Sikha woke up with a heavy head. A nauseous feeling gripped her. There are times when suddenly life ceases to make any sense; when suddenly the void within seems larger than the black hole; when suddenly you can not trust people because they change colors! And Sikha felt all of this together. There was as if no energy in her body and today the thought of even entering her office gave her nightmares.
She took her mobile and re-read the WhatsApp message again that her boss had sent yesterday. It did not make any sense, but it was real. Should she take the day off? Should she just run away to a different planet? Or should she just go and seek answers from Mr. Rajat, who used to be her Boss?
She knew she had to face it head-on. She dressed up in a pastel-colored salwar suit after a shower, tied her hair in a ponytail, and put on some moisturizer and lip balm. She did not feel like dressing up today as she would usually do. She made herself some scrambled eggs and a glass of orange juice.
She reached the office and sat in front of her work desk. The board on her desk read ‘Sikha Mishra, Product manager‘. It felt like yesterday when she joined this organization as a management trainee. Sikha had given her everything for the organization and her designation said it all. Work was her life’s savior. Something that gave her life meaning and probably the only way to fill her emptiness in life. It also helped her transform from a soft-spoken girl to a woman filled with confidence and grit. Many a time, she would work on holidays to meet the deadlines. Unlike others, she would look forward to Mondays! The office was truly her second home.
But today, everything felt futile. Lost in her thoughts, Sikha walked lazily to the office pantry and placed the cup for a cup of tea under the vending machine.
“How about a strong cup of coffee today? ”, she heard a voice from her behind.
As she turned around to look behind, she felt as if her skin had started to peel. A wicked smile was visible on Nikhil’s face, his eyes fixated on Sikha. She experienced mild dizziness. She held on to the wall to balance herself. A ball of fire ran down her spine. She kept quiet without saying a word. She did not want Nikhil to get the satisfaction of provoking her. At least not today!
She came back to her seat and had the tea in her seat quietly observing everyone else in the office. Mr. Rajat was in his cabin, silently working on his laptop. The HR was attending the phone calls, the sales team looked tensed as usual chasing their targets, the marketing team was busy brainstorming on some promotional event and the accounts team seemed to be lost in calculations. Would it make any difference if …
Sikha slowly raised from her chair and went into the washroom with the makeup kit that she used to keep in her office drawer for emergency get-together sessions. She untied her silky hair, glided on a thick layer of eyeliner and winged it at the edge, and then applied her favorite shade of lipstick on her lips. It was deep red in color.
As she entered the cabin of Mr. Rajat, he suddenly sprung up from his chair.
“Ahhh Sikha! Please Come… have a seat. I was about to call you.”
Sikha sat quietly in the chair. Being quiet was not something Sikha was known for, and this made Mr. Rajat a little uncomfortable.
Sikha, see the organization is extremely proud of you and all your endeavors over the years. You have grown so much as an individual and I am a witness to that. The company has decided to boost you up.
He slid a white envelope in Sikha’s direction.
Sikha opened the envelope to find a letter of appreciation along with a raise of 35 % in her salary. Sikha’s eyes popped up seeing the calculation sheet that gave her a view of her new CTC salary break up. A 35 % hike was something Sikha had never imagined!
After a pause, Sikha slid an envelope to her boss and said,” I have already scheduled my Email and it shall reach the Board of Directors soon.”
“Have you lost your mind, Sikha? Resignation Letter! Why would you do that?”
“Why Nikhil, Boss? Of all people, Nikhil! You did not give me any choice”, Sikha revolted back.
“You know him, and we all know he has connections! But you are going too far with this. You can easily manage him, Sikha.”
“I do not want to. Not Nikhil for heaven’s sake! I am more than this Office Identity Card, I am more than this job!” Sikha tried hard to control showing any kind of emotions.“I have made up my mind. This is my final decision. I won’t be serving the Notice Period; you can instruct HR to deduct the requisite amount.”
Sikha said and walked out of the cabin, feeling a lot lighter than before as Mr. Rajat looked on.
The phone rang, and Nikhil picked up the receiver in his cabin. His eyebrows were twisted as he heard the news. He thumped his desk with his fist in rage.
“How could she? How could she …”
PS: To be continued.
This blog post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z2023
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3 Comments Add yours
Good decision, Sikha. You deserve a place and position that appreciates your efforts regularly and not once in many years
She decided to walk out? Oh i thought given her fiery nature she would take it head on. Let’s see where this goes
Good job Sikha…that Nikhil is definitely a creep!!