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When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table…

Dusk was dawning on glass panes of his window, smoke rubbing its muzzle, peeping from outside , streets following like tedious argument, …every evening, it reminded him of Prufrock’s love poem, more than 12 years has gone, him occupying this cabin, but today was to be last day ,last evening,

Clock on wall reminded him, 10 minutes more, 10 minutes to move out, move out for ever.

When day started, it was like any other.

Same pressure, targets to be achieved, calls to be answered, calls to be avoided, meetings galore, but first hints came when somebody from finance texted about irrational behavior of company’s stock. Before he could make head of tell, HR had called everybody to be out in hall,

And there was blood bath.

Pink slips were handed, 242 persons, almost half of strength gone.

And then news, it was still a rumor, Acquisition and merger by some outside shark.

He only had a feeling of relief having been spared. And his feeling in his importance in him has been restored back, but after lunch heads and deputy heads of vertical were called to the board room.

His mouth was agape. She was there, he had first seen her emerging from a swimming pool of his condominium, a water nymph …but what she is doing here…

and after some time she came to him. May be a just touch of recognition, she stretched her hand for hand shake,

“Nothing personal, but in our organization, your team is redundant as we outsource it and already have a contract in place. “

And she moved to next VP.

Only five minutes are left, clock and security staff reminded him.

Packing was almost complete, he had already emptied his drawers, pills, ant-acid, sarbiturate, insulin pens…only few thin volumes of poetry were left on his shelf and he removed them. His few signs of sanity in this room…

It has become dark outside, uncertain dark…clouds hovering, typical Mumbai monsoon evening but more ominous, scary…

Oops I know I am failing as a story teller, knew it but… OK let me pass the baton to him and I will just be a fly on the wall. Go ahead,

I am on the wrong side of 40; suffering from diabetes and hypertension, living alone, on the top of middle management or bottom of top management in a big conglomerate.

I have clawed my way on corporate totem pole, but I know how greasy, how fragile it is. Almost burnt out many times, tired, drained and as we all know, every day is a new battle. Yes, these young boys, like piranhas, they keep on grinding their teeth, gnawing at toes and many times I felt the heat but I was just inches away and moved. You either go up or you go down.

Not only days are long but sometimes business dinners and parties gobble up most of evenings too. Remaining, I prefer to spend at my flat, often they are long and lonesome punctuated with a good book of poetry.

Let me share a secret, I am a bit of lecherous old man too. With privacy of my cabin, sometimes I do surf adult sites, and indulge in what they call ‘cyber’. It is an innocent vicarious pleasure. And yes love to ogle curves, those domes of joy, eye candies but as they say spirit is willing but flesh is weak.

But then I enjoy poetry, crosswords, thrillers and movies too (mostly noir) and my wine also, just to give me company on those long lonesome evenings.

On one of those long and forlorn evening, suddenly I saw a water nymph, a mermaid emerging, with splash of water (Advantage of pool facing flat).

An orange swimsuit exactly like bay watch girls and her figure …I gasped.

Sculpturesque boobs, firm and taut, water drops hanging on fair glistening body… as she slowly turned, her perfect ass made my bulge grow. Her face, perfect body and demeanor, almost basking in radiance of her beauty, just lingered in my mind, stoking my longings.

I accosted her again after a few days, from a very close quarter.

It was Sunday evening and I was going out.

And there was she, coming back from tennis court. Tall, slender perfect boobs glued to her tennis shirt wet with sweat, fully stretched. I could not stop myself from looking back and ogling her heavy swinging hips, must be late 20s. But agility of a teen, charm of a nubile.

We accosted each other many times and it lead to waving of hands and a certain recognition but no talks…she had come recently, an expat and was living in a tower just across mine.

Source: My maid.

But then again work claimed me.

It was end of first quarter, pressure for results, PPTs and Pie charts, company was not doing well, shares have plummeted and we were tightening our seat belts.

Let me confide you, it is hard to move up the corporate ladder but harder still to retain your place, I had become a pro in SCM , led my team, did well in CRM, learn all the lingos and was always looking down at those ‘ piranhas’ but my interest in literature also gave me an edge.

