are you? Wow, that’s an exquisite piece of jewellery. I think it’s the newest design.”

    “Yes, Shalini. It is.”

    “I love it. Where did you get it? Bombay?”

    Shalini was hoping upon hope that she would at least name another jeweller putting her worst fears to rest. But Nandini loftily murmured the same jewellers name.

    “Shalini, are you all right? What happened?”

    “No, nothing. I slept badly last night and now it is telling on my nerves. Nandini, that jewel should have cost you a fortune.”

    “Come on, Shalini. You make a guess.”

    Shalini had to put on enormous efforts to appear thinking about the price. Well, she could even say the invoice number and the shops sales tax registration number. How could she ever forget those details?

    “Well, Nandini, the design is the latest. It is set in Hallmark 916 KDM gold. The centre-piece is a rock, a very precious diamond. I wont be surprised if it costs more than a lakh of Rupees. Why even one and a half lakhs, given the gold price today.”

    “Wow… You are off the mark by just Rs.8000. It cost Rs.158000.”

    ‘I know that, you slut.’ Shalini’s mind shouted to her.

    “Of course it cost me nothing. It was a gift.”

    ‘I know that also, bitch’ thought Shalini

    Both the ladies turned to the door which now swung open to let in, who else but, the man of the hour- Jaggi.

    Now Shalini had churned herself into a belligrent mood. She was especially bitchy when she talked to Jaggi.

    “Jaggi, did you see this necklace? Exquisite, yaar. Why didn’t you get something like this for my birthday? You got me an dull, old-fashioned gold ring.”

    Jaggi went pale.

    Nandini retreated from them with a lame excuse. Jaggi and Shalini were left alone.
    Shalini was watching him with a wicked smile. Then she opened her handbag and took out her copy of that jewellery. She flaunted it before Jaggi.

    “Shalini, I need to talk to you.”


    “Let’s not do it here. We’ll go to the car park.”

    “Shalini I can explain.”


    They were in the almost deserted area of the hotel’s enormous car park. Some drivers of the parked cars were on the other side of the park where there was a bright light. Jaggi and Shalini stood in relative darkness.

    “We had some service tax problems with our Pune Office.”

    “I know.”

    “I went there last month to sort out the issues. I was there for ten days; but the Department was tough. They threatened to levy a huge penalty. I called the CEO. She told me that Nandini had some friends there and that she was sending her there.

    “Nandini’s friend was really poweful and our problems disappeared in no time. The work was over late in the evening and we were booked in the early morning flight. Nandini insisted that we stay in the same room.

    “I should have said a firm no. But I confess, Shalini, it was a weak moment for me. I was away for ten days. I succumbed to her charms. But believe me Shaloo, I did not have anything else in my mind other than a one night’s stand.

    “And the bitch clicked some pictures in her mobile phone. She threatened to show them to you unless I get her that necklace. I was trapped, Shalini.”

    Shalini had a stony expression in her face. Anger, grief, betrayal and humiliation – all these feelings crowded her mind and had immobilised it.

    “Believe me, Shalini, the whore, she seduced me. I was busy with my laptop. She dressed herself in a transparent teddy, came near me and…”

    “Stop it. Please spare me those lurid details.”

    “Shaloo, you will never know, Shaloo, I cried over that incident for many nights. You will never know how I suffered all these days.

    “Well, I cant say that I am blameless. But given that kind of temptation, given those circumstances, I did only what any other man would have done. Please understand, Shaloo. I am not a saint.”

    Shalini’s face looked like a stone sculpture. There was no trace of any feeling or emotion in it.

    Jaggi was terrified of Shalini’s expression. He tried to shake her with his hands.

    “Please Shalini, tell me something. Please speak. What’s your response…. Please tell me….”

    She changed her handbag from her right hand to her left and slapped Jaggi on his face with her right hand. The sound made a few drivers run to the scene.

    “This is my response, you unfaithful cad.”
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    Shalini was driving her father’s Skoda on the East Coast Road. She could easily rid Jaggi out of her house and out of her life, but not out of her mind. She had to concede that the two years spent in his company was one of the happiest periods of her life.

