Life on Two Pillars-Part-1/2
Final year students of MNIT Engineering College were waiting for their placement result in-front of the admin building. They were waiting for V&C’s final result. It is a famous MNC in the oil gas filed. At one side student were tensed and other side Sonika was at the hostel segregating their less used belongings so that she can gave it to her juniors and peon. The last paper of final semester was on the day after tomorrow. She was much excited about her home. Alike of her friends she was not much excited about the job. After getting bored with this segregation, she prepares a hot coffee at her electric kettle. Like all other hostel cooking was not allowed, but as usual the hostel students keep these things secretly away from the reach of warden. She was excited that after completion of engineering education, she might get chance to live with her mother. She appeared to this company on her mother request that how she will prove her education. She poured coffee in a cup and come out of her room for fresh air. She stood against the wall her balcony. This balcony opens towards the entrance road to the girl’s hostel. Actually, she had some tension, if mother will not allow live with her at Bengaluru then what she will do . She was sure that she would not go for further studies. She was not having any job. After this there would no placement take from the college premise? She silently sipped few sips of coffee. Suddenly she saw that her friend Ridhika rushing violently towards hostel in her scooty. Ridhika and Sonika both was a room partner since first semester. She got a job at a very good company from IT field. As soon she reached at the hostel gate started shouting “Sonika-2 you are through at V&C, Siddarth sir, and company official are waiting for you at Admin building, you are the only candidate who has cleared the interview.” Sonika first exclaimed with joy but soon become silent. She was not able to decide what she should do. Ridhika guessed the situation and insisted her, “atleast attend the meeting at present, we will think about your puzzle later.” Offer letter signed between Sonika and V&C and date of joining given in the mid of June 2011.
Anurag had bought a big house at Noida sector-50, so he needs more money to fulfill his demand. In search of that he left the present organization and joins the V&C as a senior engineer. He is in this filed since passed graduation in 2004. He was also the product of MNIT, Jaipur. V&C was his third job. He was quite calculative in every aspect of life. He had very limited social network. He got married with Rimmi in 2007. Since 2007 both were living in Noida. So they liked the city. Rimmi was in job, but she left the job when she was expecting her baby. Rimmi was slightly aggressive and limited to her world. Both worlds were in those days limited around their baby girl Ranu. She got admission at a reputed school at Noida. Ranu was slightly shy, but was very intelligent.
For new job, Anurag needs to travel between Noida and Gurgaon. ‘If you want to gain something, then you have to invest something’, this mantra Anurag derived during his college days from law of conservation of energy. Anurag was very strict with office timing. Soon he made a friend (same company colleague) from his society. Both pooled their car on the alternate day basis.
After completing the engineering courses Sonika reached at her home at 7 blocks, Jayanagar, Bengaluru. She loved this house very much as this house was her father’s dream. Since she lost her father, she dwell here as a visitor. She always tried to live here, but her mother never let her. Chandrika was very much worried about Sonika safety after her father’s death. She was the only owner of her father’s wealth. Shrikant and Chandrika were blessed with Sonika at very later stage of marriage. So a lot of their close relative has bad eyes on their property. They are aware of this atmosphere. So they bequeath their property at very early age of Sonika. Shrikant was a government civil engineer. Apart from the job he also owned a small shopping complex at MG Road from their ancestor. This complex was totally managed by Chandrika. Shrikant lost his life in an accident at a construction site. There was a rumor that it was a planned accident among their relative, co-worker and a big businessman. Sonika was 12 years old when she lost her father. After that her mother sends her to Welham girls’ boarding school in Dehradun with the help of her father’s best friend Nagendra Negi. Sonika was not willing to go there, but her mother does not want to take any risk. Father death and boarding school made Sonika a little sincere about her study. Only during the long vacation her mother lets her to come at home. At Bengaluru her mother never left her alone. Sonika always kept her novel or a book with her in a small bag, even when she visited at shopping complex. At shopping complex there was a small office. Chandrika spent most of her time there so Sonika. In 12th class she appeared for engineering entrance examination and she got admission at MNIT, Jaipur.
