Today Saloni was so excited!!
Why should she not be? As it was her first day of office and she had to reach there by 10. If she will be late even for a minute, she would be out of the office, on her first day itself.
So, with this fear, she was walking hastily towards the Nangloi metro station.
Oh No!! It's notifying that the Kirti Nagar metro will come after 2 minutes which means Inderlok metro will take 7 to 9 minutes more. I am sure I'll be late today. Saloni was having mixed feelings of excitement and fear.
I think I should try Kirti Nagar route today. As on interview day, Inderlok route made me late, maybe with this, I will be on time.
In her mind, She was planning to do an experiment with her metro route, as there were two routes. One via Kirti Nagar and the other by Inderlok.
With a running crowd, Saloni also boarded Kirti Nagar metro. For her, that fast metro train was running like a passenger train.
Haaye Raam!!! Such crowd! everyone is falling on each other. My face will definitely be spoiled here, first with this sweat and second with this crowd. "
Saloni noticed a girl who was continuously looking at her. Why is this girl staring at me, am I looking weird? Saloni questioned herself. She was thinking all this while checking herself out in the reflection of metro door.
I can't look bad on my first day of office" Saloni corrected her hair and looked at the stoppage.
Damn it! this is Karol bagh metro station, how careless am I.
She ran towards the metro gate and exhaled a deep but quiet sigh. "Thank God! "
Saloni, you don't have enough time, stop thinking, just focus on your goal. As Usual, talking to herself, Saloni looks at the time on her phone. Shit! Only 18 minutes are left, run Saloni, and catch the E-Rickshaw.
"Bhaiya, will you go to the Main market, Listen Bhaiya. " She enquired with almost all E-Rikshawalas
Why is no one going there? I think I should ask that Rikshawala. I know they will charge more but at least I'll reach on time.
"Uncle, will you go to the Main market? Please uncle, don't deny. I have to reach my office within 15 minutes. Today is my first day. If I'll be late then my boss will scold me. Please don't say no. " She said it all, in one breath.
Rikshawala: Are bitiya chinta kahe karti ho 10 min mein pahucha deta hu..
This "Bitiya'' word, gave her some relief like someone close is assuring her, This line made Saloni's fear somehow less.
She got into the Rickshaw and greeted him with "Thank you uncle".
She said only these words as there were lot of thoughts running in her mind.
On the interview day Dhruv questioned me about my late arrival, that day I gave an excuse of not being aware of the route. Don't know what will he say today?
Everyone must have reached the office by now. Sir was looking cool-minded, Don't know how others are? That Dhruv seemed to be full of attitude, Why he would not be? After all, it's his father's office. Money talks..."
"Bitiya, how much time is left? " Rikshawala's voice made Saloni came out from her world of thoughts.
"Uncle, only 7 mins are left, how will we reach on time? "She replied in panic.
Rikshawala was driving with full enthusiasm. Like it was his first day of office.
"Lo agaye beta, Now tell me where you have to go." Rikshawala asked Saloni with full curiosity.
"Uncle Main Market, But this route is different, where did you bring me?" Saloni asked with jitter.
"Vo dekho vo rha Market abhi ek min m pahucha dete hai, chinta mat karo"
"Yes this way uncle, thank you uncle thank you so much."
She gave him a 100 rupee note and made a mad dash towards the office. She unheard every voice of rikshawala. He called her 2-3 times loudly. "Beta, please take your money. But Saloni ignored his voice and he drove back.
Now Saloni couldn't hear anything because she can only see her office. It's like she was going to complete the last stage of a game.
Oh No! It's 9:57. It's ok Saloni, office timing is 10:00 AM, don't panic, they gave 9:55 time so that we will reach on time, nothing more than that. Her mind was trying to calm herself.
How long are these stairs? When will it end yar? In this hustle-bustle, she forgot that this is her first day of office and she had to look good, which she was thinking since morning.
Earphones in one ear and the other side protruding from the ear, bathed in sweat and gasping heavily for the air.
Saloni's face filled with a smile like she had won the game. She murmured, "Thank god! It's still not 10."
