Chapter 7 link : Chapter 7
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Continuation of the lunch scene
“Oh, I see you are having lunch in the veranda.” Manik came back outside with his lunch tray. Looking at him in jeans and collared T-shirt, makes him look like any other normal person. Not an ounce of the arrogant pride oozing out.
(Nandini) “It has sitting space, why not enjoy the view when eating?” I said in monotone. He sat opposite to me like what he said few moments ago didn’t even happen. No matter how many times I experience this ‘no guilt, no conscience’ attitude of people, I never get used to it. It annoys me to no limit. All I can do is act like I don’t care.
(Manik) “You mean this empty landscape is a view to enjoy?” He looked at me with disbelief. Some people just don’t know to appreciate things around.
(Nandini) “Is it not? I have never thought otherwise. You cannot feel this freshness in the city. I never get tired of it.”
(Manik) “If you like it so much, why do you stay in the city? You can move.” If I could, I would have.
(Nandini) “I have a responsibility. I won’t forsake it for my selfishness.”
(Manik) “Oh! Responsibility? Like?” What does he take me for a dumb bimbo? “I don’t know what you know about my stand in the group but I can tell you I will not abandon it for the sake of wilfulness. Similar to you, I also am part of a huge group.”
(Manik) “Big words indeed. I won’t comment on it.” I never wanted you to comment on it. There was a moment of awkward silence.
(Manik spoke just to break the silence) “I see that you have changed your dress. Tell me about yourself, Nandini.” I don’t care if he thinks I changed because he said so.
(Nandini) “Why would you want to know about me?”
(Manik) “That’s a weird question. I am your fiancé.”
(Nandini) “It does not give any implied instruction that you should know about the other party.”
(Manik) “It’s still two persons, is it not?”
(Nandini) “Oh? Are we engaged to each other? I was sure it was for the two companies.”
(Manik) “Still, no harm in getting to know each other.” Why is he so persistent when he hates me?
(Nandini) “Manik, you made it clear and let me also make it clear, this engagement is only till my sister’s wedding. You are free to have your way with anyone else you want even during our engagement period.”
(Manik) “What about you? Is the same applicable to you?” He smiled politely but his eyes looked serious.
(Nandini) “It is not that I am being faithful to the engagement but I can never take any relationship physical. Now that this is clear, we can plan our actions as we want.” I felt tensed
and cold at the same time. I hope he doesn’t question further. I didn’t dare to meet his eyes.
(Manik) “I see. We seem to have cleared up more than one doubt in our minds. Thanks for the food. I will be in my room if you need me.”
(Nandini’s POV) Each word he said with spite, felt like arrows. He got up and left. I was surprised by his reaction. Why is he angry when he hates me?
(Manik’s POV) Never has there been a woman who has openly showed her disinterest in me. I was never serious about her but still it gets on your nerves to hear it from her. I will
show her that she is not that different from other girls. The next day, I got up early to jog. Sleeping after a long time reenergised me. As I was out running, I saw another person running in front of me. I couldn’t tell who it was. When that person was returning, I noticed that it was Nandini. She is a doctor after all, what did I expect! I didn’t care to greet her and neither did she. I don’t want to get mad early in the morning. She can take care of herself if she cares to put herself at risk. When I returned, she was sitting outside again and tossed me a bottle of water.
(Manik irked) “Why are you giving me water?”
(Nandini) “You should always drink water or some liquid after a run.”
(Manik) I tossed it back to her. “I don’t get thirsty. Thank you.”
(Nandini) “Hey, drink some. If not, it is bad for your health.”
(Manik angered because of Last day’s incident) Like you care about me at all! “Can You Just Shut Up! I Can Take Care Of Myself.”
(Nandini) “Why are you so snappy early in the morning?”
(Manik) “I have no necessity to answer to you. Be ready at nine. We are going to be visiting the factory.” Really, I seem to have no patience when it concerns her. Every time, I think of playing around with her and every time, I seem to lose myself in the situation. Why do I keep shifting my moods so often around her? This is not like me at all. What is happening to my level headed thinking? To be thrown off my poise like this, I would have better off throwing this to my subordinates. I came out at exactly nine and Manik was waiting outside.
(Nandini) “Shall we go?” I wore pants, since I need to be walking around and I tied up my hair. Now he cannot complain.
(Nandini’s POV) When we arrived, the big-headed manager put someone to show us around. The factory had the capacity to make it huge. There was enough space pre-planned for expansion. The Malhotra group has taken a long-term decision on carrying on this business. I wonder why Papa agreed for a short-term venture. As we were walking around after getting out of the jeep, suddenly, I couldn’t raise my shoes. I knew it! The heel of my shoe was stuck on top of the drainers. How am I going to get it out? I tried to pull it out, but in vain. Manik noticed me after going some distance ahead. He grinned. Why the hell did I bother to wear pen heels?
(Manik sarcastically) “So, even after yesterday’s lecture, you proved that you cannot dress for a factory. You must have handled only white-collar jobs. Never gotten your hands dirty, eh?” The people surrounding, the workers tried to control their laughter.
(Nandini) “If you care so much, why not help me?” I tried not to give in. He came to help me chuckling. Why me!
(Manik) “Looks like it is stuck. You can break the heel or you need to remove this set of frame and take the shoe out. Which do you prefer? I am sure you don’t want to waste a branded pair of shoes.”
