Anandi stepped into her cubicle and checked her mails.
Her colleague Priya came in to talk'”Hey Anandi did you hear the latest grapevine?”
Anandi mumbled still staring at the screen “Hmmm’what?”
“I heard the company is going to be taken over by some Big shot industrialist”.
“Anandi looked up “Really?? But why will Viraj sell his company?”
Viraj was their eccentric owner. He was a prodigy who had founded Zigma software. This company was like his baby and his employees were like his family. Although Anandi had never interacted with him.She has seen him around in office.
Priya said “Don’t know’.who can refuse millions of dollars. I heard he would be getting a hefty amount”.
Anandi said “Good for him. Anyway I don’t think it would make much of a difference to us if the owner is changed we r anyways employees”.
Priya said “No Anandi u never know there might be change in policies. Or what if there are layoffs!!”
Anandi said “we’ll see why worry about in now. It’s also possible that things might improve. You know maybe bigger paychecks”. She grinned and Priya laughed along with her.
Shiv was in his hotel room’.He had just come back after finalizing the deal. He planned to stay till the handover was complete, Meet the office staff, Appoint the new CEO then all he had to do was supervise the company.
Meanwhile Amanda’s office was buzzing with news that the company had been taken over by SRS groups. “So the grapevine was true” She thought.
She was not much bothered about it unless it impacted her work after all why should we be concerned about higher level management politics.
Priya came running to her “Anandi u heard right?”
Anandi said “Priya we all got an official mail regarding the management change of course I know about it”.
“OH God!! I am so nervous”
Anandi said “why priya ?? When a company is taken over it’s taken for its resource and productivity. So don’t worry we’ll do fine. I am leaving now I have a training session with those freshers”.
She proceeded with her work’..Just before leaving for the day she saw a new mail from the HR. The new Director Mr. S Shekhar had held a meeting with the senior employees of the company. Since Anandi was a senior architect she was also part of the mailing list.
She checked the time “8 am !!! How am I supposed to reach office by 8 !! This Mr. Shekhar seems real khadoos”.
She was going towards the door when her manager called her. He said “Anandi u must have seen the mail’.There strict instructions from the HR to be on time and not to miss this meeting’This new director seems to be very punctual better not to get in his bad books now”
Anandi made a face. She liked her manager he was round, bald, and pink like a boiled egg’And he was very fatherly with his team.
She said “Sure Sir I will try my best’All the best to u also” and grinned. He was notorious form coming late. He gave her a sad smile.
Next morning she got up with a uneasy feeling’.She checked her watch it was 6 am and the date was 12th Dec’She closed her eyes for a moment trying not to get entangled in those memories. With a new resolve she started to get ready.
“Good I can be on time” She thought as she started her car towards her office”.
After about an hour she was still halfway to office’.Traffic was a normal phenomenon in Bangalore but today it was unusual because of some breakdown.
“Oh god !! I am in trouble now” She thought impatiently.
Shiv reached the meeting room. And looked around arnd 20 people were present in the meeting room. He asked the HR manger “So everyone has arrived?”
The manager fumbled “Y’yes Sir” She lied.
Anandi was still not there.
He greeted everyone and sat down’.Viraj the previous owner gave his farewell speech and introduced Shiv to the people there.
He was being individually introduced to the people there’.All the managers’Team leads and architects.
Shiv turned towards the HR manager “There are two system architects here right ? Who is the other one?”
HR turned pale “Ummm Sir the other one is Ms. Singh I’I think she’ll be arriving here any moment”.
Shiv narrowed his eyes and his stare turned to a steely glint “And who is Ms. Singh?? I hope everyone was informed about this meeting?”
HR fumbled “yes sir”
He didn’t say anything but his expressions were harsh’.
Suddenly the meeting room door burst opened and a breathless Anandi stood near the entrance. She looked at the crowd and caught her manager’s eye. He shook her head in disspointement.
“Crap !!” She thought.
She looked ahead saying “I am sorry’May I ‘..” She froze mid-sentence as if she had seen a ghost.
Shiv was looking at her as if turned to stone’he was standing with a completely unreadable expression on his face’..
Anandi looked as if she had been completely drained off her blood and she might fall off any moment’She clutched the door for support.
For next few moments they simply stared at each other a multitude of emotions played across his face. The room felt completely silent few people looked to and fro from Shiv to Anandi curiously.
Then he blinked his eye as if coming out of trance and somehow managed to say “Pease come in Ms. Anandi Singh”
She felt a jolt on hearing his voice after so long. She simply looked down came in and sat near her manger.
Shiv followed her with his eyes and then proceeded with his speech as if nothing happened.
Anandi’s manager whispered to her “Anandi ur in real trouble”.
She thought “You have no idea what a mess I have got into”.
Her manager said again “U know he is very strict’.”
She replied “well then I hope he fires me”.
Her manager looked at her puzzled but didn’t reply’..she somehow sat through the meeting’her mind running haywire “SRS groups’Mr. Shekhar’why didn’t it strike me !!”
Shiv cut short his speech and let his HR handle then further meeting. His heart racing he couldn’t stop glancing at Anandi’She was dressed in a simple kurta, Her hairs were shorter and sleeker. Her carefree seductive look was replaced by more serious and matured expressions. But the sparkle in her eyes and innocence in her face was still the same She was beautiful as always.
To be continued…