Khushi and Ranjan were in ASR’s cabin waiting for him. He came from his client meeting and looked at the duo questioningly.
“Here is a report Sir!” Ranjan placed an 85 page report on the vendor/contractor payment status logically divided into underpayment, excess payment, advance payment and delayed payment to vendors and contractor. All the discrepancies were highlighted and the probable or stated causes were mentioned. ASR scanned through the document and nodded appreciatively.
“This is tabulated and our observations are mentioned. Please go through and let us know!” Ranjan looked at Khushi and she nodded. ASR stared at both of them.
“Ok! I will look into it!” he said calmly
“Mr. Ranjan, you may take a compensatory off for working on holiday!” He looked at Khushi, smirking. She frowned.
. “You may go!” They both went out.
“Ms Gupta, finally we have completed the work..!” Ranjan was happy to have finished herculean task. Khushi smiled at him.
“Thank you sir, you have been a great help. I wouldn’t have completed the task in time!” she said genuinely. He smiled.
“You know? We actually finished it in record time. A day before the deadline!” He pointed out holding out his hand. She shook his hand happily.
“Umm.. Would you mind coffee with me in the evening?” he gathered courage to ask her. She nodded. His face lit up and he went away.
“KHUSHI..! His voice bellowed.
“Chalo Khushi, Hooter bajj gaya!” Khushi got up from her seat and climbed up the stairs.
“Why were you late in the morning?” he asked sternly. She was blank and then remembered. She had reached Raizada house in time in the morning. The moment she kept her foot in the house, she remembered. “I don’t want this girl in my house….!” She stopped, looked around. The breeze told her, he was around. She turned her back and dashed out of the house.
Lavanya’s phone rang. “Hello Lavanya ji, I am here, but since sir is there in the house, I can’t come in. You come out in the garden and we will continue!” she said in a hushed voice. Their training session started in the garden.
“Answer me!” he yelled. She came back to her senses.
“We had an outdoor training, today sir!” she looked up at him straight. She again had proved him wrong.
“Saale Saab! What is it that’s bothering you?” Sham was concerned. Arnav looked at his Jijaji.
“Nothing, Jijaji… !” He avoided him.
“Saale Saab, if you don’t want to share, it’s ok! But I know for sure that something is seriously wrong!” Sham sat next to him on the chair at pool side.
“We have hit a dead-end!” Finally Arnav opened out. Sham waited for him to speak up.
“But I will find out who the real culprit is!” he clenched his fists.
“How?” asked Sham. Arnav stared unfocused and said.
“I am only waiting for the right opportunity, Jijaji! And then I will settle the scores..!” he still was vague. Sham licked his lips with a smirk.
“Saale Saab, tell me, if I can be of any help. May be as a third person, I will be able to throw some light on the problem..!” Sham said in a soothing voice.
“It’s not your field, Jijaji. The matter is complicated. I do not know who is behind all this !” Arnav seemed to be losing it.
“With death of Prashant, everything collapsed. I have a strong feeling, he was made a scapegoat!” Sham winced at the revelation.
“Need not be! May be, he was the real culprit..!” Sham said and then trying to cover up went further,
“I mean, Saale Saab! We should look at the problem from all possible angles..!” Arnav stared at him and then suddenly getting up said,
“You are right, Jijaji.. Thank you! This episode has another dimension…!” he turned leaving Sham shocked and confused.
“What does he mean? I should find out!” Sham followed Arnav.
“Saale Saab, do you want me to help you? I will work from outside to solve the riddle and you work from inside..!” Arnav stopped and turned to face his Jijaji.
“Will you?” he asked. “Yes, Saale Saab! Why not?” Sham came forward and kept his hand on Arnav’s shoulder. They both came back to pool side.
“I have a plan” said Sham. Arnav looked on.
“I know Prashant’s family! I will ask his wife and father discreetly about his financial affairs. Then maybe we get some clue…!” Arnav looked at his Jijaji and nodded.
“Thank you!” he said genuinely. Sham smiled. Slowly his saale saab had started relying on him for taking decisions.
“Bhai!” Aakash came in with a file.
