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SHE - Episode 7

Discussion in 'SHE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy
    Episode 7

    You are insulting me. This time it is going to be very special. So name it and I will make sure it is yours. A brand new Honda Civic car? A sparkling diamond necklace? The gorgeous platinum jewellery set I spotted in Prince Jewellery? Tell me,”Rishi was earnest and eager to hear Shalini name her desire.

    “Absolutely sure, there is no limit?”

    “Not at all. Ask and ye shall be given.”

    “And you wont go back on your word?”

    “I promise, I will not. Tell me what do you want,”Rishi sounded like an expectant school boy.


    Rishi froze. Then he managed a sheepish laugh, which had more of stupidity than amusement in it.

    “Come on, Shal, don’t play games like this. Silly girl, you almost gave me a heart attack.”

    Shalini replied with a bemused smile.

    “ No games, Rishi. I am not playing any games. Our marriage is well past all that. I know and more than me you know that. I meant what I said.”

    “Shal, sweetheart..”

    “Rishi, you asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told you.”

    Rishi could not bear this pointless dailogue any more.

    “What the hell are you talking, you perverted bitch?”

    “Language, Rishi, language. Is it written in any divine or diabolic dictionary that divorce is a form of perversion? What does the feminine gender of the canine species have to do with divorce?”

    Rishi snapped and started shouting. He called her names. The ruckus he created brought the Captain stomping down to the dining table.

    “What is happening here?”

    Shalini was in a belligerent mood. She addressed her father-in-law sarcastically with a cruel smile.

    “Uncle, you need to court-martial your faithful foot soldier. He is spoiling the discipline of this camp.”

    “Dad, Shalini wants to divorce me,”Rishi sounded like a little boy whose lunch had been snatched by the school bully.

    The Captain looked askance at her.

    “Well, Uncle, my dear husband promised to get me any gift I want for my birthday. And I wanted a divorce.”

    “What the hell are you talking you stupid girl?”

    “You are wrong Uncle. Asking for divorce is not stupid. Living through the façade of this marriage is.”


    “I don’t want a war. Let’s have a ceasefire now. I am negotiating the peace treaty. Let’s part as friends.”

    “My God! This will create a huge a scandal !”

    “If the state of our marriage is known to the world, it will be a worse scandal.”

    “Please listen, Shalini. We can talk things out. There is no need for this extreme step.”

    “No Uncle, I have only one life to live. And I don’t want to waste it on a failing marriage.”

    “You know Shalini that divorce is a long drawn legal process. Expensive too.”

    “Well, wrong information on both counts. If both parties file for a mutual consent divorce under Section 12B of the Hindu Marriages Act, we can get the decree in 6 months.”

    “Oh, you have already done your homework.”

    “I am a chartered accountant, uncle. I never make a statement without doing my homework.”

    “What if we refuse to sign the papers? What if we are do not agree for the mutual consent divorce? What the hell can you do, Mrs. Shalini?”

    “Listen Captain Ramnath. If you do not agree then I might have to file a complaint at the All Women Police Station inside the Commissioner’s Office. I will allege dowry harrassment. You two , father and son, will be arrested immediately. The enquiry and all will be much later.

    “But before that your colour pictures will be there in all the papers.
    “Then I will file a suit for divorce. I will cite two major grounds – one my husband’s sexual impotence, and my father-in-law trying to misbehave with me. The case will go on for three years. The tabloids will have a field day. Then Rishi will have to stay unmarried for the rest of his life. And that will be the worst scandal you can ever have in your life.

    “But if you two consent, we can part as friends. Then you can spread stories about me. That I was a characterless girl, an immoral bitch, an arrogant woman. You can keep Rishi’s name and character intact and get a brand new wife for him. The choice is yours.”

    “But Shalini I wont let you go out of this house. I will kill you.” Rishi shouted at Shalini.

    Shalini’s pointed stare frightened him from doing anything.

    Captain shouted at his son.

    “Rishi will you keep quiet?

    “What are your plans, tell us.”

    “Very simple. I am leaving this house right now. All of us will meet at <st1:time minute="0" hour="11">11 AM</st1:time> tomorrow morning in my lawyers chambers. Here is the address. The papers are already drawn. We will sign the papers, shake hands and then go about our ways.

