Hey folks. How are you? I hope you are having a great day. I am having a so-so day, but it’s alright. They are common in life.
Here’s what I’ve written in Chapter 10.
Chapter 10: Shyamala
“Let me get this straight. You just challenged the whole board that you would complete the next update within 30 days?” I asked.
He was uncomfortable, but he nodded. “Though you have 31 days if you consider …” he was about to say, but stopped in mid sentence when I glared at him.
“One more day is not going to do any miracle. Are you out of your mind? Doing it in 60 days was impossible enough. But no, you have to go all out and prove yourself so much to Madhav that you doomed us to failure,” I said.
“We can’t fail. I am sure you would find a way to finish your work,” he said.
I was so angry that I stepped up to his height and glared. “Find my way to finish my work. That’s bullshit. I am one person after all and I can’t accomplish it with such pressure,” I said.
He gritted his teeth. “You bragged so much about your competence. Where did all of that went?” he asked.
I glared at him. Even for someone with my competence, I couldn’t finish such impossible task. When I talked with my friends, they convinced me ask him for more time. I was coming to Balu’s office along with Lalitha to inform him about my decision when I heard him discussing with Madhumitha of the crazy challenge he had just accepted. “This is not about my competence. It’s about you ego. I realized my mistake and came here to ask you for more time. But no, you had to …” I bit my lip and struggled to contain my words.
Radha, Vineet, Manju and Bindhu agreed to help me code. Lalitha and Madhumitha had already agreed to work with me. But they would only help me if there was time to do it. If they hear what a mess they are getting themselves into, they would back out.
If not for the claim of me being incompetent coder, even I would’ve backed out already. But my freedom to work depended on this.
“Look, if you can’t do this task, hand in your papers like Madhumitha did. I am sure I could find more competent…” I didn’t let him finish.
I was so angry that I was finding it hard to breathe. How dare he frame it around my competence? “If you want to win this challenge, then none would be more suitable than me. Be careful as to what you say. If I chose to back out now, you would have to kiss you chances for becoming CEO of EyeBooks goodbye,” I said.
He glared at me. But I ignored him and turned away from him.
Raghav stared at me with his mouth wide open. Lalitha winked at me while Madhumitha shook her head. They were sitting at the couches while Raghav stood by Lalitha’s side. Standing too close.
Something must be going on between them. But I didn’t have time to investigate into it. I ignored it.
I was at Raghav’s office.
He was standing with his hands on his chair. He was still glaring at me. I didn’t have enough energy within me to glare back at him. So instead, I saw his computer, which reminded me more of him.
False colors. False cheerfulness.
Everything on his desk was a reminder of how much careless and ego centric he was.
I gritted my teeth and moved away from the chairs in front of his table and towards Madhumitha and Lalitha.
Raghav looked at me with suspicion and I ignored him.
One by one, my friends arrived.
First one to arrive was my sister. Of course she would since she was my sister and cares about me. As if I would fall for that. She might be here to talk me out of this task.
But I couldn’t’ say that to her. She would be so angry and emotional that I am not ready to deal with her.
Next to arrive were Radha’s friends Vineeth and Bindhu. The couple who are into relationships just because everyone says they were good pair.
I nodded at Vineeth while Bindhu squeezed my hand.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“In a minute,” I said.
She nodded and they went to stand beside Raghav while Radha stayed by my side. She frowned at me. I ignored her. But when it persisted, I mouthed 5 minutes.
She crossed her arms and huffed out.
Bindhu came at last. Even though she was Radha’s colleague, she was my friend. She came straight at me and hugged me. She assumes would go wrong, jump to conclusions quickly.
“Did he kick you out so quickly?” she whispered.
“No,” I said.
“Then why is he and Raghav glaring at you while Lalitha and Madhumitha wore hopeless expressions on their faces?” she asked.
“I will explain in a minute.”
With that, she stepped back and went to stand with Madhumitha.
Now that all of them are here, how should I inform them about the mess that Balu had made for us?
How can I convince them to do 6 months task within 1 month?
Only one way to find out.
“Our deadline has been preponed,” I said.
When they stared at me, I swallowed. They didn’t replied. Just stared at me.
“By a week?” Bindhu asked. This was cheerful coming from her.
“No, by a month. We have to finish the next update within a month,” I said.
Silence. Even Vineeth and Manju stopped chatting with each other.
Radha blinked eyes as if she were waking up from a dream and Radha, well she smiled.
“Tell me you are backing out form this,” she said.
Before I could reply, Balu interjected. “No, she wouldn’t be. As far as I’ve known her, she would do it even if she were given much smaller time,” he said.
Radha’s eyes widened. “Since when did you start supporting her. Is there something going on behind my back?” she asked.
