SHE A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy Episode 9 For the first time in seven years, Shalini lowered her defences and started to relax. She felt lighter at heart and body, the roses smelt sweeter, the koels sounded happier. She might not have exactly discovered her identity but she had definitely found her happiness. And that was more precious than her identity. At least that was what she thought at that time. The going was so smooth that Destiny thought that it was time to intervene. Shalini was an accountant at heart. While she was not so peevish to keep a detailed account of her personal expenses, (which for many accountants is an obsession) she kept tab on major inflows and outflows of cash. Once in three months she would balance her banking transactions and monitor the performance of the portfolio of mutual funds that she had invested in. Having nothing better to do that Friday afternoon, she was skimming through her bank accounts. Jaggi had gone to work. Shalini sat before her laptop which was connected to the net through a wireless lan to see her banking accounts on line. As she scanned her credit card transactions, she saw an odd and large figure - Rs. 1,58,000. Her finger on the mouse stopped for a long,preplexed moment. She was puzzled. She would never use the card for such a high value transaction. She used cards only as easy means of payment, for small purchases, less than ten thousand rupees. And whenever she used her card she would pay immediately without availing the carry-over scheme where the bank would merrily charge usurious interest. She had never spent such a massive amount on her card in a single transaction, though she enjoyed a much higher credit limit. She checked the transaction and found out that it was on her add-on card. Jaggi had spent it. She could not resist whistling. How could he blow 100K+ on a single transaction? Why did he spend this much and why was he in a hurry to pay that up within a few days? Was he hiding anything? She was troubled. She hesitated a little before going further into it. Was she snooping on her dear Jaggi? Was she suspecting something? Right from the days of her CA apprenticeship,Shalini had one clear policy, which she applied with equal force to financial transactions and human relations. Trust. But while in doubt, verify. She trusted Jaggi. But she still had a doubt and she was going to verify. After all he had spent her money and she had every right to know how he spent it. She drilled deeper down into the transaction. When she saw the name of the merchant establishment in which the add-on card was swiped she let out a louder whistle. It was almost an audible gasp. It was the city’s most pretigious designer jewellery shop. Why did Jaggi have to buy jewellery and that too for one and a half lakhs? She checked the name of the jewellery shop on the city's online telephone directory and got their phone number. She called them right away. She asked for the manager of the shop and when he came on the line, Shalini was all sweetness. “This is Shalini, a chartered accountant. My husband bought me a nice piece of jewellery from your shop. It is so incredibly stunning that my sister wants to have an identical piece. You know what younger sisters are like---Do you have another one exactly like that?” The manager asked for more details. Shalini could give the date and invoice number from her on-line banking account. “ That piece was a special limited number commision. But today is your lucky day, Madam.We have just one more piece. Gold price has gone up by 3%. The centre piece of that necklace is diamond. “Diamond is costlier today by 5%. Still we will give you the same price since we value your esteemed custom. But I can hold on to the price only for today. Do you want to come here or can I have the piece sent across to you between 4 and <st1:time minute="0" hour="17">5pm</st1:time>? That is the most auspiscious time today to purchase gold.” “Thank you. Can you give me a few days time? I’ll pay more if the prices go up further. But can you send a picture of the necklace? I will send it to my cousin in the <st1:country-region><st1lace>US</st1lace></st1:country-region>. She may also like to have one. Please note down my email ID…..” Why would Jaggi hold this information from me? This question never left her mind. Suddenly she remembered. She leafed through her desktop calendar.