It looked nice on CV Sinop Escort for creativity, was good for networking and of course provided me a breather. I was member of many groups and societies which helped me to mingle with ‘socialites’.

And again I met her in such a group, in our gated community only.

We were discussing Sanskrit poetry and talks turned to erotic poetry as is wont with a lot of lecherous old men. It was my forte. Starting from quoting Amaru I went to recite something from Caurapâñcâsikâ, of Bilhana 11th century Kashmir poet,

Still when her eyes, as lotus petals long,

Like Fortune’s, goddess lotus-born, I see,

And see her wearied by her bosom’s load,

With both my arms clasping her close to me.

And our eyes met. She was listening to every word, attentively, appreciatively, almost devouring like a gourmet,

And everything else ceased for me.

Hand painted saree draped in a careful carelessness, a kutchi heavily embroidered choli barely able to hold her voluptuous assets, a bindi on her forehead, but no sindoor, no mangal sutra.

And we were alone immediately (actually after 45 minutes) sharing Masala chai, from authentic kulhads in an ethnic tea shop. And before I could ask who she is, she recited,

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you — Nobody — too?”

And I completed,

Then there’s a pair of us!

Don’t tell! They’d advertise — you know.

We completed together, Emily Dickinson’s rest of lines,

How dreary — to be — Somebody!

How public — like a Frog —

To tell one’s name — the livelong June —

To an admiring Bog!

So exchange of name was ruled out but she did blurted that she is a Mumbai girl, did schooling from Sofia , went out to US, Masters from Wharton, joined a company out there, but is now back.

And some more notes were exchanged, boxes were ticked, I had a senior from IIM days who was associate at Wharton and she knew her. But no talk shop, no names ,no exchange of numbers and of course nothing about our jobs.

She was not only into poetry but astro, palmistry and guessed, of course correctly I am Cancerian. And before I could say anything she guessed another thing,

“Your birthday must be close?” she fluttered her kohl laden large eyes,

“Share it with Julius Caesar and Lady D.”

I replied while coming out and then jobs reclaimed us, she had a conference call coming from States and I had piles of mail to reply , give a finishing touch to my report of first quarter and be ready for new quarter, first day of new week.

But before that we had shared a lot about our common interest nay passion and although I am introvert but once I start talking, horses cannot drag me.

And after the weekend, first day of new month, it was not a bad day. It turned out to be a bad bad day.

First quarter results were not good, in spite of some creative accounting.

Atmosphere was very gloomy as we all are waiting for some impending disaster, without knowing what it will be .Top floor was looking for a lot of info, probably some restructuring was in sight, schedule of two meetings were conflicting, a very tiring day.

I had a look at calendar and day was marked with red but I had no clue as I was answering two phones at once and checking excel sheets too. Day went on and on and ultimately when I cleared my desk it was 9 PM. But , I was thinking something is amiss.

Sometimes after a demanding day, you just feel a void, a sense of emptiness. You cannot even relax.

I took a bath hoping it will drain some tiredness, wore a fresh boxer shorts and a sweat shirt and started making a drink for myself. And suddenly it dawned upon me, …meaning of red circle on calendar…

Drinking alone is height of desperation.

… and bell rang…

Rarely anybody knocked on these doors, never on my birthday at least.

And bell rang again, this time with more urgency and this time reluctantly I got up,

It was she, she in person, walking in beauty.

I was stunned, lost, and speechless. She broke my trance,

“Hey what were you doing, took so much time in opening the door,” a beatific smile.

And welcoming her I said,

“I never thought a wandering dream will knock at these portals, but I never told you that today is…”

And she interrupted,

“Julius Caesar, Lady D’s birthday, significant days. that much credit you should give me. “

But my somber mood and uncouth me, I blurted;

“significant but sad.”

Let us banish all the sad thoughts, she commanded and bend to keep the packets on a table.

Of course there was a bottle of white wine, Chardonnay, in her packet.

And my wine glasses from Riedel’s Sommeliers collection, came out. I am not aware, when I last used them. Some cheddar cheese to go with this moderately oaked Chardonnay and sushi which I had ordered this evening but not consumed,

Soon both of us were inebriated, and poetry was again flowing Sinop Escort Bayan but only erotic variety and she was equally quoting most ribald stuff.