    “But if you do not turn up tomorrow, the day after tomorrow my divorce petition will be filed. That is also ready, just in case. Have your pick.”

    “Dad, she has lost her mind. Her father’s death has affected her. How can we let a mentally ill person go out of our house? Help me Dad, let’s put her in a room and then call the psychiatrist.”

    Shalini laughed heartily.

    “Rishi, I knew that you would attempt something foolish like that. That’s why I called the Director General Of Police – incidentally a close friend of Daddy – and asked him to send a police vehicle with escort to take me back from my marital home. Now do you hear the siren? Yes, it has come.”

    The father and the son hastily moved away from her.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
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  2. varalotti

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    Part 2!

    The Captain and his son did not want to take any chances with Shalini. They were at the lawyer’s office at 5 minutes to Eleven. For whatever it was worth, they had also brough their own lawyer. The lawyers discussed the wording of the petition and before 1 PM Rishi and Shalini filed the petition for divorce under mutual consent.

    Shalini was officially, formally free now. Neither Rishi nor she could marry till the Court issued a formal decree of divorce. But short of marriage they were free to do anything they wanted.

    Shalini relished every moment of her freedom. She was serving her notice period. She sold her small Santtro car and started using her father’s Skoda Octavia. Being bound in an unhappy marriage for five years, to start life afresh with her newfound freedom was exhilarating.

    Time flew. Her notice period ended and she was relieved from her job. In another three months her divorce came through.

    After being an astute accounting professional for years Shalini could not sit idle in her house. She could not live the life of a club-going socialite whose only motive was to enjoy all the hedonistic pleasures in life.

    At the same time, she decided that she did not want to be tied to another <st1:time minute="51" hour="16">9 to 5</st1:time> job. She decided that she could turn out good, productive, fulfilling professional work for five to six hours a day. She started hunting for the right job. Many companies wanted her, but only as a full time employee with unspecified hours of work and enormous responsibilities.

    When a large software company advertised for the position of CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Shalini applied enthusiastically. But this time she did not specify her five-hour flexitime condition in the application. ‘Let them first assess my worth. Then I’ll sell my idea to them.’

    As the software company was known for its best HR practices and liberal pay scales there were many applicants vying for that job. Six candidates including Shalini were summoned for the final interview. A day long interview left the Management undecided.

    A Group Discussion was organised the next afternoon. Shalini was her usual firebrand self in the GD. Another young CA caught her attention. He had an excellent grasp of the Accounting Principles, very rich hands- on experience and unlike most of the accountants he was not lost in details. He did not miss the woods for the trees. Shalini and the other guy outsmarted all others in the Discussion.

    As Shalini was walking out of the place she overhead the guy talking to another candidate. His tone was sarcastic, ‘Didn’t I tell you **** and brains are a lethal combination. She will get the job.’

    That was an obscenity. Shalini had heard that quote earlier. The line belonged to a famous Hollywood Director. It was a humiliating reference to a woman’s private parts.

    Shalini went out to them and said with a smile. “Your saying that within my hearing shows that you don’t have the brains. So if you happen to have the first one then you have 50% of the lethal combination that I have.”

    The man was shocked. Having delivered a retort Shalini took her seat in the corner of the hall and was composing herself.

    The offended young man now walked up straight to her. Shalini thought he was going to say something nasty. She was prepared for anything. She just ignored him.

    “I am sorry, Madam. I badly need this job. After seeing your performance, I was sure I would not get it. My frustration made me to say that. I did not see you coming. I am sorry. I apologise.”

    Shalini was moved. “It’s all right. Be a little more careful in the future. It is okay to have such views; but to speak out is inviting trouble.”

    He walked away.

    The other four candidates were asked to leave with the usual line, “We will get in touch with you soon.”

    Shalini and the young man were the only ones left. The HR Manager told Shalini that the President of the company would soon see them both together, to make the final choice. Shalni looked at the other candidate. He smiled at her. She smiled back.

    They were called in for the final interview in another fifteen minutes. The President of the Company was a woman in her early thirties. She looked quite stunning. Shalini looked at her competitor.

    He appeared two, three years younger to her. But for a well trimmed mush and a French beard he was clean shaven. Baldness had started to creep into his head. His dartings showed that he had no regard for the establishment or the Rules. He was very sure of himself and his body language proclaimed that in no uncertain terms.

