This is the Third chapter in the series “Game of Blogs” for the team “ Dynamic Word Weavers” as a part of # CelebrateBlogging campaign by Blogadda.
You can read the previous chapter here
The story so far:
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A few minutes later, Tara barges into the editor’s room without excusing herself. She places a sheet of paper covered in her handwriting on his table.
“Mr. Naren Motwani, if a 24*7 channel doesn’t consider a person as a good resource just because the editor doesn’t like her, let the matter rest. This isn’t the only news channel in the whole world. My journalism school has taught me enough and instilled a little bit of self-respect in me. I am deeply indebted to them for also teaching me ways to tackle idiots at work. I am not referring to you Mr. Motwani” she adds seeing him going red in the face. Next moment she walks towards the door.
Holding the door open, she turns back and says “Please get a refund from your school for not teaching you even a bit of fairness. Good Bye!”
“Ah..!’ he sighs. “Why do I need a refund? They have taught me well to manipulate people into doing what I want them to”. He laughs looking at the neatly drafted resignation of Tara.
Tara comes out from the editor’s office with tears running down her cheeks; she wipes them away with the end of her dupatta and tries to act normal.
She heads straight to her table and starts unpacking things. She connects her external hard disc to the computer and gives a command to copy. The screen flashes: “31 minutes remaining”.
As the hard disc starts copying, Tara’s mind is lost… she wants to erase those memories of what’s just happened
“First time I’m ever feeling insecure, first time I’ve taken such a decision that could affect my family and my child” she says to herself as emotions well in her heart…
“I’m strong enough and independent, I’ll find a new job” she mutters to herself as she uses the last couple of tissues on her table.
The screen flashes ‘All 19916 items copied to drive H’. She wrenches out the external drive and makes a quick exit from there.
Before she starts her car, she turns back for one last time, memories flooding her mind. She sees herself enter the office for the very first time, she sees herself grow, she recollects all the struggles she went through and she sees the future that she had dreamt of – a dream which is now shattered.
Tara finds a relatively uncrowded road during the noon and manages to reach home amidst all the tension.
Shekhar is sitting right in front of the TV with a bowl of burnt noodles. He appears to have just woken from his sleep after a night long conversation with someone over the phone.
“How come you’ve come home so early?” Shekar asks Tara with a yawn.
“I’ve quit” Tara says in a low tone.
“What???!!!” Shekhar is in a state of shock
“Can’t you hear? I said, I’ve quit” Tara fumes.
Shekhar raises his voice “But why?”
“None of your business….” Tara shouts at the top of her voice
Pointing her finger at Shekhar she says “After all you are supposed to be the breadwinner of the family, you are supposed to move your ass outside and do a proper 9-5 job”
Tara gets into an argument with Shekhar, who finishes off his bowl of noodles, despite being at the receiving end of Tara’s anger.
Shekhar senses the argument heating up and decides to go mum. His ever smiling face has lost its charm. He makes his way to the kitchen to fill in another bowl of noodle.
Tara continues to rant as Shekhar decides to remain mum.
Tara still refuses to stop, she vents her anger on the table, she throws the cutlery set down, pulls the table cloth and kicks the chairs. Soon she realizes the mess she has created and decides to calm down. She switches off the TV and throws the remote at Shekhar as she makes her way to the master bedroom.
Tara skips her lunch and decides to spend some time alone in the balcony. She sees her daughter’s van come into the apartment complex.
“Look Roohi, your mamma” Roohi’s friend says pointing towards Tara standing in the balcony.
Roohi bids goodbye to her friends and carries her heavy school bag upstairs.
Tara feels a little relaxed after Roohi comes home.
She says “Roohi, now Mummy is going to spend more time with you honey”.
No sooner has she said this than her phone rings.
“Mrs Dutta, I hope I am not disturbing you? I heard that you are looking for a job.”
“No… But, who are you… how do you know this?”
“How about a job at ‘Ab Tak’ news”
Tara replies “We all at 24*7 hated ‘Ab Tak’ news”
“I know the rivalry, but don’t you worry, we have a better deal for you. Could you please come over to our office by 4 pm? Our CEO Mr. Kartik Verma will be waiting for you.”
“Sure I’ll be there shortly ” Tara replies with a smile on her face.
The voice goes dead....
Tara quickly gathers all her personal documents and rushes downstairs, hails a taxi and is off.
Roohi is taken aback and crestfallen. She goes back to her pink teddy bear and says “Mamma is never gonna change”.
The interview with the CEO goes well and Tara comes back satisfied within a couple of hours. An hour later she receives a few files at home. She keeps them on the teapoy, next to the sofa where Shekhar is sitting and watching some old songs. He notices the files marked ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ and a logo of ‘Ab Tak’.
He turns to Tara and asks “You have joined Ab Tak ? Don’t you know about them?”
“They gave me an offer I couldn’t turn down” Tara replies as her phone rings.
Shekhar knows better than to ask more. Tara smiles to herself. She has to meet the Senior Editor Mr. Narasimha Murthy tomorrow afternoon.
It is Cyrus on the phone.
“Hello ma’am, Cyrus here, When can I come to your office? I’m waiting for an update on my research project”
“Come home, I have a lot to tell you” she says, giving him the directions to reach her residence.
An hour passes by as Tara is busy in the kitchen doing the dishes and preparing pasta for the evening.
Cyrus reaches the apartment, pays the auto man his fare and makes his way up to the apartment. He reaches the second floor and rings the bell. To his surprise he sees a familiar person, a person he knew back in Delhi, coming out of the adjacent apartment. The name plate outside the flat reads: Aryan Ahuja. Ahuja recognizes Cyrus and they greet each other warmly. Tara opens the door to find them together.
She interrupts their conversation “Ahem, so you guys know each other already?”
Cyrus replies “I’ve seen Ahuja grow as a standup comedian from my days at the Delhi Univesity, He was our star back then. I’ve attended almost all his shows throughout the years of my graduate studies.”
“He’s even saved me from those rotten tomatoes thrown at me” says Ahuja jovially slapping Cyrus on back. He excuses himself saying he has some urgent work and leaves.
Tara invites Cyrus inside and introduces him to her husband and Roohi. She then goes to the kitchen to finish her work and get something for Cyrus.
Cyrus sits next to Roohi and appreciates the artwork she has been doing. He finds her very talented and helps her with her artwork.
“Look mummy, finished… Uncle helped me complete” Roohi says as Tara returns with a plate of snacks and orange juice.
“Good, honey, now go pack your bag and get ready for tomorrow”.
”Thank you uncle”, Roohi says, as she hops away to her room, indicating she had jelled well with Cyrus.
“So, lets begin….” Tara and Cyrus start discussing about work as Shekar leaves the room …..