And abruptly a voice came, "I thought you would not come today." Saloni got frightened.
He was none other than Dhruv. He asked Saloni while coming out from the washroom and wiping his hand with a hanky.
"Office timing is 10 and see I am here" With full confidence and a smile, Saloni replied and put forward her hand with a good morning greeting, Dhruv completed the handshake hesitantly.
"So tell me, what will I have to do?" With excitement, Saloni asked for her work.
"Sir is in a meeting, You should wait for him to call you" Dhruv informed her. "Till then you can sit here on this sofa." He added.
"Didn't you see the poster on that wall, phone not allowed" This sudden voice of Dhruv, made Saloni scared and as usual the hastened Saloni made her phone fall.
"I have been sitting here for almost 2 hours doing nothing, no one is giving me work, What should I do, at least I can pass my time on my own" she argued while picking up her phone.
But how could Dhruv let his point cut off "There are so many books here, you can read anything, The phone should go into that drawer as soon as you enter the office. This had already been made clear to you at the time of the interview itself." Dhruv replied in a bossy way.
All of then a voice comes from the back of the computer. "Sir is watching both of you, sit down." Until now Saloni had not been introduced to anybody except Dhruv.
Then the phone rang and that was sir's phone for sure. Dhruv got the order to send Saloni to the cabin.
"Yes come Saloni, Have a seat." Gupta sir welcomed her with a smile.
"So Saloni, tell me what work you are doing? "
"Sir I have asked Dhruv, but nobody has given me any work."
Mr. Gupta immediately made a call and asked someone to come inside.
"Saloni, this is Ananya, she handles our legal work." He Introduced Ananya.
"Ananya, why have you not given any work to Saloni yet. She will work under you, do guide her." He added
"Ok sir, sure." With a smile and in her soft voice, Ananya assured him and went back.
"Saloni have you found a pg yet," Sir asked in concern.
"No sir, I have talked with many of the pg owners, but nothing suited me. Some are charging high, some don't provide food. But It's very important to find it soon, as you know sir, our office is too far from Nangloi."
"Don't worry Saloni, I'll ask Dhruv to help you find a pg. He knows some pg owners, till then you can stay at our home if you find it comfortable. We too provide rooms on rent. All our rooms were occupied earlier but now one of our tenants is on holiday for a month. Until they come you can stay there. I will confirm from them"
"But Sir..." Saloni didn't find a word to say as she was not sure whether it would be alright for her to stay with them or not.
"No problem, Saloni, you can discuss it with your family. I have just given you an option if you find it good you can go for it. And don't worry about the food, my wife cooks very delicious food. You will definitely like it." Mr. Gupta made Saloni comfortable.
Saloni giggled and with "Thank you Sir" she went back to her seat.
But all the time she was thinking about sir's suggestion and her focus was not on work. Ananya noticed that something was bothering Saloni.
She asked her in a gentle voice. "Is there any problem, Saloni? You can tell me, maybe I can help you."
Although, it was Saloni's first day and she didn't know whether it would be right to share anything or not, still somehow Saloni felt connected to Ananya like she is an old friend of hers. So she poured all her thoughts in one go without taking any pause.
"Yar, actually my paternal uncle's home is quite far from our office and it takes two and a half to three hours to come here so it's very difficult for me to travel this much as I want to focus more on my work rather than on travelling."
"I searched many PGs near our office yet didn't find any good ones. Sir offered me to stay at their home. But yar, I am confused whether to accept the offer or not as if I stay there, I will not be having any personal life. I don't know anything about them. Moreover, I am not finding Dhruv good. I want to keep him at arm's length. He is very rude to me all the time like I have snatched something very precious from him."
Ananya smiled at how Saloni said all that in one go. She asked Saloni to take a breath.
Saloni took a deep breath and asked "Now tell me what should I do? Don't you think it's a matter of tension?
Ananya smiled again at Saloni's way of expressing herself. How she puts forward all her thoughts without any filter.
"Ya, it is, but not that much." Ananya agreed.
"Ok, let's discuss the problem one by one, and then we will try to figure out the solution.