    Had Shalini been living alone after her divorce, by this time she might have gotten used to that solitude. She would have become friends with her loneliness and might have even chosen that as a way of her life. But during the last two years she had been used to company, the company of a young, handsome, virile man. ‘Male company is habit forming’ Shalini smiled at her own aphorism.

    Jaggi was ready to do anything in retribution. He was even prepared to marry Shalini to show his love and commitment. At the least he wanted to talk further on the issue. He did not want to lose her. But an emotionally spent Shalini made herself clear to him.

    “Jaggi, I could have overlooked your indiscretion, had you told me about it soon after it happened. Though I am not sure, I would have considered pardoning you. But you wanted to hide it from me. That hurt me a lot. Yes, I can forgive you and we can continue to live as if nothing happened.

    “But I will never have the same kind of the faith in you that I had earlier. Whenever you are away travelling, I will have those fears and suspicions. I think the relationship is over. It’s better for both of us that we part now.After all ours is not a formal marriage to try hard to work on it. It’s just a live-in. Lets take the full advantage of this arrangement.”

    Shalini was quite generous to Jaggi. She let him keep the Honda City she gifted to him. When Jaggi told her that if they parted it would be difficult for them to work together for the same company in the same department, Shalini surprised him with her words.

    “I know that. So I am putting in my papers. I know that this job means a lot to you. I also heard from the corporate grapevine that the present CEO may opt for an early retirement next year. She wants to be with her daughter in the US. You are likely to promoted as the CEO soon. Best of luck.”

    Jaggi packed his things and left her place as unceremoniously as he came in.

    “But given that kind of temptation, given those circumstances, I did only what any other man would have done.”

    For no rhyme or reason the words uttered by Jaggi on the hotel’s deserted car park came to her mind. Was that true?

    Shalini could not help thinking about Rishi. In similar circumstances Rishi would not have opted to stay with another woman in the same room. But even if he had she was sure he would not have touched that woman.

    Shalini also remembered her final interview with the CEO of the company. She told her that she was quitting to look after her father’s consulting practice. She did not say anything about Jaggi’s cheating on her.

    That might cast some black marks on him and might hinder his career. But she told the CEO that they were separating.

    “He is not my type of man. I think I might have to look out for a better man.”

    Shalini said that with a forced smile. She had to strain herself a lot to bring out that lie.

    The CEO was shocked.

    “Shalini, what I am saying is off the record and purely in my personal capacity, as your friend and another woman. When you and Jaggi started to live together I felt bad about myself.

    “I chided myself for not having the kind of courage you had to experiment something like that. But girl, now I tell you, you are chasing a mirage. And you will realise this when you are old and………… alone. Good luck.”

    Shalini smiled in exasperation.

    Shalini was lost in thoughts. Her full attention was not on driving. It was mid afternoon and the road was almost deserted. Driving a car was second nature for Shalini and she was familiar with all the twists and turns of the accident-prone East Coast Road.

    From out of blue a young woman jumped in front of the car. Shalini’s reflexes were swift. She applied the brakes and the vehicle grinded to a screeching halt. But Shalini could hear the sound of the car’s metal hitting something hard.

    Shalini rushed out of her car to see a girl lying in a pool of blood. Shalini froze.
  4. Monsi

    Monsi Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Sir,
    Hmmm... as expected the "Other" woman came to the party with the same necklace.
    I feel pity for such guys who give such a lame and dumb lines like
    Cant men have some control over their desires ! Is this what they give in return to women who devote their life for them... who trust them blidly ... betrayal ... !!! Blind faith is BAD !!!! Jaggi now wants to marry her just because he has a guilt or even more than the guild he has the fear of loosing everything that he was enjoying having Shalini in his life (the money, the accolades and success at work and what not !) ... otherwise he wouldnt have thought about it at all !
    Considering Shalini having such a strong character and upbringing, the decision by her was absolutely the right one but in the first place how could she trust a guy blindly like this! I hope she wont look back. Shalini was toooooo generous as leaving Jaggi just like that. That moron will forget the whole thing soon and will lead a happy life but Shalini will have this scar for the whole of her life :icon_frown:
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  5. kripa shankari

