By Somali K Chakrabarti
Reena stood by the window, looking out particularly nowhere, as she unmindfully sipped her coffee preparing herself for the conversation that would change her life. She had heard the sound of Rajiv’s car entering the garage, and she expected the doorbell to ring any moment.
With her sense of dressing as immaculate as her sense of responsibility, Reena came across as suave, savvy and sophisticated. Rajiv was young, dynamic, brimming with ideas, and a natural charmer who could get his way through people with ease.
Both had been working together in the same architecture firm for nearly two years. Naturally, attraction had brewed, the duo had fallen in love and had decided to get married. Their families, too, were happy with the decision.
It seemed like a perfect match made in heaven.
Right from the beginning both Rajiv and Reena had harbored the ambition of starting their own architecture firm. After marriage, Reena was the first to quit her job. She started picking up assignments and Rajiv would initially help her with the projects. Within a year, he too joined the business.
They gradually rented out an office space and recruited some more people as projects started coming in. The boundaries between their personal and professional life had fused and Reena was happy to balance both ends.
Alas, the happiness did not last for long!
Things took a turn after a few years as professional rivalry surfaced. Their business was growing, they both were prospering, but Rajiv’s insecurity had started growing too. Rajiv felt jittery when any client or employee praised Reena for her professional excellence.
Rajiv felt shadowed by Reena’s success, when some new projects that he had pitched for and followed through diligently, did not materialize whereas Reena managed to get extension for most of the existing work from her clients.
He began to turn into a control freak, and started interfering too much into the work of his office members. For most of his team members, Rajiv turned into a sort of Hari Sadu, never missing a chance to pass on a snide or a sarcastic remark. In a single conversation he would go from bad manners and shouting, to apologies.
Things grew out of proportion when Rajiv started throwing ruckus every now and then. Reena went on bearing the brunt of it, but as it got too much for her to endure, she felt that it was time to start a new life.
…And the decision
She decided to give herself and Rajiv the chance to be the best they both possibly could be. Being an architect herself, Reena had a good idea about housing and real estate. She had planned to book her own house, and had gathered all information about how to split the business in a manner to cause least disruption to the ongoing work.
As for their lives, she wanted to give some more time to see if living separate for some time would make them want to come back together.
As she heard the doorbell ring, she knew she was ready for the conversation.
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*** This story is a work of fiction***