    They were asked to make a presentation of themselves. The first to do was that young man. Shalini now knew his name, Jagannath, but he wanted to be called Jaggi. He talked about his weaknesses, his failings and only subtly hinted about his achievements and capabilities. Shalini was impressed.

    Then it was Shalini’s turn.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  3. varalotti

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    Part 3!

    The President was lost in thought for a while. Then she talked to them.

    “You see, guys, I am really in a dilemma. I can see both of you are thoroughbred professionals. I cant even pretend that I have the competence to judge which of you will be better suited for this position.”

    Shalini and Jaggi were all ears.

    “And so my final, deciding, tie-breaker question to you both is this. If you were in my position, whom will you choose between you two, and why. Jaggi, you go first.”

    Jaggi looked at Shalini for a minute and then started to talk.

    “I’ll hire Shalini.”

    Shalini was taken aback.

    “And why would you hire Shalini rather than yourself, Jaggi?”

    “Simple, I listened to her presentation. She has more experience than me. Second she holds an All India’s First Rank in CA. I don’t have any such distinction.

    “And finally with due regards to the two brilliant women in this room, a woman who is a chartered accountant and has got a rank, certainly deserves more admiration than a man in a similar position. She would have had to work against all odds to come to this position. So if I were the President of this company I would hire her.”

    Both the President and Shalini were impressed. The President now looked at Shalini.
    “It’s now your turn, Shalini. Whom will you hire?”

    The one thing Shalini had learnt from her father was to run the extra mile. And not just that, but running it in a different direction.

    “Madam President, I want to study the profiles of both the candidates before deciding. I know my profile. Can you give me Jaggi’s CV and what his interviewers had to say about him?”

    ‘Smart girl’ thought the President and handed over Jaggis file to her.

    Shalini skimmed the file for a few minutes. Then she returned the file to the President.

    “May I know what’s the annual compensation budgeted for this position?”

    The President was taken aback.

    “Lets say, Rs. 25 lakhs.”

    “My solution is this. Both Jaggi and Shalini are good candidates. Jaggi is now drawing a salary of Rs,10 lakhs. And the industry practice is that you hike that by 20%. That’s what he has asked for in his application. Am I right, Jaggi?”

    The President was aghast. Jaggi nodded.

    “At the same time I wont lose a girl like Shalini. But Shalini as of now is not interested in a full time job. She has planned to work for five or six hours a day on a flexitime basis.

    “So I would hire Shalini as a Consultant, but working exclusively for this company, at a compensation of Rs. 9 lakhs per annum. Jaggi can be on the firing line and do the work. Shalini can work out the strategy and guide him with her experience, a fact accepted by Jaggi himself.

    And you, Madam President, would be saving Rs. 4 lakhs in your budget. Now, if you have any other solution that will give this kind of win-win situation for all the three of us, I am all ears.”

    Shalinis arrangement was accepted to the word.

    As they walked out of the room Jaggi summoned enough courage to invite Shalini for a coffee. She accepted. They spent an hour at the company’s canteen discussing their future plans.

    Shalini was happy to work for the company, and happier still to work with Jaggi. Shalini-Jaggi were really a deadly combination and Shalin’s idea was the best thing that happened to that software company in the recent past.

    Shalini mostly worked at home. She attended office only when she had to make a presentation to the President or other external agencies.

    Shalini and Jaggi were thrown together on many occasions and both started respecting each other and liking each other’s company. In sharp contrast to the contrived manners which prevailed in the Captain’s house, Jaggi was direct and many times, to the point of being curt.

    One day as they were preparing for the companies IPO Jaggi confessed to Shalini that he was also a divorcee. He talked about his marriage to the only daughter of a very rich industrialist. His wife was too preoccupied with her social life to pay any attention to her husband.

    Shalini was sipping her mid-morning coffee. Jaggi suddenly told her,
    “Shalini, I have a feeling that we will make a great couple. I am not asking for your hand in marriage. Why dont we live together for a while and see if it will work out?”

    Shalini dropped the coffee cup she was holding. The hot liquid fell on her mercredised silk saree and after a while seeped to touch her bare skin.

    Ouch! she exclaimed. Looking back at that moment many times in retrospect, Shalini could never fathom if the ouch was for the hot coffee searing her skin or for Jaggi's wierd proposal!
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  4. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Jr. Sri,

    Shalini is starting her new life with a loud bang. She has been suppressing herself so much that I think she is is just raring to go!!!