Cake was black as sin and she started using her fingers to feed me, there was no knife.

And soon we were eating from each other’s hands, each other,

Only thing I recall her gown slipped and under it she was wearing a very very naughty sheer pink slip failing to contain her curves, her voluptuous boobs were bursting.

I don’t recall she pushed me on bed or I pulled her over me but my hands touching her perfect ass, gloriously round and tight, that feeling lingered.

It was her hips rising, panty peeling and sliding, taste of her mouth, smoldering lips, wetting my mouth, her arched back,

A perfect lioness, total in control, woman on top, enjoying viprit rati

Her thrusts were measured those perfect domes of joy rubbing on my chest…

But soon control moved to me and she was happy to move with my rhythm, a perfect resonance.

Time has stopped, she was making me eat chocolates with her scarlet red lips (may be Cialis coated)

And passion ceased after a long bout.

We both were sated, out bodies were entwined cooling from the passions spent. She was content in slumber with my hand holding her firm back,

But a kiss here a nibble there and soon again wild flames covered us.

I was plucking kisses sweeter than memories and rubbing them on her firm big boobs, my fingers borrowed a rainbow from evening and crushed it against her body, kisses, nibbles and bites on her carmelled nipples.

Soon she was on the throes of wild passion.

I became a barbarian.

Thick fingers and thumb probing wetness, a firm shove, with each thrust balls smacking against her pink flesh…

She was arching herself back to meet every push, every thrust and and and

Waves and waves of wondrous orgasm, as I was emptying myself. Both of us sated and senseless, slept.

When I awoke, she was gone, door was slightly ajar and first ray of dawn was trying to creep in.

Only her lingering scent and her pink slip, crushed and pressed under my body, was reminder of night which has melt into memory.

But day brought reality, responsibilities and work.

Mails to be answered, messages to be checked. A quick bath, a quicker breakfast and I was ready for job.

Before that I had caressingly and carefully kept the pink slip, memorabilia of last night, a birthday which I don’t know have celebrated after how many years. Tired hours, loneliness and nobody to share it with made me almost erase it from my calendar.

I was crooning, whistling, an old habit had suddenly resurface and decided to take stairs and not lift.

My antenna was trying to tell something but signal was not very clear and now only in hindsight I could decipher, there were more cars in the parking esp. higher management type cars. Some new security guys, more alert and agile. Elevator coming to my company’s floors was more crowded with relatively unknown persons, very stiff and reserved in their attitude, mostly suits.

I was lost like every day, in ticking boxes. Mails to be made, schedule to be juggled and some things to do with my personal finance which was in a bad shape.

My doctor’s appointment was also overdue, company provided excellent medical facilities but time to use them was another issue.

It began as a normal day, exchanging good mornings with some, waving to pretty lady of HR and after opening the cabin, looking at paste on slips, and schedules and meetings on my terminal.

No meeting.

It was exceptional but not strange.

Outside my window, city was churning, people were rushing, kali –pili taxis honking, BEST buses creating jam, an organized chaos, a typical Mumbai morning. May be true for every Mahanagar. Only thing that changed it was a typical Gothic sky line of Sobo, (South Bombay, to non-initiates), Gables, Turrets, Spires… and a towering Rajabai Tower.

As usual, work consumed me.

Apocalypse came at 11.05 or at least the first signs of it.

At 11.05 I got a message from a colleague in finance section to watch ticker and he said that our stock is behaving abnormally.

At 11.25 a message flashed at my terminal that server room is getting closed for some repair so all communications and access to server, including both intranet and internet will not be available, till further advice. I should have been able to read the tea leaves, but failed.

At 11.45, there was some commotion and somebody barged into my room telling that everybody should come to hall were HR will be talking.

And then there was blood bath.

At 11.50 when I came out, there were a few suits (totally unknown to me, new) and number of black shirts, new security personnel ,moving with authority . Two new desks have been set up.

Table of GM HR was crowded, a middle aged lady, very sweet and she was accompanied by somebody new, a suit.

And Escort Sinop then I realized what is happening.