On the sunny day on 13 June, 2011, all the trainees (three) joined the V&C. They were very excited and very mesmerized with the office interior at Infinity Tower in Gurgaon. V&C office setup was at 4th floor. There were around 100 employees. On the first day there was a lot of joining formalities. Second day all the trainees were given a small presentation by each department head at V&C. Third day all the trainees were handed over to their respective department. Anurag was appointed Sonika’s mentor. Company had given to all the trainees’ guest house for one month. After that they have to arrange their own house. After consultation with her mother Sonika prefer to shift at a PG with the help of his uncle Nagendra Negi. Other two colleagues were from some other college. Only Sonika was girl among them. Other trainees become room partner with their friends.
A lot of time Sonika feels alone in Gurgaon, especially on weekends. Anurag was very busy at that time as there was project deliverable at the end of June. So, he had given a few documents and code to Sonika for her study. Anurag was bit relaxed, on the first Monday of 4 July, 2011. Sonika say good morning to him. In reply Anurag asked her how was your weekend? She replied “Sir, it was not good”, with the slightly dull response. Then in curiosity, he asked what happen. In response she said “nothing”. Anurag got worried that might anything happened wrong with her, so he offered a coffee to her. “Let’s have a cup of coffee at the pantry. Do you like?” She shook her head in affirmation. They sat at the twin chair, table with their coffee. Then suddenly Sonika asked him about his kid and wife. Anurag proudly explained about both Rimmi and Ranu then he started explaining about work at the office. Sonika listened with slightly less interest as it was a little boring. At last Sonika asked “Sir, Can I do lunch with you?” Usually, Anurag ate his lunch alone. Actually, he doesn’t to waste time after lunch. After finishing his lunch, he used to go for walk for 10 minutes. He didn’t reply and sit at his place. At 12:30 Sonika again asked “sir, can I accompany with you.” Anurag replied “I bring my tiffin box and I don’t like to share” in a bit tough voice. Sonika replied ” Ok sir, I will not share” then smiled. Since a month Sonika not smiled, so she was feeling slightly relaxed. Both sit at a twin table, Sonika was with her paid lunch and when Anurag opened the lunch box Sonika exclaimed “wow sir lady finger with paratha, I like very much.” Sonika turned the table without asking Anurag and said “sir, do you know since, I came here I have not ate food cooked at home.” After slightly get irritated, he started eating Sonika paid lunch. After finishing the lunch, he came to his place and put his tiffin box in his bag. Later, he visited to his department manager’s cabin and asked for him for the release of the role mentor-ship for Sonika. But department manager replied that knowingly he choosed him as a mentor after knowing a little about her family background. He refused to change.
As Anurag had released from the project so his new seat had been moved near to the people those who were not in the project. Sonika seat also moved in the same cubical. Sonika was now feeling slightly happy as at least she found someone with whom she can chat. Usually, she chats with her best friend Ridhika over the phone. Mostly by nature she kept silent, but whenever she feels comfortable she spoke a lot. But since her father died, she never felt comfortable. Now again weekend came, Anurag with family came to Gurgaon to visit his friend’s house. As soon as they were about to reach there, then he received a call from his friend that his friend’s father with more relative was coming to his friend,s house. Judging the situation, Rimmi decided that they were not going to his friend’s house. So they decided to visit the MG mall. It was around 12pm and shop were just starting to open. They enter at Shopper Stop as soon as they entered, then Rimmi notice that someone was calling “Anurag sir-2”. As she turned there was a girl in her twenties around 5′-6″ tall, fair in color with long black hair in blue jeans and pink top with caption “alone in world.” Sonika say hello to Rimmi. Rimmi replied with smile, then asked “are you Sonika?” She replied “Yes ma’am! But how, you recognize me?” Rimmi replied “Anurag has told me about you.”
