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7 Years' Itch
7 Years' Itch
★★★★★

© Author Devika

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8 Minutes   10.2K    303


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05 November 2014

Pawan Kapoor, a 30-year-old well-qualified and excellent performing Project Manager at a renowned IT multinational company in Delhi, shares the project plan of a 10-crore project with his management. The audience feels overwhelmed and congratulates Pawan for a successful project plan. The presentation describes in detail about the project investment, resource allocation costs, and the project deadlines. As a token of appreciation, the company decides to gift him a paid holiday to Singapore in December 2014.

An elated Pawan thanks the managers, MD, and Chairman and walks out of the conference room with a big smile on his face. He walks up to the parking lot, opens the car door, enters, and switches on the radio. Coincidentally, his favourite song ‘Humma Humma’ from the movie OK Jaanu is playing; he hums his way back to home.

He rings the doorbell. Rinku, a 27-year old fashion designer, who has just launched her fashion startup (Khubsurat), yells,” Wait! Coming in 2 minutes.” She opens the door. Pawan hugs her tightly and starts dancing with her excitedly. Rinku exclaims, “Relax, relax otherwise I shall fall! What’s the good news. “

Pawan stops dancing and says, “Jaan, we have won a paid holiday to Malaysia next month. What a great way to ring in the New Year this time. Thrilled on hearing the news, Rinku remarks, “Fabulous! We shall get cracking and plan our itinerary. Even I have less orders and will ask Shweta to manage in my absence.” Shweta, a 5ft 3inch MBA graduate, residing in Ashok Vihar, works as the Admin Manager, Khubsurat.

Swati, their 6-year old daughter, comes home after playing with her friends in the park.

“Mummy, why are you so happy, today?” “We are going to Malaysia for New Year’s Eve this time. You will get to play with dolphins and you can also buy wonderful toys.” Swati hugs Rinku tightly “Oh, Mummy! This will be fun. I will tell my friends too.” She dances her way to her room. Swati is a jovial kid and loves to watch cartoons.

The Kapoors were an ideal happy family as their life was full of fun and laughter with no complaints. But all days are not the same and one doesn’t always see a sky filled with bright colours of Rainbow. Unfortunately, 2 years later, Pawan loses his job as the MNC is resorting to cost-cutting due to financial burden. Pawan (shockingly), “Sir! But, why me? Two years back you awarded me for being the Best Performer. Now, you won’t even think twice before asking me to go?” The Managing Director tries to calm him, “I agree, you have been a valuable asset for our company. But, please understand. We cannot afford expensive employees from this point of time. You will have to begin your notice period from tomorrow itself. The company will compensate you as well as give enough time to find yourself a new job.”

Pawan comes home dejected as he must break the shocking news to Rinku. He is worried as several insecurities are disturbing his mind. He knocks hard on the main door. Rinku rushes to open it quickly. “Why are you banging the door?”, she screams. Pushing her aside, Pawan enters the bedroom, closing the door with a bang. Concerned with his silence, Rinku enquires worriedly, “See, tell me what happened? Unless you share it with me how will I know.” Pawan comes out of the room, teary eyed. “I have been fired! I can’t understand how Sir did this with me. Ab kya hoga?” Sulking, he sits on the sofa. Rinku sits beside him and with a pacifying tone says, “So, what is the big deal? My firm is a bit stable. So,we can sustain our lifestyle for the time being. And, you are well-qualified, you will soon get a new job, I bet. Don’t worry! I shall take care. Let’s go to Yo! China for dinner today. Cheer up!”

Pawan gets ready and the family goes out for dinner. In the restaurant, his cousin Prakash comes to their table and remarks, “Aur bhai! Yeh kya sunn raha hoon mai. You have lost your job. Ab kya?” Rinku sarcastically remarks “isme kya hua, bhaiya? Mai hoon na. Haum saath mei iss uljhan se nikaal lenge. Waise bhi pawan itna talented hai, usko dusri job jaldi lag jayegi.” Pawan feels uncomfortable and signals Rinku to leave for home. Rinku takes her brother-in-law’s leave and they drive back home. Both are silent throughout the way, even the radio is not playing. They reach home. Rinku puts a sleeping Swati on the bed and goes to the master bedroom. Pawan switches off the table lamp and tries to sleep, accompanied with intermittent sobbing.

