Many eyebrows raised when they saw that familiar dark svelte figure entering through the Grand mahogany door of Galgotia Mansion .Office was full of buzz seeing her cross the corridor and turn into the newly built office for the new creative director. The dark kohled eyes looked the same though hair were colored golden now and had lost the pitch black sheen of past . The walk was still swift and mannerisms sharp. Few heaved a sigh of relief at the sight , most shuddered.
N.K. looked highly displeased and could not contain his displeasure ,expressing it the moment he joined Chaitya in her office – the office of the Managing Director of Galgotia Exports. “What is she….” He begun to say but stopped. In all the years that they had worked together, he had never questioned her authority or competence to make right judgement but not this time.
Mr. Jayanti Lal Galgotia was a ruthless businessman who broke all rules of the book to amass wealth and became rich in a short span of time .He had no emotions for anything but power and money.
Chaitya,a young Oxford Graduate of 21 years of age , was just back from London when she had to take over the reins of their exports business under adverse circumstances due to the sudden demise of J.L. in a reckless car collision .Since then, the business had soared to a different level of success due to her diligence and hard work. The only thing she couldn’t control were certain open wounds her father had left behind.
Wounds that she had been secretly nurturing and hiding since last 15 years.
“Baba” Chaitya responded to N.K’s unasked question.He was like a father figure to her. Actually,N.K. was her father’s Best Aide at work. Best aide but not a friend or a partner.Though N.K and J.K were best of friends since college days and J.K was an integral part of the expansion of Galgotia Empire,he could never rise above the ranks and made partner in the business.
This is what J.L. would say “You can’t let your workers sit with you and share a peg. If you do that, they would breach your head faster than the whiskey”. But Chaitya, unlike her father, trusted N.K completely and he,in return, protected her from external forces like an armor.
“Baba, she has changed .Five years of staying away from the city in an ashram has changed her completely. She is calm and in control of her emotions, anger and greed. She does not look like the vile and conceit woman she had become under the influence of the good for nothing husband. She has thrown him out of her life. He cannot cheat us anymore.” She looked convinced but N. K. had his doubts.
Kalita, unlike her elder sister was a obstinate and insensitive woman. She seemed like a replica of J.L. in many ways. Her husband had been responsible for a big scam about five years back where he swindled money worth crores with due assistance from Kalita. A scam which was unearthed by Chaitya and N.K while scrutinizing the accounting books.” It is not just a family business Kalita, many stakeholders have put their money in it. This money is not ours Kalita, it is of the fund. How could Aneesh do this to us!!!” Chaitya was livid.
Thus, Golgotia Empire saw exodus of Kalita and Anish from the business and the city for good. Until today ,when Kalita resurfaced.
Slowly, things started getting back to normal and Kalita got into the helms of things. It looked like as if she had no past to be ashamed of . She admired Chaitya openly and showed her affection for her sister in public. They went back living together in their parents’ house. Their mother had renounced the world and moved to Rishikesh after giving a power of attorney in the name of Chaitya.
Chaitya could never understand the hostile equation between her parents J.K and Presha but she sometimes felt that Kalita understood the reason better than her and perhaps this was the reason for her volatility. A fact she never really got to discover further, a fact she should have probed further.
Chaitya never married. Work was her priority and where was the time to commit one to marital compulsions . Even though she had dated many men in past ,she never liked any one enough to get married to for life.
Work, Home, Work –that is all she knew. Expanding Galgotia Empire was her mission and destination .
Time passed by.
“Hey ,I am Sourav “, a tall lanky dark man stood up smilingly from the visitors’ chair and turned towards her as she entered her office .Chaitya was taken aback to see a stranger when he spoke again,” Kalita must have spoken to you about me .” Yes, yes, of course, please sit ”, she recalled. She had almost forgotten Kalita had mentioned about this young man to her but she forgot.
“Yes,yes Kalita was all praises for you, mentioned that you were there her senior at Wharton. “Yes, Kalita is quite a girl, sometimes we all wondered why she was at a place like Wharton, she should have been at the acting school, she’ so good at it.” He laughed again and then continued talking.
“Ok, coming back to business, these are my papers. Kalita said you are looking at someone to manage investments for you. I have 10 years of work experience managing global funds.”
His papers looked impressive and the recommendations were encouraging. Sourav was on board as Head Corporate Finances the next day. Slowly, he took reins of all corporate finances and results were visible easily with investments made in right funds at the right time.
She liked him – liked the way he laughed, his pearly white teeth, intelligent eyes and the whole demeanor . He exuded certain charm which attracted her to him. She was suddenly shy upon discovering her feelings towards a stranger she had met barely few minutes back.
N.K. knew Chaitya would not listen to him, the blood was proving thicker than the old ties.