Soon Rimmi heard that Ranu was crying so both moved near to them. Ranu was crying for a big barbie toy, but Anurag was refusing that. But when Ranu saw the Sonika she stops crying. Anurag asked to her “what are you doing here?” She replied “sir, usually when I feel bored, came to this mall. I don’t like weekend.” Rimmi asked her “why? Did you not have any friend or relative?” She replied “no ma’am, as I am the only student to this company and only girl from my both school and college placed at Delhi NCR. Friend is there, but either they are at phone or at the internet. As I am from Karnataka so have no relative. Negi uncle is there but at present he is posted at Arunchal Pradesh. Except Anurag sir, I don’t know anyone.” Rimmi asked “did you eat your breakfast?” But before Sonika, Anurag replied “I think Sonika will not eat with us she has to go somewhere, let her go Rimmi.” Sonika quickly replied “can I accompany with you Rimmi didi.” Rimmi angrily spoke to Anurag “where you are as she already told that she has no friend and here she is killing her time don’t be smart. Let’s go to the food court. But why do you call me didi?” Sonika replied “as I am not having any sibling…..and suddenly ‘god mother’ put this word in my mouth so I called you didi. Can I call you didi, if you don’t mind?” Rimmi look at her with angry face “then you have to face my anger also.” Sonika replied “yes didi” Both laughed. Ranu interrupt ” also, ‘god mother’ told me that I should call you mausi.” All ladies laughed loudly except Anurag, he was with zero response at his face.
At evening Sonika also return back with Anurag at Noida with planning that she will attend the office on Monday with Anurag. Ranu and Sonika became good friend they played a lot of games. Rimmi cooked idly and sambhar for dinner. At the dinner table Sonika’s eyes was running with water as since her father’s death, she never did such dinner with her favorite food. Rimmi console her with hug. On Sunday they went to the TGIP mall do some shopping and lunch. They come back at evening. Sonika expressed her wish for cooking as she never did that. Rimmi assured her that she would help her. On Monday, Sonika went to the office in the pool. Monday evening she was little sad at her PG. She called Rimmi and said that she wanted to talk to Ranu. Like this 4 days had gone. Friday came, Sonika wanted again to go with Anurag at his home, but ….not able to do that. Also, she was expecting a call from didi. On Saturday there was friends gathering at the Anurag flat so everyone was busy. Sonika picked her phone a lot of time, but was unable to call. Even she didn’t talk much with her mother. On Sunday morning she was not feeling well she was lying over the bed. She had no room partner so there was no one to take care. She even hides this with her mother over the phone. There was an important program for trainees on Monday. Anurag’s manager asked him about Sonika as she was not present at the office till 10 am. Anurag was not having any idea. His manager then called him in his cabin and told that Sonika had some fever so please help her. When he visited her PG in lunch hour, she was lying on her bed with high fever. He took her to the doctor and bought the medicines then took her again to her PG. Then he came back to the office. At evening Ranu asked about Sonika then he told about her situation. Rimmi became angry and shouted at him. She called to Sonika. There was no improvement, even situation become worse. So, Rimmi decided that took Sonika to her flat on thesame night. Anurag was not willing but when Rimmi told that this may happen with Ranu then he became ready. They took her to his flat on same night. She was having high fever of 103+. Rimmi puts a cold towel to her forehead and gave her medicine. Around 1:00 am she started feeling better then all went for sleeping.
Next day at dinner Rimmi told Anurag that Soinka was going to live as a paying guest with them. As Rimmi knew that Anurag would not agree that’s why she told that Sonika would live as paying guest with a monthly payment of INR 10,000. Still Anurag was not agreed as he doesn’t want to share his family happiness with others. But Rimmi convinced him by explaining the past of Sonika. Also, he got called from Sonika mother to thank you. It has decided that Sonika would share Ranu room and help to Rimmi in household works. Sonika became new pool partner of Anurag. When Anurag’s manager heard about this, he praised his for this. All were happy except Anurag. Chandrika flew to Delhi to meet Anurag and Rimmi for thanks. After the meeting, she got fully relaxed and request to them, please keep Sonika with them till her marriage. She was searching for suitable boy.
Now things had slightly changed in their lives. Especially for Sonika she was enjoying a family life after a long time. On those days she became bit happy. Her personality became little charming. She started making good bonding with Rimmi and Ranu. Soon Anurag accustomed himself with new atmosphere. One day Ranu become angry with Rimmi and angrily she shouted at Rimmi “I don’t like you I will bring new mummy.” Then Rimmi replied “I will not give you money, then how you will bring.” After a moment of thought she replied that she would make Sonika aunty as her new mummy and she ran towards Sonika. Sonika asked then “will papa accept me as your new mummy.” She shook her head affirmatively and said “I will convince Papa.” Sonika asked “So where will your old mummy live?” Rimmi replied “ok, I will leave the house and will move to a new baby house.” This makes Ranu bit confused, later she ran towards the Rimmi “mummy no one will leave the house, we will live together including Sonika aunty.” Everyone laughed.