    She has proved her business acumen and come out with a win win situation which is very nice and good. But her bonding with Jaggi seems to be going too fast. She should be slow in developing a personal relationship with him, I feel.

    I am already waiting for the next episode -- any tip on how I can bribe you for that?:mrgreen:
  5. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear sridhar,
    nice build up for shalini, u seem to be going the harrold robbins way, giving her all the power and making her sip through the situation and guage her views on many things happening together, very well taken u do make me jealous of the situation thrown to her, vow she should be careful now, of course she will be too, once bitten twice shy is the statement that come to fore, and jaggy better be careful or may be the loneliness in woman make them do silly mistkes, cant say how she is going to move...nice proceedings in this episode, regards sunkan
  6. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Flight Attendant,

    I took your 747 flight and the trip was quite smooth and soaring:) Though there was one or two air packets, the turbulence was not disturbing! Must be the expertise of the pilot :)

    You did not delve into the characteristics of Rishi much apart from hinting some disharmony in the marital life, which did not see too grave to me. Nothing which could not have been fixed by a smart lady such as Shalini. But you have the harness and want to direct it in your way. I am willing to take the ride :)

    Having said that, this week's episode did race by, well it was a flight after all?!
    Our heroine is not wasting much time I guess if she settles for Jaggi. Maybe she has now learnt not to waste time after spending five futile long years.

    Liked the interview and job finding part. Well, a dynamic CA is the author. How can he not leave his mark on it.

    Oh, next flight seems delayed, hmmm...shall wait:)

    L, Kamla
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  7. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Yes we are going on a Concorde now. What a racy episode :yes: . I simply loved the way Shalini handed down the third degree to Captain and Rishi. And yes i Too agree that Shals relationship with Jaggi is going at break neck speed, rather than slow and steady. Is it not usually once bitten twice shy??
    Are you planning to bring in Rishi back into the scene at some point of time or is it the end of the line for him in this episode? Just curious.

    Well i too join Chitra, can i bribe you to post the next episode sooner??

  8. sujathae

    sujathae Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar Sir, Really the flight has moved very fast. What a sudden change of the entire scenario! I didn't expect the marriage to break so fast. Hope the new relationship will thrive. Shal should be more careful now before she makes the decision. Eagerly waiting for the next episode.

    Thanks and regards,

  9. Ushakrishnan64

    Ushakrishnan64 Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,
    Shalini's attitude to her husband Rishi & FIL is not convincing...I cannot justify to myself how Shal agreed to marry this guy in the 1st place..Why did she not investigate about him before agreeing for marriage? I feel Shalini is too hasty in her decisions (both when she decided to marry and when she decided to divorce!)
    Dumping her divorce idea on her husband & FIL in a few minutes & walking out of the house...Sounds very unreasonable to me.
    Shalini is amazingly level-headed in her profession..and sheer arrogance incarnate in her personal life. In my opinion, she is a Success in her career & a Failure in life.
    Sridhar, I know you have a wonderful plot in your head. But I feel Shalini's character is too EXTREME. Waiting for Shalini's DEFENCE LAWYER to appear in the Court:tongue

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  10. mythili

    mythili Senior IL'ite

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    Dear varalotti sir,
    I really liked the heated arguments between Shal and Rishi in this episode. like the statement shal makes that asking for divorce is not stupid, living through a bad marriage really is.

    But I am surprised at the disgraceful way Shalini exitted her marriage.
    Are these the values that her father had taught her?
    If Rishi did not give consent, she was going to allege that captain misbehaved with her.. That is such a cheap statement for her to make.

    I read the rest of the developments in the story, I felt it was moving very fast.
    She left no time to mourn for the loss of her loved ones or to adjust with her new life. She did not feel the tiniest feeling of sadness for loosing whatever relatives she had so far.

    Although I am sure Shal is not going to allow Jaggi to enter her life at this point, I still felt the story was moving in a direction convenient for her to make a choice later.
    The fact that even though Jaggi badly wanted the job, still brought out the most positive points about shal when the president quizzed him, and also even though he is quite aggresive himelf, he let Shal to work with him and guide him makes me think he had an eye on her right from the beginning.

    But I am not sure how much Shal will be different from his ex-wife....

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