So your uncle's house is far from our office so it's obvious you have to shift somewhere near to the office."
"Second one is where to shift, you don't have any good PG and sir offered you the same. If you can wait more, then it's up to you and still, it's not sure that you will get a better pg and if we talk about sir's offer then let me clear you one thing. You have a problem with Dhruv na. Then it's not a problem at all. I don't know why you find him rude. He is the jolliest person in our office. Our office environment is lively because of him only. I have known him for almost 5 years and he is the best guy I have ever met."
"Maybe you are new, that's why he just wants to show you some seniority as sir always scolds him and suggests to act like a mature person and I think he started his practice on you only." Ananya ended her words with a good laugh.
Meanwhile Saloni in her mind. Huh, seniority, practice, and oh my god the jolliest one. He didn't have "J "of Jolly in his nature.
Ananya interrupted Saloni's thoughts. "One more thing Saloni, you were saying personal and professional life mix up then don't worry about that sir too has a family and they love to spend time with their family and they have a daughter also, so they will not judge you on anything."
"I am saying all these things just to sort your thoughts, this is what I have noticed about them and ya at last everything is on you only. If you find it good then go for it otherwise there is no compulsion here."
"It's for your benefit only, Saloni." Ananya's last sentence was something that comforted or gave some good vibes to Saloni and in her mind, she was somehow clear now, this conversation left a smile on Saloni's face.
"Thank's Ananya, you have solved my problem." Saloni welcomed her.
"Ok, then can we come back to work now, '' Ananya said.
"Yes yes, sorry yar I have wasted your time also." Saloni apologized.
"Not a problem yar, let's come to the topic."
"Ok Saloni, let me tell you the process of work which we have to do. So, first, you have to brush up on your theoretical knowledge, after that, I'll give you field work. I'll give you one case daily or maybe two and you have to give your judgment on that and submit it on the next day itself."
Saloni nodded to whatever Ananya said and assured her that she will do it.
Suddenly Saloni realized Dhruv's eyes on her, and that too with a rude expression.
Saloni was guessing whether Dhruv had listened to her conversation with Ananya. Yaar I talk too loud, he would have heard everything.
Dhruv came towards Saloni and with an angry look asked her, "What work are you doing? I was checking on you and you are not doing any work, this is an office Saloni, not a gossiping club."
"It's my first day Dhruv, Ananya has already guided me on what I have to do or not. I think I have to report to Ananya only. If I am right, isn't it.
"That's fine but I have suggested to the management to appoint you. So it's my duty to make sure that I have suggested a capable one ." Dhruv replied.
"Sorry Dhruv, but I want to correct you here. You have not suggested, you only found my profile on some job portal and passed it to the management and the rest was on them.
"There were no suggestions of yours. I am here because of my interview and in your language "capability". So don't you worry about all these things, nobody will blame you If I'll not do any work. So It's better to focus on your work. I will take care of mine."
Saloni was trying to stop her words. She Knew that she is getting too rude without any issue. She was confused why she is behaving in this manner. She has not behaved this way with anyone before, but now she is finding that her words are not in her control.
Actually, after discussion with Ananya, she was confused as to why Dhruv's behaviour is bad with her only or maybe she got the liberty to say anything to him after knowing his true nature.
Dhruv left the place without giving any reply to her.
Saloni realised that her behavior towards him was so bad and she knew that she is not like this who could say anything to anyone. She did something opposite to her nature. So she was having double guilt.
Lunch break started.
Everybody was there except Dhruv. Saloni asked Ananya about Dhruv. Ananya too noticed that something had happened to him because Dhruv never skips his lunch, Ananya was about to go to Dhruv.
Saloni stopped her. "Wait, maybe I know the reason, let me handle it."
Saloni went to Dhruv's desk. He was just looking straight to the desktop neither here nor there, typing something continuously like he wanted to show that he is so busy.
Saloni interrupts him with "Sorry" and continues, "I didn't mean all the stuff I said earlier." Dhruv was fully ignoring her.