Rimmi planned to go to her native home in kanpur in Dussehra vacation.Since two-three weeks Sonika became able to cook some basic food. So, this time she was a bit relaxed as Sonika was there to help, to Anurag, so she planned for one whole week vacation. She went through Shatabdi Express with Ranu at separate seat on Saturday morning. Both Sonika and Anurag went to New Delhi railway station to see them off. On same Saturday Anurag got an invitation from one of his friend Ramesh for his new house party. After reaching home Rimmi called to Anurag about her safe journey. She also talked to Sonika and casually asked about what they are going to cook at evening. Sonika replied that as she would be alone, so might ordered pizza. Rimmi argued to Anurag for Sonika so that he took her. Rimmi worried as she would not be there, then Anurag might drink with their friends and would back to home at late night. That was not safe. At party, except Ramesh rest thought that Sonika was his wife. There was a group photo shoot. Ramesh’s mother forcefully puts them together for photos. Anurag in confusion and respect accept that. As only Anurag and Sonika was not with babies, so Ramesh mother taught a lesson to Sonika for baby. Sonika was also confused why she said all this. They left the party at 10.00pm in the car Sonika asked “why your friend’s mother asking me about baby.” Anurag replied “I don’t know.” “What I understand that might she was considering me your wife” she replied. “What? Next time onward you will not go with me, until unless Rimmi will not come back.” Next day morning Anurag called to Rimmi and said his decision. Rimmi first laughed, then jokingly asked to him “do you like her?” Anurag became so angry and shouted at her.
During Christmas vacation Ambarish was coming to his home after two years of stay in the USA. His father Kalyan Kumar planned a marriage for him. Al least his engagement with a decent girl. For this Kalyan Kumar with his wife came to Chandrika’s shopping complex. Suddenly they met there. Chandrika offered a cup of coffee to them and asked about the purpose of shopping. Chandrika also expressed her willingness of her daughter’s marriage. Then they planned the meeting of Ambarish and Sonika. Chandrika called to Sonika and tell about her plan. She refused at once and then told “I will not marry with anyone and will not leave to you and the country. After a few years of job I am planning to come back to Bengluru O.K.” Ambarish and Sonika were childhood friend.But since long they did not talk to each other. When Ambarish heard this plan, he called to Sonika and told about his excitement. He told Sonika if she doesn’t want to settle in the USA then within a few years he will come to Bengluru and will start their own business. Sonika was not impressed and refused the offer. Then on suggestion from Rimmi rest planned that Ambarish will come to Delhi and she will arrange their meeting. Sonika was not informed about this.
On the first Saturday of 3 December, 2011, Anurag and Rimmi planned to visit at their bank of their home loan branch as it gave them an offer for reducing home loan rate. Ranu was also accompanying them. Rimmi advice Sonika be at home and asked her to be ready with lunch preparation and after coming from the bank, she would cook the lunch. They left at 9:30am. Sonika closed the door. When they come down at the ground floor, Ambarish was waiting there. Rimmi recognized him from his photos at social networking websites. All things are as per plan. Anurag didn’t aware of this plan. He surprised. They went into their car for the bank. Ranu was not much surprised as she was also part of this plot. Ambarish bring a big barbie with a lot of chocolate for Ranu. As usual, she became very happy. In the car Anurag asked to Rimmi “what is going on why I am not aware of this?” Rimmi replied with a serious face ” Sonika start loving you, she wants be the second mummy of Ranu, so I planned this.” Anurag became angry, then next moment after a silence he replied “don’t joke like this sometimes Sarswati (the lady Hindu god of education) sits on tong.” Rimmi quickly asked “during my absence in vacation, I think that you start liking her.” Anurag angrily shouted at her and stopped the car. Then Ranu suggested to papa “don’t be angry, anger is a bad thing, only bad people express their anger.” Then both laughed loudly.
to be continued…….