Next day, Pawan wakes up. His tea is kept on the bedside table. Rubbing his eyes, he goes to the kitchen. He finds a sticky note on the fridge reading, ‘Honey, I have to go for a client meeting. Breakfast is served on the table. Please get Swati dressed for school and drop her to school. I will be back by 1 PM.’ Pawan wakes up Swathi and prepares her breakfast. He goes to drop her at the school, where he meets Akash, his ex-colleague. Akash is intrigued to find out about Pawan’s whereabouts after losing the job. Pawan tells him hat Rinku is doing well and managing the situation tactfully. Akash taunts, “Arre! Toh ab biwi ghar ka bojh uthayegi.” Pawan abuses Akash and leaves, feeling ashamed of himself.

1 year later, Pawan is still not able to find a decent job. Meanwhile, Rinku develops foreign customer base and is on a spree of global expansion. Pawan receives a call from his aunt. “Hello, Maasi! Kaisi ho aap? Arre beta, mai toh rinku ko holi celebrations ke liye invite karna chahti thi. Use bata dena please.” “Maaa…” the call ends abruptly.

Acquaintances of long time and relatives begin to avoid him, and they find themselves not so welcome in the Social gatherings. This unfathomable behaviour leaves them perplexed. Pawan falls a prey to depression and seeks refuge in alcohol. Rinku tries to console and revive Pawan’s self-confidence, but all in vain. The situation deteriorates resulting in arguments, bickering etc. leading to violence…

It was Saturday, 08 April 2017, their 7th wedding anniversary and the day when Rinku receives the Youth Icon Award for setting an example of woman empowerment. Press, media, and journalists hover around her and present her bouquets. The devil plays its part as Pawan starts feeling jealous of Rinku. A drunk Pawan welcomes Rinku with a storm of blows and starts kissing her brutally. The beast in Pawan emerges. Pawan exits the home with his bag in a drunk state.

Next morning, Rinku wakes up and sees the faint gleam of sunlight coming inside the window. She is suffering from a severe headache, with bruises all over her body. Pawan is not there in the house.

She recalls the horrifying demeanour the night before. She thinks to herself, “Am I to be blamed, if I achieved success in my venture, and he had to face turbulent times.” The doorbell rings and Rinku comes back to the present.

The maid says, “Kya Memsahab, pata hai Sunday hai par 4 baar bell lagana padha.” Rinku apologises and goes inside. The maid is curious to know what is troubling Rinku. She snaps back at the maid and asks her to mind her business. Swati wakes up and starts crying, “I want to meet Papa.” Rinku consoles the child and asks the maid to boil milk for Swati.

Maid grumbles, “pehle toh dantti hai aur ab madad bhi maangti hai.” Rinku comes to the kitchen, “Amma, sorry I shouted at you. I am having a terrible headache. Will you please prepare a cup of hot tea for me. Adrak achche se daalna. “the maid serves tea and prepares breakfast. “Sahab kahan gaye, madam?” Woh office ke kaam se bahar gaye hai. 2-3 mahine ke liye.

Rinku tidies herself and takes Swati to the park. A close friend in the colony, Rekha meets her in the park. Seeing a dejected Rinku sitting on a bench, constantly staring at the sky, enquires, “Rinku, kaisi ho? You look a bit tensed.” Trembling, Rinku replies, “ab tumse kya chupaun? Last night, the beast in Pawan emerged. He lost his job last year. He didn’t even feel the need to communicate about his despair with me. But, when I started doing well in my business, his male ego corrupted his sense. The calm, quiet, and practical person underwent a diametric turnaround. See these scars on my neck. He bit me here, on my cheek, neck and he even pinched my breast with his teeth. I had to push him hard to free myself.”

Sympathising with Rinku, Rekha remarked, “What do you plan to do now? Would you continue this relationship? I would suggest you end this chapter.” Few months later, Rinku files for a divorce from Pawan. On the grounds of domestic violence and harassment, she easily gets separated retaining Swati’s custody.

3 years later, Rinku is conferred with another award “Best Businesswoman of the Year” recognizing her business acumen and exceptional innovative capabilities in the Fashion Industry. She has moved on in life and is managing her business efficiently without compromising on the all-round development of Swati. Swati has a good academic record along with interest in public speaking activities and playing badminton. Rinku has a team of 50 members in her organization who develop world-class designs, keeping pace with the latest fashion trends.

At the Graduation Ceremony of Lady Shri Ram College of Commerce, Rinku delivers a talk on “Women Changing the Society”. She concludes, “Be it a man or a woman, every individual has some strengths and weaknesses. It is the responsibility of each individual to identify your strengths, work on your weaknesses, and tap your true potential to make a difference.” The audience of 1500 thanks her for an emphatic speech with to a standing ovation and a roaring applause.

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