(Nandini) I got mad at him. I immediately broke the heel from my shoes. “This will do, won’t it?” He looked up furious. The workers murmured around.
(Manik) “You mad woman!” He whispered, Mad Woman? Why do I need to hear that from him! “Come on. Lets go.” He extended his hand to me. I refused it and walked ahead of him. He pulled me to him instantly. I almost lost my balance and would have fell down had he not caught me in his arms. He whispered into my ears, “Are you idiot or what? These workers earn a lot less than the cost of those shoes. Showing that you don’t care about the cost will cause disbelief on you by them.” He held my shoulders so tight that it pained.
(Nandini) “They are not costly! I got them in a flea market! I don’t necessarily stick to brands.” I didn’t realise I shouted that. Suddenly, laughter broke out. Everyone was laughing.
Manik was laughing. What the!
(Manik) “I see. I will get you a new one. Don’t worry.”
(Nandini) “Who is worrying? I don’t need you to get me one. I can get one myself.”
(Manik) “Of course, you can afford one by yourself, if it is bought from a bazaar.” He tried to control his laughter but didn’t stop laughing. Every time I try to get back at him, he insults me back with his answer!
(Manik again) “Okay. I think we should continue with our tour of the factory and head back.”
(Nandini’s POV) He said calming himself down. I walked in front of him. Really, why am I stuck here with him! Should I ask Rishabh to come here to take my place? But if I do that, I can say goodbye to my freedom. Argh! Hold on, Nandini. Just a few months. After the tour, I was finally able to separate myself from the pest and go to the research department.
Finally, my area of speciality! As I entered, the researchers got up. Not a single girl around. Really? But thinking logically which girl would opt to come here, to middle of nowhere?
(Nandini to the group of researchers and scientists) “Hello, everyone! I am Nandini Murthy. As you were informed earlier, I will be joining in with your research work.”
(Researcher 1) “You mean check our work.” One person got up. Around my height, dirty blond hair, thin, intelligent features, sharp blue eyes glaring at me. Interesting. I pulled up a chair and sat down.
(Nandini with a smirk) “Mr. Samuel Parkson. The head researcher here. You have been transferred about ten months back from the hospital that I headed. Thirty but already being the head of the department at hospital earned you many enemies. But you know, that’s something I don’t like. People should not be made chief just because they are qualified if they cannot get along with their surroundings.”
(Samuel) “You mean suck up to others?” This is why I hate researchers. Cooped up in a room, they don’t know anything about human nature.
(Nandini) “I meant being polite. See, if you don’t know how to behave as a leader, what is the use of giving you that position?”
(Samuel) “I don’t want such a position if I have to sweep others’ bottoms.”
(Nandini) “What an innocent, narrow minded person in this competitive world! Aren’t you just like your previous subordinates who didn’t like a younger person for their boss?” He bit his lips. A rebel the instant I entered. I am going to have some tough time around here.
(Nandini continued) “I am glad to see we could reach an understanding. Sorry for not taking this to my office as it is quite some distance from here. Once again, lets start with the introductions, I am Nandini Murthy, former head of the Murthy Hospitals. Most of you are from one or the other branch of the hospitals. Some may have worked with me like Mr.
Samuel Parkson. If we have any difference of opinion, I would love to clear it before we start like what happened just now. I don’t like gossips behind my back. If you have any problem, be a man and say it out.” There was no reply. “So shall we start with our work?”
“You have any problems with our research?” Samuel talked back. The others just kept quiet. It is all Rishabh’s fault. He chose this idiot as head and made sure the others are younger and more subservient.
(Nandini) “Fine. I see that the hierarchy problem isn’t sorted out yet. I thought we could continue it in my office, it seems you would like to know where you stand.” I took out the files I got the other day, and finally took out a bunch of sheets where I made note of what I wanted rectified.
(Nandini) “Excuse me Mr. Luthra, do you mind taking a copy of these sheets for each of you? We will wait till you come.” He stood looking at Samuel. “Please hurry soon. I want to start working soon.” He left instantly. “Also, Mr. Kolsh, is there any empty cabin here for me?”
(Samuel irked) “I see you memorised their names.”
(Kolsh ignoring Samuel) “Yes Maám there is a cabin empty for you opposite to the research lab.”
(Nandini) “Only kids memorise, others remember. Oh, thank you, Mr. Kolsh. Now, we just have to wait for Mr. Luthra.” There were fifteen researchers including Samuel Parkson.
When I read his profile, I thought he would be a problem but I never expected him to become one so soon. A few minutes later, he came back with the copies.
(Nandini)“Thank you Mr. Luthra. Now, each one of you will have one. Mr. Samuel Parkson has proudly and rather childishly, accepted that your research is flawless. I, no doubt, respect your hard work and being a doctor who has constantly been involved in various researches, I know the trouble that you have been through. It is good to have pride in your work, however, keeping in mind that there may be an error or mistake isn’t wrong. If you see through these pages, you will notice all the mistakes, a senior researcher, I respect and
I have discovered in your research material. I will give you a day to verify if my accusations are true or not. Tomorrow, I would like to know what each and everyone of you think about it, in my office. It seems that till then, continuing would be impossible.”
(Nandini’s POV) I left. Am I a school teacher or what? Such an immature bunch! Really, Rishabh sure picked his handmade batch.
Precap : More Work 😀
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