The place beyond the mountains – 3

Read the second part here.


 

Half an hour while she sorts out some things….

She needed some more time to herself. She wanted to go visit that night when it all went wrong between them. She just pushed the giant size chair to the required position to sit in ease and went on chasing her memories, which she remembers crystal clear.

Some eight to nine months back when the CEO had called the main members of the management for a party along with their subordinates and everyone’s families, Mansa had no clue what was in store for that night.

The CEO announced Mansa to be the new ‘Area manager’ which was a prestigious as well as responsibility demanding post. Her joy knew no bounds that night. But sadly it was short lived.

Jay knew most of the people in that party, including the CEO. He was very good at going up and speaking with people. The CEO suddenly dropped a bomb and asked Jay to describe how he felt about his wife’s new achievement. Mansa was stunned and never expected something like that, but then Jay was very good with his aural-orals. He handed over Nita and Ryan to Mansa and walked to the dais. It was a small raised structure very close to the audience, and there was no need that he had to stress his voice, and mic made the task much more easier.

‘Hello everyone, Good evening.’ Jay starts off

‘I hope the dignitaries are doing good as well as the others attending. There is my beautiful wife in her black gown holding our two little ones. Indeed a very pleasant evening made more pleasant by this news.’ 

Everyone claps to this…. Mansa smiles,  while Jay again continues

‘I used to be a corporate guy as well. I left my job some years ago. I didn’t understand head or tail of the graph I prepared. I used to get some numbers right so that the curve looked like a curve and not something else. Then I used to make a report of it and send it.’ 

Everyone laughs to this and then again Jay continues,

‘But then I quit my job to take a small one in this city. Less time for job, more time with my kids and family. I am a happy man. I look at my wife and I see her hanging on to the graphs at night, typing letters and fiddling with spreadsheets, I feel she is missing out a lot of things. I can look at her type and say how urgent the work is. If her stroking on the key is harsh and fast with a sense of urgency I will conclude that there is nothing more to that night.’ 

At this point Jay also begins to laugh and the whole crowd bursts into laughter except Mansa. She is pale with various emotions running through her. She tries to hide it but her eyes were unable to hide the emotions directly from the mind. They say that eye mirrors the emotions running in our heart.

Jay carried on,

‘I hope my wife gets an extra raise as I put a good word in for her, that too in front of the CEO.’ 

Jay looks at the CEO and he is already unable to control his laughter.

‘If you ask my wife, she knows most of the things. If I ask her the current CEO of any company she would reply to my query in seconds. Probably ask her about the revenue of Cii for last November and she would say it correct up to 2 decimal points. But then if I ask her the name of the Play School that our kids attend, she would be baffled. The last time she called her mom, she would have no clue.’ 

At this point, tears started running down from her eyes. But she manages to hide it from others pretty well. Jay senses that she was more than hurt, tries to conclude the so called speech by saying,

‘All I wish to say is that give us family members some of your valuable time, cos we love you and probably miss your absence. This is not for her alone, but a general statement. I hope you all have a very Good night!’

The sound of claps fill the atmosphere. The strongest women known to her colleagues had today been unmasked, that too by her husband. Her subordinates and rival teams were already celebrating. CEO went ahead saying that it was a nice little message given by Jay, and applauded him for the same.

Jay went and sat next to Mansa. She handed over Nita and Ryan to him and just rested her head on his shoulders. All she wanted was to see a closure to this function. Each moment gave her excruciating pain mentally and emotionally; thoughts doubled that pain.

Finally the function saw an end and everyone parted. The kids were in the rear seats while Jay drove the car. Mansa rested her face on the elbow and looked outside through the side windows, which were completely in open position.

‘Hey, I am sorry.’ Jay exclaims

Mansa keeps quiet. She was looking out as if enjoying the vastness and pitch darkness of the outside.

‘Mansa, I meant to say it but as joke of course. I said it to you in person and you never cared. But then I want to make a small humorous statement, that’s it. Never meant otherwise. I am sorry if it hurt you.’ repeats Jay

‘Shut up Jay! Shut up! Please! I had enough for today, lets not talk more and make it worse. My CEO was sitting there and so were my subordinates. The juniors who joined yesterday. All of them heard it. How I am going to face them at work?

I order them, and do you even know what that means? Have you ever worked wholeheartedly?Will they even take me seriously anymore?’ she sobs as she ends the sentence.

Jay knew the same moment that he will have to pay for this with his flesh and blood.

A day passed, two days passed and there was no word spoken by Mansa to Jay. She didn’t go to the office but then didn’t speak as well. On the fourth day, she started going to office and following her routine. It felt like she had figured out on how to best handle the situation in the office. At home she didn’t entertain the kids nor Jay. It seemed like she was not ready to forget that night, and Jay clearly didn’t know how to convince her to talk to him.

A month passed and still the situations were pretty same. Jay was getting annoyed as well, but then there was not much he could do at this point of time.

Three months had passed, one fine day she found a letter from Jay tucked carefully under her personal laptop. The letter read,

Mansa, I am leaving and taking the kids along. The kids won’t stay with you anyways. I hope you can concentrate more on your work in our absence. Good luck.

In a fit of rage, she threw the letter away and she carried on with her routine. But the next morning she felt lonely. She walked to the hall, and there was no coffee and nothing to eat. She was starving but she felt all alone in the house. She moved her thoughts aside and when she was done with her chores, called up the driver to check if he was already on the way.

When she returned that night silence had started affecting her a bit.

She could always see Nita and Ryan running around, and Jay probably chasing them. Not that she reacted to all that, but then she realized that her heart adored all those small cute things. May be at times a little peck on their cheeks is what she would give Nita and Ryan, but she never thought she would miss doing that today. Thoughts circled her viciously but she didn’t know what had to be done.

Somehow, the office had known about all these happenings. She found work to be interesting as before but slowly lost out the balance and integrity in her personal life. This had started affecting her professional life, which she began to realize.

Almost six months later, here she was.

As she thought, she got up from her chair and walked towards the window.

‘Few things to be dealt with…’  she thought to herself…


 

(To be contd…)

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