Ritesh sets the alarm
clock at 5 in the morning. He is to accompany his MD to Mumbai at
a financial product launch. Now it is almost 10 o’clock. It is time
for him to go to bed and take ample rest before the next day’s hectic
program. In fact, the product his company is going to launch is
Ritesh’s brain child. He has been in the financial market for the
last 5 years and understands its nitty-gritty very well. No more
thinking otherwise he will not be able to sleep much tonight. He
switches off the lamp and closes his eyes. He falls asleep soon
The alarm bell rings. Ritesh stops the alarm and gets up. Today
is his most important day of his life. The company is heavily dependent
on his new product launch. If it works, a lot of money could be
raised from the market and that would wipe out the losses. If it
does not work, a lot of people would be laid off, and who knows,
Ritesh may be one of them.
Ritesh did not want
to leave anything to chance. He rehearsed his presentation 10 times
and got all the financial projections in place. By 5.30 he was ready
to go to the airport and called for a taxi. He called up his M.D.
saying that he was heading for the airport. The MD said that he
has cancelled his trip and instead, the Chairperson would be there.
This development was so unexpected that it took him some time to
absorb the impact. Ritesh never felt at ease in the company of a
lady and that too their Chairperson! He was facing challenges but
he had to win as the life of so many of his colleagues depended
Ms. Shilpi, who became
the Company's Chairperson very recently on the demise of her father
was a stranger to him. Ritesh had seen her only once on the day
when she took charge of the company. His thoughts came to a halt
when the taxi driver blew the horn to announce his arrival. His
thoughts continued even as the taxi raced towards the airport. Before
getting down from the taxi, Ritesh combed his hair, set his tie
properly and picked up his briefcase. He then walked to the counter.
There she was. Ritesh raised his hand and signalled that he had
come. After completing initial formalities, they boarded the plane
and sat side by side. After a few minutes, announcements were made
with security instructions for the passengers. The plane took off.
For a few minutes
a stoic silence prevails. Ritesh takes out his notes on the
presentation and starts glancing through them. But his mind
is absent. He feels a sweet fragrance wafting from the next
seat. It is so soothing that he thinks he is dreaming. Shilpi
softly asks “Ritesh, are you ready for the presentation”?
Yes Madam. You see, Shilpi explains her position, “I do not
much understand financial projections but I can tackle human
resources to the best of their potential. I have been seeing
you for quite some time in our company. What is your designation?
I am Manager-Product Development. O.K. Shilpi replies in a
matter of fact manner. And how do you find our company? Shilpi
Yes, I am quite
satisfied and enjoying the work freedom that the company has
given me. You see, Ritesh replies, you might be knowing, the
financial product we are going to launch today, is the result
of this freedom. Of course other colleagues have also helped
me in this venture. Shilpi smiles and nods her head in agreement.
Ritesh feels a subtle recognition has already come to him
and he resolves to continue his hard work till his company
makes a good name in the financial market. There were some
silent moments between them. Ritesh could hear the soft spoken
air hostess distributing breakfast to the passengers.
He closed his eyes
and the aroma of the sweet fragrance Shilpi had applied to her body,
slowly enveloped him. Perhaps he was enjoying the proximity of a
beautiful lady who was so nice to her. He starts to remember the
aunt who used to live next door in his native place when he was
a small boy. She was very fond of Ritesh as she had no child and
Ritesh used to fill that vacuum. The struggle for existence makes
one forget those sweet memories of life because life is not always
that sweet. It comprises of all kinds of tests. Ritesh was deeply
enjoying those moments of life while the time was flying by. With
the announcement that the plane was about to land in Mumbai, Ritesh
became aware of his surroundings.
Both of them came
out of the plane. The company sent a car for the Chairperson and
Ritesh had to fend for himself. Before parting Shilpi offered Ritesh
a lift in her car if he did not mind. It was an offer Ritesh could
not refuse. The Mercedes Benz is a unique car. The ride to the hotel
was a smooth drive. Somehow Ritesh was not feeling free in the presence
of Shilpi, not because she was the company’s Chairperson but because
she is a lady. Ritesh wanted to get out of her presence but it was
not to be. The moment they got down at the hotel, Ritesh requested
her to let him go and see a friend of his in Mumbai and promised
that he will be reaching the venue of the presentation on his own.