    kripa shankari New IL'ite

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    oh sridhar i can feel shaloo's loss as if it is my own.
    her decision is right
    once doubt creeps into a relationship,it is not worth to carry on.
    she is really brave to cut her losses and come out of it.
    how many of us hav that courage?
    /marriage or not it involves a slice of ur heart and life.
    scars r sure to remain but atleast u know u wont get hurt further by trusting the man.
    jaggi what can i say
    u 2 brute?
    only when he is afraid of losing her, he wants marriage.
    can u liv with urself
    i guess lot of men r like that.
    that word temptation.
    how come most women do not hav that kind of temptation and would rather get back to their hubby/live in partners?
    lastly sridhar
    why should it hav been an office wamp?
    can it not have been another colleague ?
    if it is temptation why go for cliche situations.
    u let me down in that place only.
    i felt i was watching a hindi movie in between a lovely story.
    the serial is superb and i want the whole series today.
    i know it is wishful thinking.
    but i can always dream right.
  6. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Hello Sridhar,

    Your SHE is surely puncutual:) She appeared nice and early this Thursday.

    Well, the party scene is more or less what I had anticipated. Another pretty thing wearing the same necklace and gifted by Jaggi. That it was a one night stand and not a full blown affair is of no consequence. After putting in your argument about a living-in relationship, you, all the same, have gone ahead and shown how futile such a relationship is! Let's say that Shalini and Jaggi were married and this had happened, she then would not have left him as quickly as she did now. . If married, a couple is bonded more strongly. It may be a mental bonding only, yet it is stronger. Would that have been any better solution for a philandering partner and the spouse? Perhaps not, but then, like her boss said, where can all this living in and testing the partnership lead to? To the same shambles of relationship!
    Anyways, I hope our heroine wisens up and her true metal will come out in her further actions. If she is going to jump from one guy to another and keep proving the rights and wrongs of a relationship, then the strong will and character of the heroine is wasted, leave alone the great parentage she had from Shiva. It is time our heroine proves that having a father of Shiva's caliber will just not go wasted.
    Shalini should mark our hearts and the novel with the role she plays in the future of this story. That's my wish:)
    As for Jaggi succumbing to the oomph of a colleague, I am not buying it! An intelligent, hardworking, educated man with principles will not get tempted so easily. We are human being with minds for Pete's sake, not some mindless animals!! Ofcourse, this is my personal thought on this matter. I know many talented writers use this cliche'd scenario to further their stories, including the likes of K Balachander etc......

    L, Kamla
  7. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear varalotti,

    The story is going the way I thought it would. I do not feel sorry for Shalini. I only feel a kind of revulsion. Well, she had an unhappy marriage and took divorce. In looking for a suitable partner, she need not have resorted to living-in. In this age of communiction revolution she could have interacted with people more effectively and Juggi has come along as a colleague and all the more convenient for her to interact with him without having to live-in with him. I can only say for Shalini's predicament now, 'Venumkattaiku venum venkalakattaiku venum' in good humour.

    கூடி வாழ்ந்தால் கோடி நன்மை- தாலி இல்லாமல்
    கூடி வாழ்ந்தால் கேடிக்கு நன்மை


    Last edited: Jun 28, 2007
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  8. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kripasankari,

    That was a great post, Kripa. It is easy to find that you have written from the depths of your heart.

    As an answer to you and all the ILites, I want to say just this. Remember my heroine is on a journey in search of her identity. She has had everything in life - education, career, money, comfort and pleasures. She wants to find out who she really is and what she really wants. As Kamla said will she be moving from man to man for this? I don't know. At least at this stage I cant tell. Let's have this as background.

    What you have said is sadly true. Once doubts creep in it is very difficult to sustain the relationship.

    A poet from Tamilnadu has said this today in response to a reader's question. He says that when friends or lovers part, they do it in two ways. One is similar to how a stone breaks into two. Once that is done it can never be one again.
    The other is how gold parts. It can be easily be re-united; at the least, the two broken pieces can be melted into a single piece. Jaggi-Shal parting is stone-parting. Cannot be reunited at all.

    In spite of being a man, and braving attacks from the other men in this site, I need to confess, Kripa, that what you said about men are true.

