11. Rose and Thorn - Sandhya
“What the heck is this?”
Baskar threw the letter that Subha typed towards her.
Subha tried hard to not react and stay calm.
“Do you have any sense? Can you do anything without mistake?”
On a normal day, Subha would have fired back at him or would have at least showed her reaction in face.
But now she wanted to tease him by being non-responsive. So fighting her own impulse to react she stayed cool as a cucumber.
Baskar was obviously taken aback by her demeanor.
“Do you hear me?”
He sounded doubtful.
Maybe he thought I have become deaf, thought Subha.
With a smile in her lips, she nodded and said,
“Yes boss, I can hear you”
By then Baskar had masked his amazement and hence roared,
“Then, why the heck are you still standing here? Go, correct your stupid mistakes and get this done by end of day”
Subha’s eyes automatically went to the wall clock. It was almost quarter past eight.
Correcting and getting the work will need at least an hour. That means she cannot start by nine.
Baskar noticed her staring at the clock.
“Hey, I don’t have much time to waste with you. If you want to have a staring contest with the clock go to your seat and do it. I hate it when people loiter in my room without any purpose.”
Subha quietly collected the letter that he had thrown and left the room without uttering a word.
After reaching her seat, she texted Barath asking if he could come near her office around 9.15 pm.
Barath replied immediately promising reach there around 9.30pm.
Relieved, she started correcting the letter and miraculously got it all done by 9.
She didn’t want to disturb Barath and hence decided to wait for him. But staying inside the office is not an option as she knew Baskar would scream at her.
So she took her handbag, came out to her scooty and stood there.
Time was ticking so slow that even five minutes felt like five hours.
Subha kept on checking her watch a million times. But the time was in no hurry and hence moved second by second only.
“Hello, looks like you are losing your patience”
Subha turned back to see a smiling Murthy. He was in his PJ and looked relaxed.
“Hello Murthy. No, it is not about my patience. It is so dark here and hence I was becoming a bit anxious” replied Subha.
“Are you waiting for someone?”
“Yes, Barath said he will cross this place around 930, so I am waiting for him.”
“O, that fine gentleman! I remember him. But, why can’t you just wait inside till he arrives?”
“Me waiting inside after the stipulated office time? Come on sir, you know better”
“You think Baskar will scold you for that?”
“It is not what ‘I think’ sir. That’s what he will do. I already have an experience on that”
Murthy shook his head in disapproval.
“I need to offer my apology once again for his behavior. I will talk to him”
Subha looked at the old man for a couple of seconds quickly debating whether to share her mind or not.
She decided it is better to take a risk by taking a direct shot!
“I don’t think he needs a talk sir” she said in a different tone.
“O, you think that will not do any good?”
“Murthy sir, I am an outspoken girl. I really like to be honest with the people I meet”
“That is indeed a good behavior”
“So, can I talk to you straight from my heart?”
“Wow! That sounds a bit threatening! But I would really like to hear from you”
“Thank you sir! You know what, Baskar sir doesn’t need any talk at this time. Someone should have spoken to him years back, many, many years back”
Murthy quietly looked at her.
“You know what sir, almost everyone hates your son. But I don’t think it is his fault at least not entirely his fault. You have failed him as a father and as a mentor”
“You think I am the reason for his behavior?”
“Of course you are one of the reasons, I would say one of the main reasons”
“How did you come to that conclusion?”