Shilpi let him go but told Ritesh to take the car and pick her up
on time for the presentation ceremony. Ritesh felt helpless. However
he said ‘all right.’
In the car Ritesh thought over the matter. Is Shilpi doing him a
favour? It looked like she was. Ritesh feels a soft corner for her.
However, he has no time now to think about that. Before him is the
presentation to be conducted in front of the Financial Experts and
then the Press Conference. He uses his mobile to call his friend,
Prashant. He was at home and waiting for Ritesh’s arrival before
going to office.
meet after a long time. In fact, Prashant is from his native
place. Ritesh is in Delhi and Prashant in Mumbai. Ritesh invites
him to the presentation at 11.00 a.m. Prashant agrees to come
to the presentation for a brief period as he is also busy
with some account closing work. Prashant’s mother invites
Ritesh for a cup of tea which Ritesh could not refuse. Prashant’s
mother broached the subject of his marriage but he by passed
it by saying that today is a very important day for him, career
He seeks her
blessings by touching her feet. She blesses him by saying
‘May God bring success, prosperity and good health to you’.
As time was running out Ritesh had to rush to the Hotel to
pick up Shilpi. In the meantime, Shilpi had a bath and in
her business suit, she was looking gorgeous. For a few minutes
Ritesh was dumb founded. He remembered the saying that women
are the marvel of creation, she is the blooming flower in
the garden of life that breathes perfume all around. How true
He came to his senses
when Shilpi touched him softly saying ‘will you continue to look
at me or get into the car’ Ritesh felt embarrassed and quietly got
into the car and closed his eyes. To break the ice, Shilpi asked
Ritesh whether he was ready for the presentation. Ritesh replied
very shortly ‘Yes’ Even now it was difficult for Ritesh to shake
off his thoughts of her. Shilpi cheered him up saying ‘Ritesh, you
will have enough time later on to think. Now it is time to remember
your presentation.' Ritesh nodded his agreement.
Ritesh was very systematic.
He had his laptop with him and the presentation was ready in Microsoft
Power Point. His job was to explain the product more elaborately
and conduct the question answer session. He had rehearsed everything
a number of times earlier. He had no fear. But he experienced a
different kind of a feeling and he did not know what it was.
They were at the Financial Centre where the presentation was to
take place. The Mumbai office had already arranged all the logistics
and Ritesh only had to find a computer connection. It was 10 minutes
before the presentation. There were about 50 people representing
financial Institutes in Bombay and people from Stock Exchange, the
brokers, from from SEBI were also invited. The Press was there representing,
The Financial Express, The Economic Times, The Business World and
At 11.00 in the morning the presentation began. Ritesh used all
his skills to explain the Mutual Fund his company was launching
and the benefits common investors would accrue. He also explained
how the corporate world could also invest in the bulk purchase of
the Fund @ Rs. 10/- at par. Ms. Shilpi as Chairperson of the Company
told the gathering how his father built up the goodwill of the company
and she appreciated the hard work done by Ritesh and his colleagues
in launching this Mutual Fund. Then the press asked a number of
questions and Ritesh replied to them, one by one. The programme
ended with lunch for all the invited guests.
Shilpi stayed in Mumbai for a few more days to attend to certain
matters relating to Board of Directors of the Company. Ritesh had
to come back to the Delhi office immediately after the programme.
But Shilpi made the effort to drop Ritesh at the airport and wished
him all the best.
In the next few days, the Mutual Fund was in great demand in the
market and before the expiry date, it was oversubscribed 10 times.
Rithesh was promoted to become the Company's Vice President - Product
Sukhendu Roy Chowdhury
I live in Delhi and do outsourcing work for an NRI. I love writing
stort stories, reading travelogues, lives of great people. My website
address is: www.divinepersons.com