    Once I was almost assaulted by an acquaintance of mine for saying that. He was a very rich man and was sharing with a group of us about his experiences with a high-society call-girl. We were all listening with rapt attention. I told him meekly at the end, "If you return home one day to find your wife in the arms of another man, what will you do?"
    "Kill them both and go to jail." he said.

    When I asked him would not his wife have the same kind of rage, if she knows about his escapades?

    I was saved by my other friends there. I was told that it was not proper to talk in such a fashion. Well, that's world.

    Why should I choose the cliched and hackneyed office vamp instead of some other woman?

    It is cliched, but it happens like that all the time. Many office going professionals do not have the time or mindset, to go out and seek other woman. With office colleagues when sex is available as if on tap, men would like to take advantage.

    I am happy that you are absorbed in this serial, Kripa. I have to restrain myself on explanations as one word more I would be letting the cat out of the bag. Maybe once the serial is over (I think it can go up to about 17 or 18 episodes) we can have a discussion board on SHE.

    Thanks for being the first to comment.
  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,

    SHE can afford to be controversial and at times even cliched; but tardiness is something which she can ill-afford.

    I will let out a secret to you. I am writing this serial to wreak vengeance. On whom for what, I'll explain at the end.

    Being unfaithful is something serious. Whether it is one-night stand or an affair, to quote you, is not of consequence. (Though I read in some women magazines about high society women who were ready to forgive one-night stands. I know a Doctor's family in Madurai. His wife was telling him one day within my earshot, "nee yaara vendumnaalum chinna veeda vachikko; aana naan than unakku periya veeda irukkanum." Meaning "you can have an affair with any woman you like; but till the end, I should be your wife." Honestly I felt like puking. That woman only wanted the external format of a wife.)
    And I want to differ with you, Kamla. Unfaithfulness hurts, whether the relationship is live-in or a proper marriage. In fact it hurts more and matters more in a live-in.

    Had the samething happened after their marriage Shalini would have left him all the same.
    You remember the contest we had in IL last year? I had written a story on similar lines and asked ILites to write the climax. Here's the link:

    You may find out what ILites think of infidelity.

    Jaggi is guilty of a double fault. The act and his attempts to cover up.

    "As for Jaggi succumbing to the oomph of a colleague, I am not buying it! An intelligent, hardworking, educated man with principles will not get tempted so easily. We are human being with minds for Pete's sake, not some mindless animals!! Ofcourse, this is my personal thought on this matter. I know many talented writers use this cliche'd scenario to further their stories, including the likes of K Balachander etc......"

    For these words, if only I can afford the time I can write a 500 page book. Let me condense it for you. There is a difference between a man and a woman in this area.(This is another area of Mars-Venus syndrome) A fundamental difference. I have seen hardworking, educated, highly religious persons succumbing to such situations. I would say that a woman is all powerful in this. And if a woman casts her net it will be nearly impossible for a man to resist.

    I remember a beautiful song by Sirkazhi Govindarajan where he tells God, "Naayonai naalum nallvanakka, Oyaamal Oliyamal unnarul thanthai."
    (In the song, nee allal oru deivam illai..)
    Meaning to make the dog of me a good man, you are pouring your blessings non-stop. Persons like yours truly are to some extent good because the Great God has always been there to bless them and save them from situations like these.

    I am flattered on being elevated to the level of K.Balachandar. But though this scenario is cliched, it happens all the time. And nothing is closer to truth than this. Hence I used the scene. And please do remember Madam,this scene has been in use since the days of purana. To whose charms did the sage Viswamitra succumb? For thousands of years this scene is being enacted. (Nandini is described as corporate menaka in this episode, just to remind you of this earlier story)

    Having said all that I am afraid that I will be getting deeper and deeper into controversy next week. May God save me.

  10. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear TDU,

    Thanks for your comments. You are almost unique in saying "venumkattaikku venum" to a shattered Shalini.

    Suppose Shalini had married, let's say, not this Jaggi. But somebody else. And she finds that her husband has been unfaithful to her? Tell me what she would have done? Or what she should do/

    Let me take up your comments after your reply to this question.


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