I groaned. Did she forget the fact that she dated him just yesterday? She said it as if we were both dating. Which I would never do even if he was the last person besides me and the world was about to end.
“Ignore him. We are here because of the mess he had made,” I said.
“If you are…” he was about to say, but I raised my voice.
“As I’ve already said, we have to do 6 months task in 1 month. How many of you are in with me?” I asked.
Vineeth was very quick to answer. “I have work on my own. Sorry,” he said, leaving the room first.
I stared at his retreating figure and my confidence crumbled. If Vineeth was going, then that means Madhu would also do the same. She seemed to be in relationship with him and she wouldn’t want to antagonize him.
“Sorry, it sounded like too much work,” she said and walked out.
Once they left, I stared at the remaining ones.
Bindhu. She was pessimistic one. I am sure she would also leave. I braced myself for it.
“Not only was this foolish to accept, it was also risky. If I join you, not only you, but me also would probably lose my job,” she said.
That’s how she was going to leave? Well, at least, she hadn’t tried to convince me to quit.
I was about to turn towards Radha, who was impatiently tapping her legs when Bindhu came to me and hugged. “But you are my best friend and I couldn’t help myself. But even for our friendship, I couldn’t simply accept it without much considering. I will inform my decision by tomorrow morning,” she said.
I nodded. I shouldn’t be too hopeful though, whomever her boyfriend was, she would discuss with him and they would come to the same conclusion as Vineeth and Manju.
I at least hoped she would introduce her boyfriend by tomorrow morning. If he cared about her as much as Bindhu, then he would berate me or scold me and try to break our friendship away.
I nodded at her and she left.
“Well,” Radha asked.
I wanted to ignore her. But I couldn’t.
“What about you?” I asked.
“Do you even have to ask?”
“You wouldn’t leave me alone if I didn’t.”
“Then you should also know that there is something else I need to know from you,” she said.
I frowned. What was it this time?
“You hugged Bindhu.”
“Not Vineeth or Ragahv. But you hugged Bindhu. I often saw you hug Lalitha and how knows how many girls you’ve hugged before.”
“What’s your point?”
“I haven’t seen you date a guy since 4 years. No scratch that. You’ve tried to date Raghav yesterday and you’ve failed miserably,” she said.
“You are the one who tried to set him up with me,” I said.
“What ever, my point is you haven’t dated a guy within 4 years. You’ve spent all your time either coding or with Lalitha, Bindhu and Manju. What does that mean?” she asked.
I was frustrated. What was she trying to imply? I don’t know and I don’t have time to waste. So I ignored her and looked at Lalitha. Who shook her head.
“Are you of that type?” Radha asked in a small voice.
“When Balu suggested yesterday, I dismissed it. But after seeing how long you’ve hugged Bindhu, I am having doubts,” she said.
“Look, you tried to imply that something was going on between me and Balu behind your back when you came. And now here you are trying to imply the same with me and Bindhu. I think you are suffering from hangover,” I said.
“No hangover. If you’ve spent time at home, along with me and our parents, you would’ve known how I deal with alcohol consumption and hangover,” she said.
“It doesn’t help me to code,” I said.
“Don’t divert the topic. Just tell me you are straight,” she pleaded.
“No. I am not that type. Now if you are satisfied with it, tell me of whether you are still in or not?” I asked.
Knowing her, she would be in. Considering how much she wanted to be with me all the time, despite claiming that I was never home. I am the one who had to rush from office to the bar where she had drunk herself after a guy she had dated failed to impress her.
“As much as I would like to stay by your side and monitor you, Madhav had give me a secret project. I would be busy,” she said.
That surprised me. But I hid it. If it comes to Madhav or me, she would choose Madhav.
“If that’s what you wanted, I’ll have something that I would like to discuss with …” I stuttered as I realized whom I have to ask next.
He was looking at me with so much suspicion that I am sure he would blame me for something insane.
“Are you in or not?” I asked.
“What game did you played yesterday?” he asked.
I frowned. Game? I hadn’t played any game. “I don’t know what you are talking about,” I said.
“Since when this is going on?” he asked.
“An hour?” I asked, not sure whether he was asking about since when I knew about this insane deal or how long I’ve known my sister.
“Don’t play dumb. I should’ve seen it before. But I’ve been so clouded by certain pre-arrangements that,” Lalitha cleared her throat. “I didn’t observe clearly.” He said.
“As I’ve said earlier, I am not interested in her,” Balu said.
Raghav ignored him. “Both of you have used the same thing to say. Not going to date even if other was the last person besides me and it is the end of the world,” he said.
“Look, if you are thinking I am in relationship with Balu, then you are wrong. You are his friend. You would be by his side practically every hour,” I said.