“The Maggots are settling in, Mishra, the fly has laid them well.” He told his Man Friday, Mishra. Mishra didn’t understand N.Ks scientific quotes that he was so fond of quoting sometime. Sometimes he wondered what an intelligent and educated man like N.K. doing at a place like an Export house. He just nodded his head and poured in the tea.
Chaitya woke up with a strong headache .She had spent last night in the office trying to finish the annual report to be presented before the investors during the Annual General Meeting next week. Sourav was there too, helping her tie the loose ends. Thinking of Sourav, a smile crossed her thin lips, suddenly, she felt very beautiful inside, thinking about the love making session that followed on her office couch last night after the reports were complete. They were sipping wine, laughing with tinkle in their eyes and they knew this was coming on since last few cozy dinners they have been sharing on the terrace lounge of Marriot hotel which was at a stone throw away distance from their office. But in the office….. she smiled coyly, tying her long hair into a bun.
During those tender and intimate moments, she was relaxed and felt heavenly. Sourav gently asked her how she could sail through such a long journey of life and then she spoke about how she took over the business, the difficulties, the support and her wounds. The words flew like a river which was restrained for long and had waited all this while to break the dam and rush out to meet her nemesis.
The wounds!!! She was suddenly alert. She told Sourav about her dark secret that no one else knew except N. K. Ah, she looked at the temple in her office. The door was ajar and secret chamber was out. She rolled her head back on the chair and closed her eyes. The seconds arm was ticking away on the wall clock.
In next 30 minutes, the Enforcement Directorate team was all over the place. Someone had tipped them late last night on the Foreign Exchange Scam basis which the Galgotia Mansion old business was built.
A wound that she has been hiding in her heart since her father’s demise. A wound which would never heal.
On her way out with the police, Chaitya felt the knocking of nails in her head which were being drilled on the new “Managing Director” board outside Kalita’s cabin . While crossing the cabin, she heard tinkling of delicate champagne glasses and suppressed laughter of triumph, of a woman and two men. She recalled then, how Aneesh swore by his best friend, a Finance wizard from School who gave him winning investment tips.
She felt deceived twice over.
Before the AGM, the company was divided into two units. The old one was left in Chaitya’s name as she knew the intricacy of the old business and the new profit making business, Chalita Exports had the power of attorney in favour of Kalita,this was the business Chaitya had nurtured in last 15 years on ethical grounds.
This was a decision N.K. had strongly protested against but Chaitya’s love for her only sister and a nod from Sourav sealed her fate. In case of any eventuality, the power of attorney entitled Kalita to take over the company. This was kept as an emergency clause and it proved to be the nail on Chaitya’s coffin.
Chaitya could not fathom how it all could happen so suddenly in front of her eyes and she could do nothing about it. She looked at N. K. with blank eyes, her only hope and got into the police jeep.
Mishra was looking at N.K. and Chaitya with puzzled eyes. Office was still vacant and only few early comers were there. He had never seen Madam or N. K.ji so dejected and lost before and why there was police all over the office, where are they taking Madam, all handcuffed with police women holding her hands.
All these years, he was the one who would ensure that her green tea and her meals were served to her in time, she always thanked her for his services and ensured that his family was well taken care of. He was a simple man and did not understand the complexities of life. He looked at N.K. with puzzled eyes and N.K. took a deep sigh. After a big pregnant pause, he turned towards Mishra and started speaking though his eyes were blank and it was as if he was speaking to himself .
“How could she let that housefly to sit on her open wounds for so long .Housefly’s larvae produced worms, the worms are feeding on her flesh now and she is bleeding ”Oh, how she is bleeding, my poor child, she is in deep pain,what could I do to ease her pain, what could I do to sooth her wounds” .Howling loudly , N.K. broke down and fell on his knees . She was his own blood, his own daughter and he thought no one knew this besides him and Presha. He didn’t know this till today that Kalita knew this secret as well. And this was the revenge Kalita had carefully planned for her mother’s infidelity.
N.K. was kneeling with his head clenched between his legs and Mishra was getting worried. N. K. had been the pillar of strength at Galgotia Mansion and an epitome of wisdom . “Doomsday is here “he thought sadly before kneeling down besides N. K. to console him.
“I told her maggots would breed, I told her that she would bleed … she thought I was over-reacting. You see how cleverly that fly sat on her wounds and infested it with eggs. How could I let this happen when I see it all coming along .How would I heal her wounds now.” saying this, he collapsed on the floor.
******************************************************************************Maggots The MAGGOTS infest on an open wound. A fly lays eggs in moist areas and the maggots break out of the eggs within eight to 20 hours. Immediately, they start feeding on the place the eggs were laid on and make it hollow. The fly took nine months to take over the entire empire but N.K. is still hopeful that justice would prevail and Chaitya would be out of jail someday. Perhaps this is the time to call Presha back to the materialistic world. ******************************************************************************