November 13, 2023
She could clearly hear his heart beats sitting across the table in front of him. Except for Amith’s heart beats and deep breathing there wasn’t another sound in that closed AC cabin. Simona was quietly seated on a chair. There wasn’t a least sign of anxiety on her face. Her eyes were trying to meet Amith’s but he was tenaciously escaping the gaze. He didn’t have any control over the situation. What he didn’t want to happen in Simona has happened now. He was completely shocked to learn about her pregnancy.
Everything was running smoothly. Amith’s team was at number one position in Oracle Software Company for which he was working. Along with him Simona was handling his team extremely well. Simona was inevitable in completing any project of the company. Without her no project could be completed and Amith wasn’t ready to accept lesser than this.
Last evening while sipping his coffee at coffee joint, he was shell shocked when his another team member Farah whispered into his ears. “It’s almost two three months now. Has she not informed you yet?” enquired Farah. Amith felt little inferior to answer ‘No”. It took little long for the coffee to flow down his throat. He could visualise the name and fame that he has earned in the company so far getting evaporated into the air. He straight away got up and rushed back to his cabin. As he was walking back to his cabin his eyes moved on to Simona and Simona was busy at her work as usual.
Sleep eluded him that night. His ego wasn’t ready to accept any position in the company other than number one. He could feel his dreams getting shattered. He was not willing to accept the reality. He sent a WhatsApp message to Simona past midnight; “Meet me in the morning ASAP.” He didn’t wait for Simon’s reply.
Simona was seated in front of him now. Amith was struggling to start a conversation. Simona was fully aware of the question Amilth was about to shoot at her and she was ready with one word answer to that question. How long one can hide the pregnancy. Sooner or later the outside world will observe the changes. Since Amith was struggling to begin a conversation, Simona herself initiated the talk. “Sir”. Amith at once started speaking as if he heard a long statement. “Yes, yes. I too wanted to ask the same thing.” Amith was hurrying. There wasn’t a question at all. “What Sir?” Simona asked Amith. Amith suddenly became aware that he had not asked any question at all. The veins on his forehead started swelling now. Without a pause, like the bullet being released from a revolver, Amith shot a question at Simona. “Are you pregnant?” Amith was eagerly waiting for an answer. He wanted to hear a “no” to his question. But Simona’s answer was filled with motherly love. A word “yes” just rolled down her lips as smoothly as petal drops. Frustration overruled Amith. Hitting his forehead with his palm, leaning back on to the chair he shouted; “How can it be? You have deceived me?” “Sir please be cool. Its my personal choice.” Replied Simona equally composed. “No, remember the decision we had taken for the company,” Screamed Amith once again. Simona did not want to argue further with Amith. “Sorry Sir. I can’t help it.” Simona walked out of the cabin with these words.
Simona was born in a poor family. She grew up facing great difficulties. Except unconditional love from the parents, she didn’t receive any other financial support from them for her higher education. With the help of bank loan she could complete her BE in Computer Science from prestigious R V College Bengaluru and got selected to Wipro through campus placement. The annual package she received also was quite satisfying. While working in the company she fell in love with her colleague Verghese and eventually they got married. Though the earning of Verghese was not on par with that of Simona, they could spend happy days since both of them were earning. Meanwhile she came to know about a job opening at Oracle Company. Since it was an offering with better salary she sent her CV to Oracle Company. Within a week she received a call for interview from Amith, Project Coordinatotor, Oracle.
Simona was sitting in front of Amith to face the interview. “I’m really impressed with your CV. I’m all the more impressed to understand that in five years of service in your previous company you have not applied for even a single leave. Besides I’m happy to note that you have not thought of a child in your four years of married life. To climb the top the ladder of success in a software company you need to forget bearing children for a long time. It’s a hindrance, specially for ladies you know.” Whatever he had to say he said it in one breath. “I have a condition. This job is available on fulfilling this condition,” said Amith. “What’s it sir?” asked Simona eagerly. Looking straight into the eyes of Simona, Amith said; “You need to go without children at least for another four years.” Though this condition seemed little tough, Simona agreed since getting a job was important for her. So she did not think of the condition deeply. She started working the next day.
Due to the hard work and creativity Simona changed the star of Amith’s life. Amith’s performance increased every year. He started getting new projects. Every one in his group benefited out of it and the work became easy because Simona was handling the projects.
In the meanwhile, situation changed with Simona and Verghese. Verghese could manage to get a better job and he bought a new apartment in Electronic City and a brand new car too. The salary of one person, nearly 60 k would go to the bank to pay the bank loan instalment. To add to this happiness Simona conceived a baby. Though she remembered the condition laid by Amith, when she was working so hard for the company and the company was making huge profit because of her hard work., she thought Amith would forget his condition.
But the situation turned against Simona day by day. Amith openly started showing his anger on her. He even stopped communicating to her. He got scared of the thought that if Simona goes on leave he may miss the projects. He was quite sure that it would be impossible to find a substitute for Simona. He slowly started transferring Simona’s projects to Farah. Simona was sitting quiet at her place without project work at hand. When she tried for an appointment with Amith, there was a negative reply. After some days she also got a hint that she will be losing her job.
Sometimes bad luck will haunt you like a spirit. Verghese’s company got closed due to heavy loss. That day happened to be the darkest day in Simona’s life. She wanted to continue working desperately. They had to pay bank instalments and meet other expenses. There was no other way.
“May I come in Sir?” Simona was the first one to knock at the door of Amith’s cabin in the morning. “Come in”, replied Amith, recognising the presence of Simona through the voice without looking at her face. Amith signalled at her to drop the letter on the table thinking that she has come to tender resignation. “Sir I want to continue working”, Simona was trying to speak with a trembling voice. Amith raised his eyes to stare at Simona. He was shocked to see Simona’s flat belly. Simona was leaning on to the cabin wall shivering lightly. Stream of tears was flowing down from her eyes without any gasps.