Announcement was made that all passwords have been changed so no work stations will be working from now on. New HR lady was shooing away everybody and telling everybody to move to new help desks individually.

She had a list, The list.

Fortunately I could peep into that list, thank god my name was not there, mostly juniors but three of my colleagues and two persons senior to me, and I was having tachycardia.

I surreptitiously asked GM HR and barely able to control her tears, she nodded, her name was there. Total 242 persons, almost 60%.

And my exclusion was further confirmed that by 12.30 everybody from 242 was asked to report at those two tables, but not me. One help desk mentioned HR and other mentioned Relocation.

On HR everybody was given a piece of paper with lot of x marks where they had to sign. It included non-disclosure agreement, no claim declarations and many more. In lieu of notice salary of next three months were already transferred to their bank accounts.

Relocation was giving them a reference letter for future jobs, a sheaf of papers which was supposed to help them in finding new jobs and they were registered at a Job hunting company, where their CV was already loaded.

If anybody has any objection, he was being hustled to a room which was isolated and was being taken care of by legal and security guys.

I could know with my experience what is happening. Either you leave voluntarily, with whatever is being given or get ready to be removed under some trumped up charges.

Cold and surgical.

And one suit came close to me, unceremoniously, almost pushing, commanded,

“If you don’t have work here, go to your work place. It was 1.10

1.15 -Moved inside my cabin, I was looking at ash faced, suddenly aged, GM HR who used to be such a charming, chirping lady in the morning.

I could understand her trauma. Her husband had some job and health related issues and now it was her turn…

But soon my relief of not being in the list overshadowed everything. So many of my friends , colleagues will not be there tomorrow , I knew and worse I was not feeling bad, getting reconciled very fast, just because I am not in the list.

It was an acquisition, no question but by whom nobody knew and our communication with outside word was totally cut off.

People in the hall who were giggling, chatting, gossiping had suddenly fallen silent, suffering alone, signing papers in mute surrender.

It is bad but, but once you join a private sector job; you should be ready for such uncertainty. If you want security, become a babu , go join a poorly paid govt. job. You cannot have best of both worlds, security and glamorous pay.

Secondly, why blame acquisition vaalas, we all knew company is in bad shape, debt ridden, so who knows, instead of those who did acquisition our company would have doled out pink slips in dozens.

One must be ready for a rainy day, I was ruminating and rationalizing, why blame others.

Three persons above me have been cashiered so may it will be boon in disguise for me. I am stagnating for such a long period may be I will get a promotion, become President or something.

Lunch time has come and gone but I was glued to my chair. Crowd in hall has thinned but those two desks of HR and relocation were still manned. Suits with some IT guys were checking work stations.

3.25 There was a message that I should come to Board room at precisely 3.55. I thought may be new owners want to meet the remaining management and discuss growth strategy, or may be just introductory. My hopes went up, I brushed up certain stats, some salient points and was in Board room at 3.55.

3.55 PM- But mood in board room was sullen. And this time I read the signals correctly, there were no chairs. 4-5 VPs like me and two Presidents, head of their verticals, everybody ashen faced. And it was confirmed at 4.00 PM, when our MD came and just said, hurriedly,

“I hope you will understand that certain decisions are necessary in the current situation.”

Before he could say anything, new team came and he was hustled out by suits. It was,

4.10 PM

And she, I mean SHE was leading the team in a professional suit, stern looking. She talked to her team members and came towards us. She was head of the acquisition team.

We shook hands. Yes there was a recognition in her eyes, but not in her voice.

“Nothing personal, but in our organization, your team is redundant as we outsource it and already have a contract in place.”

I almost said, ‘Eh Tu Brutus’ but she had moved to next VP. I was trying to linger but a suit and a security guided me back to Hall and I knew the drill, first HR and then relocation.

All my cards, club membership, cashless medical, credit and debit cards for entertainment, everything ,I just emptied but HR girl was looking at me expectantly and I realized, key of company car, and it went to her hands.

“Company flat you can retain for a week, and relocation will give contact number of mover to you, who will be doing relocation at company’s cost.”

Dozens of papers, I signed without looking, non-disclosure, no claim and what not.

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