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SHE - Episode 9

Discussion in 'SHE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    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><st1:place>US</st1:place></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.
     
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 2!

    ‘My God! How mean of me! How did I forget? I am so sorry, Jaggi. I thought ill of you. Please forgive me.’

    Her thirtieth birthday was just two days away. Jaggi had purchased the necklace as his gift. Jaggi should have tried to manage his with own credit card. But that did not have sufficient credit limits.

    The shop would have refused to accept cheques. It was unwise to carry such a large amount in cash. So Jaggi would have done what was the only sensible alternative left. He would have used the add-on card given by her. And then would have transferred the money from his bank account to hers so that it would remain exclusively his gift. Shalini was quick to defend her love and his actions.

    Shalini was moved. Now she did not have the mood to go on with the checking of her accounts. She closed the laptop and went to the bedroom.

    Shalini did not talk about this to Jaggi when he came home in the night. Poor soul! He wanted to give a surprise gift. Why spoil that? She even thought of what she would say when she received that necklace.

    “Thanks a million, baby. But Jaggi, sweetheart, the one gift I would like is our marriage. You see I have turned 30 today. I am not getting younger, you should know.”

    This time Jaggi would have to relent. They could get married later in the week. And steal a week’s honeymoon in Coorg, all cloistered in a colonial bungalow amidst the lush coffee plantations.

    That was probably the happiest day in Shalinis life. That night it was Jaggi’s turn to be overpowered by Shalini and be overwhelmed by her love.

    The red letterd, nay D-day, dawned like many other days in Shalini’s life. It is not sentimentally right to call a birthday, a D-day. But somehow that was the apt description for that day, judging by the manner in which the events unfolded.

    Shalini woke up a happy and expectant woman. Unlike many, many other women she had found herself, she had found her happiness before her thirtieth birthday. And for this moment of exhilaration she had to break her earlier marriage and break all social conventions and start a live-in relationship with a man three years younger to her. But everything was worth the while.

    Today was the day when her 'living in sin' with Jaggi would finally start to end. Soon, her Jaggi would once again make an honest woman of her. Shalini smiled quirkily to herself when she realised that she was still a traditional Indian woman at heart, for whom marriage to a loved one- the mental security and social status that it endowed -meant a lot.

    Shalini was up unusually early that day. She was eagerly waiting for Jaggi to come and kiss her and then adorn the jewel on her neck. Jaggi came out of their bedroom at <st1:time minute="30" hour="8">half past eight</st1:time>. He behaved as if it were just another Monday morning.

    As always he went into the kitchen, started the coffee percolator and made coffee for himself. He said ‘Good morning, darling’ to Shalini ,kissed the top of her head pretending to be bent over a Sudoku and sat down with a bunch of financial papers.

    Shalini was surprised, ‘You, moron, having bought a nice gift, you forgot the day? Idiot.’

    She did not want to confront him. His forgetfullness just made him more endearing. Her Jaggi was just a baby, her baby.

    “Jaggi, the day looks rather unusual. Doesn’t look like our usual Mondays? What say you?”

    Monday mornings were busy for both of them. The inter-departmental meetings happpened mostly on Mondays. Shalini would be in office almost the whole day.

    “Is it? No to me, it looks like another taxing Monday with a dozen meetings and projects. I have to present our case to the bank today. We are going for an ad hoc limit of Rs 100 crores. The bank people are coming in the afternoon.”

    “I know that Jaggi. I have prepared everything for you. You just need to show them a power point presentation. I have sort of prepared a FAQ and have put it in your mail box. I am sure their questions would not even cover one-half of that. Relax, baba.”

    Jaggi was not impressed.

    Shalini dropped many tell tale hints about her birthday. But Jaggi was not listening. When she had a moment alone for herself, tears welled up in her eyes. Her father had never forgotten even a single birthday of hers.

    He would be the first person to greet her. His gift would always signify a cross-over. The first in the series she could remember was that beautiful rosewood desk which was her father’s loving way of telling her that she could lock her own things and have her privacy as an adult.

    When she was 12 she got her first bicycle. First computer when she was 13. At 20 came her first car – a brand new Maruthi 800.

    ‘Oh, Dad, you are so heartless to leave your little girl alone in this loveless world.’
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    They had an unusually hectic Monday in the office. Jaggi could not spend any time with her till late in the evening when they were having their snacks. Shalini could not contain herself any longer.

    When they were left alone she slapped his wrist sharply.

    “Buddhu, do you know what day is today?”

    “What day – today’s June 8th. First instalment of advance tax is a week away. Service tax has been paid before 5th, the due date. So what did I miss out…. Oh My God! How could I forget? So mean of me. Happy birthday, Shalini.

    “Many more happy returns of the day. Today we’ll have dinner by the poolside in Accord. I will make a few calls and get a quiet table for just two of us, in a dark, secluded spot. We’ll leave the house around 8. You go home, birthday baby. I’ll tie some loose ends and be there in half an hour.”

    Shalini was a little confused. How did he forget for so long, when he had already got such an expensive gift. She murmured thanks and stumbled out hopefully.

    “Shaloo dear, Shaloo… here’s what I have got for you….”

    Jaggi was shouting as he entered the house. Shalini came running from the bedroom. Jaggi hugged her tight and thrust a gift parcel in her hand whispering in her ears, “Happy Birthday, dearest.”

    Shalini released herself from Jaggi’s clutches and with an expressionless face pried open the gift wrappings. There was a small golden ring and she was sure that the stone inlaid was American Diamond. Her accountant’s mind immediately calculated the cost of the ring. Hardly five thousand bucks. Then what happened to the 100K+ necklace?