“Ok! We will talk about it later!” Arnav looked at his Jijaji. Sham understood and went away smirking. Now everything was under his control.
“Bhai… Very detailed report. The embezzlement is beyond our imagination!” Aakash looked shaken.
“Yeah!” Arnav knew the magnitude very well. It was not only the inventory and warehousing problem, there were problems in suppliers and vendors payment too. Quite a number of good quality suppliers had discontinued with AR group.
“What are we going to do, Bhai?” Aakash looked hopeless.
“I know what to do! I will handle it!” ASR would never disclose his plans to anyone. Aakash looked relax. “I know bhai, you will handle it!” he had full faith on his bhai’s ability.
“Aakash, keep the file here and don’t disclose the numbers to anyone!” he warned his brother. Aakash nodded and left. Arnav took the report file prepared by Ranjan and Khushi and went into his room. He took out another file from his bag and smiled. He opened both and scanned at the highlights.
He always had a strategy to assign crucial task to two people independently. He had assigned the task to tabulate vendor/supplier payment details to an independent auditor and also to Ranjan and Khushi. Smile appeared on his face when he realized, these two have done the job beyond expectation. Ranjan’s report was detailed, with inferences drawing his attention to some of the unanswered queries on irregularity in payments ..! Whereas the auditor’s report had merely tabulated the vendor/supplier.
“Good Job!” he smiled.
He picked up his phone and dialed Mishra’s number. He talked to him for a long time and then disconnected with a satisfying look. Prashant’s case too was assigned to two people. His Jijaji and Mishra ji!! Failure was not an option here too!!
******** ********* ********
“Hey, good news!” Ranjan came up with Mithai box during lunch time. Everyone looked at him.
“I am promoted. I am treasury head, now!” he smiled broadly. The table erupted in clapping.
“Ms Gupta.. special thanks to you!” he held out his hand. Rekha raised her eyebrows grinning.
“I mean, that report sealed my promotion!” he said excitedly. Khushi grinned at him. The celebration reached its peak.
“Umm Ms Gupta, would you like to have lunch with me, this Sunday?” Finally he asked after much hesitation. He remembered their coffee date. He had asked her and she had agreed. But in the evening when he went to ask her where she would like to go, she had said “Company cafeteria!” He was utterly disappointed but had never given up.
“I want to take you out somewhere, not in this canteen!” he said with apprehension.
“Umm, Ranjan Sir! I don’t know what my family has planned for Sunday. But I will ask and let you know!” she said politely and Ranjan nodded.
Some workers walked in with measuring tapes and material.
“What?” Khushi looked at Rekha.
“I don’t know what plans ASR has this year. But I think, it is going to be a grand one!” Rekha said looking at the people.
“What plan?” Khushi asked loudly.
“Its foundation day, next week!” Rekha said grinning.
“What foundation day?” Khushi declared her stupidity.
“The day when this company started, umm… around five.. no six years back! Its company’s birthday, Khushi!” Rekha said excitedly. Khushi looked around with gaping mouth.
“ASR arranges everything! Not a single employee is involved. He makes us feel like VIPs in this company; though he will be busy with the guests..!” Rekha remembering the last few years celebration. Khushi again was puzzled about the Monster.
“Close your mouth, Khushi! You will see the celebrations!” Rekha said. The party mood was in the air.
****** ***** *****
“Di, I will be out on business tour!” ASR was set to go. He never told where he was going.
“Ok, Chote!” Anjali nodded. “Take care, Di! Don’t exert yourself!” he said in a concerned tone. She smiled.
“Don’t worry, Chote!” he caresses his cheek. He took a step back. He turned gravely.
“Chote.. Are you ok?” she asked holding his hand. He turned and nodded. She gazed at his face.
“What happened?” She asked.
“Nothing, Di.. Its just..!” his eyes were moist.
“Mumma ki yaad aa rahi hain?” She asked in a whisper and next moment his head was on her shoulder. She stroked his head with tears in her eyes too.
“Where are you going?” she asked and he took a step back. “Business tour!” he said.
“Hmm!” she sighed. “But Chote, its foundation day next week!” she reminded him.
“I know, Di! I will come back!” he said seriously.
********* ******** ********