Thursday, March 20, 2008

A faux pas

KS, as Suresh is called, was the CEO of a company. He was discussing with one of his deputies Krishan Sharma (another KS) about his poor performance and analyzing the reasons for the shortfall in his key result areas.Krishan was a good and hard working senior manager and was identified by the management as a good material for development for higher responsibilities. Of late he had not been showing much interest in his work and frequently left office early. The sales in his area were dropping and customers were calling about the delay in deliveries. KS himself received some complaints about his department from customers.Krishan was staying alone with his family living at Delhi. His wife a teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya was trying for a transfer to this city. Discreet enquiries by KS revealed that Krishan was having a liaison with his secretary Ms Brinda and they were often seen going out together. While KS gently broached the subject telling him that his private affairs were entirely his own and are of no concern for him, he said that the poor outcome in his work affected the company.Krishan was seen uneasy and heavily perspiring. Krishan tried to take his kerchief but pulled out from his coat a small red coloured packet. He kept it on the table and took out the kerchief. KS took the packet in hand and saw it was CHANEL No5 bottle with words “With deepest love to Dear Brinda darling, from ever your, KS” There was a look of guilt in Krishan’s face when he mumbled that he was sorry.
KS then gently reminded him about his dear wife and children at Delhi and that his act of betrayal is being talked about in the office behind his back. He also reminded that ethics of the office would not permit such liaison between employees.Krishan promised that he would mend his ways and sought a new secretary in place of Brinda for him. He left the packet on the table refusing to take it with him. It was already 5.45pm and KS remembered the birthday party at a friend’s house where his wife Suneetha and children would be waiting. He had to hurry as the traffic was heavy around that time. He slipped in the bottle that was lying on the table in the side pocket of the coat thinking of his wife as he hurriedly left.
There were a lot of guests, some common friends and some known faces with lot of children playing around in the large hall that was brightly lit. Suneetha’s friend and her husband welcomed him warmly. KS removed the coat and hung it in a coat stand and reclined comfortably in the sofa by Suneetha’s side. The party commenced with cake cutting and birthday songs. The hostess soon came around the guests with hors d’œuvres and drinks. There was gaiety and laughter all around that was interrupted by the shrill tone of a mobile. Everybody stopped talking for a while. KS knew it was from his and the instrument was in his coat pocket. As he was trying to get up, KS’s son offered to get it and rushed towards the stand. He put his hand in the pocket and took out the red coloured packet and after reading the name of the perfume said loudly “Mummy, Papa has bought a scent for you”. All eyes turned towards him. When Suneetha asked “What are you blabbering?” he started reading out loudly “With deepest love to Dear Brinda darling, from ever your, KS ”.The mobile continued to ring and stopped after a while.Suneetha rushed to the boy and snatched the packet. KS sat dazed and frozen in the sofa. One jolly friend let out a loud guffaw and exclaimed “What a faux pas? Behind the innocent facade, you seem to be enjoying life with sidekicks.” There was a loud laughter. KS with a bewildered face looked at Suneeta. He knew explaining would only invite contempt. There was disbelief and hurt in her face. She covered it with her hands unable to bear the shame and ran out of the hall. Silence fell in the hall. The hostess followed by KS ran behind her. KS knew any explanation would be useless. She wrenched herself away from KS when he tried to put his arm around her shoulders. They left the party with Suneeta sobbing and the children shocked. The party was a big flop by the single indiscretion of KS putting someone else’s gift in his pocket. The moral is not to carry other lovers’ presents for ones wife.

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