“No. Not every hour. He would be alone, with his dates. All know that he changes girlfriend. But we haven’t seen his girlfriends. Only one had come out to tabloids saying he mistreated her and she was set up by Madhav.
“You stay at office, even after your working hours is completed. He would go to dates after your working hours is completed. No body sees both of you at that time. Just some speculations. I should’ve known something was going on with both of you. What I don’t know is why you’ve arranged a date between me and you while Balu had agreed to date Radha?” he asked.
I laughed. He was making so wild assumptions that shows how much knowledge he has when it comes to relationships. That would be the reason why he was still single.
“Nothing is going on between us. Balu was a manwhore. I am single, still virgin. I don’t want anything to do with him,” I said.
“You said you had crush on him when we started to work here,” Radha said.
I groaned. Just perfect.
“Please, if you don’t want to help me complete next update in a month, then I would do it by myself. But don’t make false accusations on me,” I said.
“Now I get it. He is your boyfriend ad you want him to be CEO so badly that you are willing to even do this crazy task, even risk losing your job,” Raghav said.
“Just great,” Balu muttered.
“Stop. All of you. Look, I don’t know where you are getting such ideas. But there was nothing going on between me and Balu. Except that if either of us failed to do the challenge we’ve accepted, then we could lose our jobs,” I said.
I didn’t let him open his mouth. I turned back at Balu.
“Keep your friend in control while I ignore my sister, who would be sure to add some more spice to the story that she formulated in her mind and inform my parents. I will let you know what’s our plan to finish the next update,” I said.
“You can’t ignore me forever,” Radha said, but moved out of the room.
Raghav stayed. “I am going to dig deeper into this and know for myself the truth,” he said, crossing his arms. “I want to know how you are going to accomplish it.”
“If that is what you want,” I said, and ignored everyone else.
I felt like a fool for accepting to complete 6 months task in 1 month. I also hated myself for dragging my friends into this mess.
Thinking about what Raghav and Radha had said, I could only guess what I have to face at home and at office from now onward.
Normally, I wouldn’t have to do deal with managing resources. But this was special. Madhumitha had mentioned my name as her replacement and I have to respect her choice.
But since the risks are more when we accepted it, my friends are scared.
I didn’t blame those who left. Which group could do 6 months that could be done by 6 people, in 1 month by 3 or 4 people?
How did it come to this?
It all started when I got angry When Raghav had called me gold digger and Balu had called me incompetent.
They forced me to accept a crazy deadline of 3 months.
But when Balu provoked me more and insulted me, I got so angry that I challenged him and mentioned to reduce the deadline to 2 months.
When Balu got provoked by Madhav and his ego hurt, he reduced the deadline to unrealistic 1 month.
Not only that, I had also agreed to let go of this job if I failed to finish the next update within the deadline.
I had failed to impress my friends. Vineeth and Manju had left first. Bindhu asked for more time, but knowing her, she would also back away.
My sister backing out was a big relief, but I had to deal with Raghav, who jump to conclusions much quicker than Bindhu. Where did he get the idea that I was into relationship with Balu?
I shook my head.
I am sure Radha would drag my parents into this and I don’t know how I would deal with them.
One problem at a time.
If my mind is filled with all such questions, then I would fail. If I failed this month, then how will I ever make readers addicted to reading and to Eye Books?
No there is no option for failure.
Madhumitha and Lalitha, though they are silent during the entire time our friends backed out from the crazy task, they are with me.
Combining with our talent, we could achieve it in three months.
But I couldn’t ask Balu to extend more.
He had already let himself fall into a trap set by Madhav.
By agreeing to this, he had weaken his hold on the company and its people. There was no way he could allocate the manpower necessary to finish it.
That left with me and my fiends.
But some of my friends had backed out saying multiple reasons. But I know the real reason behind it.
If they join with me, they are more likely to lose their jobs. They needed this job more than anyone since they are for middle class family as I had been.
We are left with no more choices.
We have to work our assess off.
“I will let you know how we will finish the coding necessary for the next update,” I said to Balu.
He smiled. “I know you would somehow do it,” he said.
Raghav glared at us. “This doesn’t seem like you both were dating,” he said. It was filled with mockery.
I ignored him.
“You are with me right?” I turned and asked to Madhumitha and Lalitha.
“Of course we would be. I am your exboss who cares about your welfare afterall,” Madhumitha said.
I was relieved. “Thank you,” I said.
“And don’t forget to tell me everything you’ve not told about what’s going on between you and Balu,” she said.
I groaned, but when she laughed, I sighed. She was joking. Well I don’t know what I would do if even she started to accuse me of being in a relationship with Balu.
Thanks for Reading folks.
Until next time,
Nagendra Kumar Yadav T.