    Shalini feigned a headache and told Jaggi that she was not in a mood to eat out that day. Jaggi was surprised and made many concerned enquiries about her health.


    “Just leave me alone, Jaggi. I will be all right in a day or two.”

    Her firm voice conveyed him that she did not want any further conversation on the subject. She skipped dinner and went to bed early.

    Two eventless days passed. Shalini still did not have the mind to confront Jaggi on the necklace matter. ‘He might have got it for his cousin as her marriage gift.’ The emotional side of her mind was trying to defend Jaggi; but the intellectual side was in no mood to listen.

    The unresolved question was gnawing her insides. She wanted to act one way or the other. Then she had a flash. She went to the same jeweller and bought that identical piece for herself. Now there was no need to openly question Jaggi on this matter. If she just wore that necklace, Jaggi would be shocked into revealing the truth behind it. She was waiting for an opportunity to do so.

    It came the next week in the form of the year-end party at her office. This time they had the party organised in the ballroom of Taj.

    Jaggi had told her that he would come to the party directly from the office as he had some work to do.

    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 had a wicked pleasure of imagining the expression of shock in Jaggi’s face when he saw that necklace on her.

    Little did she know at that time that her shock was going to be much, much greater.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

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    Aha, did we all not say that she was running headlong into the relationship?

    Our worst fears are coming true?

    More later, bye
     
  5. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Read the 9th episode with much interest. As soon as I saw it, I rushed to read.
    Like to every coin, my fb too has two sides to it!
    Let me get over with the not so nice ones! The story 'sounds' a bit cliche'd. The heroine goes for a scandalous live-in relationship and the guy turns out to be a moron! Somehow, I was hoping that Jaggi will not be bad, but other circumstances might bring problems to this relationship. But he seems to embezzling Shal of her money and trust. So, now she will be facing another blow. Also, it does not make sense to me as to how a girl as smart as Shalini with her kind of upbringing and intelligence can fall into such rut time and again. Once bitten, twice shy. She should have learnt some lessons at least from her past experience. How could such a strong person give in to emotional decisions..like opting to live together with Jaggi just because her ex got married? I did not question all this in the previous episode discussions because I thought the story may work its way differently.
    Now coming to the positive aspects (!), may be, just may be, still all is not lost? May be this Jaggi had some other reasons for buying such an expensive jewel ? After all, he too is a smart guy and must know that Shal is no dumbo and will see a big amount has been drawn from her account? Uhmmm...too intriguing, can't wait for the next episode!
    Also, I am loving the narrative style. It has a very 'today' feel to it and the expressions and scenario is firmly grounded in the life style of present day urban society. I am also very appreciative of Shalini's ability to keep cool and abide by time to see what motivates her paramour.
    But the optimist in me is hoping and praying that Jaggi does not turn out to be a downright cad and she is not badly shaken at the party to see some other pretty thing wearing the same necklace as hers:(
    If I could, I would shake Shal up and say, wake up girl, where did your mind and intelligence go? Think carefully and show respect to yourself and your upbringing:))
    Does the next Thursday come really after a week?...sigh......

    L, Kamla
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007
    2 people like this.
  6. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear varalotti,

    After reading episode 9 I got the feeling that the story line is going the way I thought it would be. Taking girls for a ride, living with them and fleecing their money and later ditching them is very common in London and I came across few Indian girls who were the victims to local white boys. In Indian context, Shalini portrayed as affluent ('getting into her car, party at Taj etc.) is not a strange character.

    Regards,

    TDU
     
  7. aashree

    aashree New IL'ite

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    Oh i really thought that jaggi would be good and some other tensions would arise in the relationship..I liked all the previous episodes..they were all good. Somehow not liking this one. Why are guys here on ruining somebody's life? There are good guys also....thought Shal did find one. :-(
    Just one mistake in the above episode..may be i am not clear with the banking dates..but still my mind told me that fiscal yr is from april to mar :)...How come a week later after her birthday was a new years party?..
    just kidding...
    Story is going good.
    Wanted to ask you a question.. I wanted to read Beauty and the Brain episode story yesterday...but some how when i opened the first 2-3 episodes..it is not giving the main story in the first post. Is it edited later by Indusladies team? How can i get to read that story?
    Thanks
     
  8. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    Hello Sridhar,

    somehow, I just don't trust or feel good about Jaggi from the beginning.
    he's more like a teen, we need a MAN beside Shal. (Let's find a MAN for her, Sridhar).
    I thought this relationship is based purely on physical needs but now the necklace samacharam is troubling me. I don't expect anything good out of this relationship.

    It's unfortunate that, women are always the loosers, whether it's live-ins or marriages. eagerly waiting to see what next...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007
  9. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,
    Ultimately Shalini is in square one again! The woman in her has started once again with the same expectations in Life which she was looking for in her earlier relationship! After the physical thirst has been quenched women start behaving like real women and men too start showing their true colour! After reading episode 9, that was the feeling I got. May be I will be proved wrong?
    Hmmm.... One more week to go to find out whether it is going to be another bitter experience for Shalini!
     
  10. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    dear Sridhar,
    Well, cant help feeling a bit disappointed that Shalini too might be taken for a ride.....well anyway she is also a human being, and with no one to guide now, well she has to learn to live her life!
    Lets hope it is a pleasant shock and Jaggi is not the stereotype villian, smooth talker...etc etc....
    But tzhe rich arer really Rich and spend so much is it .....i am wondering at the costly necklace now, my mind does whirl .....but?!:mrgreen: ( i think i am not greedy!)
    Well really a week is too long to wait ......:cry:
     

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