It was so weird for Saloni that she is trying to persuade a boy whom he knows from 2-3 days only and it's awkward that everybody's eyes were on them only. But she didn't have any option as she was the one who had made things Complicated.
"Dhruv why are you behaving like a child, I know I said too much, but for that, I am extremely sorry."
Still, Dhruv was quiet and this made Saloni angry.
"Ok, Dhruv I have said sorry to you 2 to 3 times and I cannot do anything more than this. Actually, one more thing, you poked me because of your behavior I said all that to you. Why are you so rude to me all the time? Ananya was saying you are good with everyone. So what wrong did I do to you that you behave like this to me? you taunt me all the time, you make me feel that I am useless so what else do you expect from my side, but still sorry for my behavior. Do whatever you want to do. I am hungry, I am going to have my lunch, bye."
Saloni left the place with a peeved face. After 5 minutes of that Dhruv also came and joined everybody, he was back to normal, cracking jokes and gossiping about clients with all office mates but ya not with Saloni.
Saloni was quiet and had teary eyes. She was feeling alone and thinking she fought with her colleague on her very first day itself. She was feeling that everybody was ignoring her. The girl who takes 1 hour to complete her food, has completed it in 15 minutes and she pretended that she got a call and with "Hello Hello" she left the place and went to the terrace so that nobody could see her crying.
Still, 30 minutes are there, how will I pass it, to whom should I call. Thoughts were running in her mind, that reminded her of her sister and she called her.
"Hiii! How are you, how's your new office?" Her sister picked the phone and bombarded the questions on her.
"Theek hai sab" Saloni replied with a low voice.
Her sister found that something is not right, Saloni's energy is not the same, how she used to be on the phone.
She enquired Saloni. "Is everything fine, Saloni??... What happened to you?? Has someone scolded you?"
With this Saloni started crying. "Mera man nhi lag rha "
Her sister kept asking "Bata to hua kya". "Has anybody said anything to you?"
"I fought with one of my colleagues," Saloni replied.
This made Saloni's sister laugh. "You fought with someone?" "This can't be true. Please Saloni, you can't fight even with us, then it's impossible for you to fight with some stranger and that too with your colleague."
"Tell me in detail what happened." She added.
Saloni narrated the whole incident to her sister how from interview day Dhruv is rude to her and always taunts her but as per Ananya, he is totally opposite. This made her annoyed, why his nature is bad with her only. So, she casted all her anger on him and when she asked for an apology he ignored her completely.
With little sobs, she compiled her words "Jija you know na...... what I don't like the most? If someone ignores me..... and at the lunch table, I was feeling the same...... I was feeling that I don't even exist for anybody in the office. Is that how they treat their new colleague?" And again Saloni started crying.
Her sister Shreya is consoling her "Darling, you have not done anything wrong then why are you crying. If still, you feel you have done something wrong then you have already apologized for it. Now just ignore everything. This is your first day, don't give your remote in someone else's hand. The way you behave on your starting days they will treat you accordingly."
"Be bold and strong dear, don't cry. I am here na, I Will listen to you. Meri sally, I will give you full attention. I can't see you like this. Please don't cry, otherwise I will also cry. I have not had my lunch yet. If you will not stop then I don't know about Dhruv but yes I will not have it," "tu kitna hi manalena fir chahe."
Saloni stopped crying and smiled at her sister's line about how she is teasing her for Dhruv. "Don't worry, I am ok now, please have your lunch. Let me go to the office, lunch will be over in 10 mins, Saloni said.
Before keeping her phone down her sister advised her "Hey Sally you are strong enough and you are here to learn work and this is your first day, don't think much beta and I know very well that you are an expert in making friends so you don't have to think that anybody will ignore you, give them time and don't give damn to Dhruv. Focus on your work ok and whenever you feel low, without even a second thought call me."
"Thank you jija, please don't take my tension and have your lunch, I am 100% fine now," Saloni appealed and with this, she put down the phone.
Saloni went downstairs with full confidence and a smile on her face.
Meanwhile, Ananya asked Dhruv about his behaviour towards Saloni. "Dhruv what happened to you? Why did you behave in such a manner with Saloni? Do you know she was crying on phone only because of you? You know na this is her first day and you made her cry."
"What happened to you Ananya? Why are you blaming me? I have not done anything. She is the one who freaked out at me without any reason. I was just teasing her for not doing any work. You know my nature very well. From interview day, I was just trying to comfort her so that she doesn't feel new to this office. But she doesn't know how to take a joke. I teased her because I had nothing to talk to her about, but she took me wrong and started yelling at me, but I didn't say a word to her."
"If she will interpret every word wrong then it's better not to talk to her." Dhruv complained.
"Dhruv, she has already said sorry to you after realising her mistake. Now it's your turn to do the same, you made her cry. She is not mad, that without any reason she will talk with you in such a way. I know that your intention was not to hurt her. But still, you did so at least say sorry." Ananya made him realise.
"She must be from some Ganv for sure that's why she doesn't know how to take jokes, mad girl, ok fine I will try to sort out, now go and do work and give her work too, Hahaha. "Dhruv laughed.
"You are mad Dhruv "Ananya left with a smile.
Saloni was also back to being normal, as Ananya had given her a law book to make a gist on it. She was working on it with full concentration on the sofa set.
Only half an hour was left for office to get closed. Everybody was busy in wrapping up their work before 6 pm. But Dhruv had to sort out with Saloni and he was just figuring out the correct timings, so that no one can notice him as he was going to say sorry to a girl.
Dhruv went to Saloni and clarified. "Hey Saloni, listen let's just clear out everything. I had no intentions to hurt you, I was just trying to comfort you as I thought you don't know anyone here and If I'll behave like that, you will not feel new and I didn't have anything else to talk about . So I just tried to tease you. That was all my intention. Still, if I hurt you from my behavior then I'm extremely sorry for that."
Saloni got astonished as she was totally in the book and suddenly Dhruv came and poured all his thoughts on her. She didn't know what to say. In haste she just said "Ok.... Thank you ....No issues "and went to the washroom like she was controlling her pee and expecting Dhruv to complete her talk ASAP. That was awkward both for Dhruv and Saloni.
Saloni was thinking in the washroom. I misunderstood him and overreacted . How mad am I? But it's ok Saloni next time take care of this.
Everybody was leaving the office. Ananya offered a lift to Saloni for the metro station, dropped her there, and advised her "Don't overthink, focus on your work only and ya don't forget to complete your homework, take care bye."
"Thank you Ananya bye, you too", Saloni wished her back. And left for her paternal uncle's house.
She narrated all the incidents that happened today to her cousins, Chacha, Chachi. Everybody was curious to listen about her first day.
How lovely is this na that you have your family which is so much interested in you and your doings.
Everybody was excited as if it was their first day. Her cousin Nisha was simultaneously doing commentary on her incidents. Saloni told everything whether it was sir's offer, talk with Ananya, fight with Dhruv or her call to Shreya, everything.
In the middle of this Nisha commented "Us Dhruvde ko to main btaungi kabhi milne do."
But Saloni's Chachaji which means Nisha's father corrected her. "He is elder than you, call him bahiya."
Nisha agreed "Ok papa, Dhruvda bhaiya." Everybody laughed.
Saloni made a call to her mother and asked her about the decision to stay at Gupta sir's home and her mother told her to take Chachaji with you if you both find it good then go for it.
Her uncle emphasized , "Beta you can stay here with us, if you want. If it's about distance then I can drop you every day. It won't be difficult for me."
"No Chachaji I have made my mind I'll shift in two days as the day after Tomorrow is weekend. So I can shift there easily without taking any leave. I'll tell Gupta sir, that until I find any good pg I'll stay at their place. Or Chachaji you tell, if it'll be good for me or not. Ananya was telling me that they are good people, if you think it's fine then we both will go there and finalize it."
"Ok beta we will see, now go and have your dinner."
Saloni ate her dinner and took some rest and did the homework which was given by Ananya. First, she found it difficult to give her judgment on the case but after so many efforts she did it well and she was so tired that she slept on her notepad.