An Indian college girl meets her American client
Pooja Kulkarni had just turned 19. She had celebrated her birthday around 15 days back. But soon after her birthday, she had received a rude shock upsetting her life. She had a huge row with her boyfriend.
The result was a complete shock to her. Not only Avinash had lots of unsavory things to her, but he had insulted her outright. Now she was thinking if he was the right man for her after all. She had left her job for him, simply because he had asked her to do it. Just like that.
She was trying to sleep in her bedroom, but her mind was flooded with all the things that had happened. She often cried during the night, soon reason took over and she found herself analyzing the break up in more rational way. Now that she thought about it after getting over the initial shock, she felt what had happened was good for her. When she was in love with him earlier in the period, she couldn’t see his faults even though she really knew them all along. And it was a long list of faults. He had been too possessive of her. He always resented her career oriented mind and thought of her as a kind of household thing. Whenever she spoke of working, he often cut her out saying that working was not a woman’s thing really. He never respected her as a woman. She had forgiven all this when she had been in love. But now as she analyzed it more dispassionately, she was feeling happy that she was well out of it. She would have never loved an autocratic husband for herself. And soon enough the reality dawned on her. She will need to find job. One she was independent, she would see how it goes after that. She had enough experience to a least get a job in call center.
She lived in Mumbai and studied B com in Mumbai University. Her parents lived in Pune. So she lived as a paying guest with 2 more girls. Even though her family was well to do, she had learned to be self reliant from an early age. She had moved to Mumbai around 1 year back and immediately joined a call center. Her college was important, but she knew she could manage it as her job was during the night. After 1 year, she had settled well in her job. Her job was good and she loved it. She was a customer care executive for an American electronic manufacturer. She had to support queries and inquiries from retailers selling electronic equipments of her client. She was assigned a specific portfolio of large retailers. Her portfolio consisted of hardly 6 retailers, but they were very large. She had to support all the inquiries about their shipments, bill and almost everything related to these retailers. And soon after she had joined, she had made great impression on all the clients she was handling. Even though she was hardly 18 when she joined, all the customers were very happy with her work.
Now after1 year, she saw no reason why she couldn’t do it now. She applied to the same call center again next day and was immediately accepted. Though the entire company had changed, her boss was same. And fortunately, she was offered same client portfolio that she was handling 1 year back.
She joined the work immediately even though Avinash protested. He had been trying to patch things up, but she didn’t listen to him. It was here that she met Mark. He was an American white man and was 25, about 6 years her senior. Mark was her contact with one of her large retailers and her work often involved lot of interaction with him. Initially it was strictly professional, but soon after, Mark had started making a move on her. She had often reprimanded him, but not very seriously. But it hadn’t had any effect on him and she often found his flirtiest posts on her face book account. But she could never think of being angry with him he talked very light heartedly and never took anything seriously. So her mailbox used to flood with flowers, greetings and virtual chocolates. She kept telling him that she was engaged, but he just used to laugh and said that he will wait till she broke up with her boyfriend and became available.
She never took him seriously, but soon even she started feeling s strange kind of attraction for him. There was something about that she felt very curious about. He often pestered her post her pictures on face book so he could see her. But she had declined. But he had persisted and almost after 2 month she had given in to his requests and posted an album of her pictures and shared it with him. His comments were almost instantaneous and very flattering. She had a good opinion of herself, but his comments were too flattering.
But she was surprised that she enjoyed his comments rather than being awkward at it. She also checked out his pictures just out of curiosity. And to her utter surprise, she found that he was very handsome. He had nice physique and very flat stomach. She couldn’t feel somewhat attracted to Mark.
Pooja continued to work and soon started enjoying her workplace. The relations with her boyfriend also became better even though she couldn’t help feeling that there was still a large wide gap between them. She felt her love may fell apart at slightest problem. The problem came much sooner than she had imagined. Avinash saw her pictures posted on face book and raised a hell for it. They had another bitter fight. She reported sick to the office and asked for leave for one week.
As she rested, all things about Mark flooded back in her and memory and she felt good. Her boyfriend had said the she was not good enough to have any other man. But here was one man who had been chasing her for last 1 year despite knowing that she was engaged. He was better than her boyfriend in every aspect. He was way more progressive than her lover. Being an American, he knew how to respect a woman and not treat her as an object. She had often felt these things about Mark.
It was 4 days since she had reported sick now. She hadn’t spoken a word to Avinash since they had had the fight over her pictures and job. She woke up from the bed and checked her watch. It was around 10 PM. She was feeling much better now as she thought about Mark. She decided she would call her manager and report to him that she would be back to office tomorrow. She got her cell from and dialed her senior’s number and waited for him to pick up the call.
“Hi Ashish, this is Pooja. How are you?” She said as he answered the call. She moved to the bed and sat on it.
“Oh, Hi Pooja, How are you? Good to hear from you. How are you feeling now?” She heard a lot of chatter behind him on phone.
“I am feeling good now. I just called to check if I can join office tomorrow.” She picked up her pillow and placed it on her thighs and leaned in as she spoke.
“Of course, I have been waiting for you to call. You know I had to handle all your clients. I would be glad to have you back.”
“OK, Great. Then see you tomorrow. Bye.” She smiled to herself and then disconnected the call.
She knew that he would have to work himself as she didn’t have any backup. Now that her hard part was done, her thought turned back to Mark. When she had applied to leave, she hadn’t even told her. She felt somewhat sorry for him now. He had often asked her for her cell number, but she had avoided him. He must have posted some scraps on face book. She decided to check it and switched her PC on. It took some time to boot. She closed the door of the bedroom as she waited.
She sat on the chair next to the PC and logged in. She got up from the chair and went to her wardrobe to get a comb. She was feeling odd and her hair felt a bit sticky. So she brushed them lightly as she waited for the login process to complete. Once it was done, she put the comb back in the wardrobe and sat on the chair. She connected to internet and opened face book. Just as she had thought, she had received a post from Mark almost every day.
The last one said. “Hey Pooja, How are you feeling now? When are you joining back? I miss you. You boss is good, but he is no match for you. Please come back as soon as possible.” She almost wanted to laugh. He knew the personality defects of her boss.
She replied to his post. “Hi Mark, I am sorry I didn’t tell you about it. It happened a bit suddenly and it’s complicated. I want to talk to you about it. Would you like to call me back anytime you are free? This is my cell number.” She typed her number along with STD code. She posted her reply and then checked her email. There was nothing except typical Mark flowers and virtual chocolates. She smiled and deleted the mails. He had been so persistent since last 6 months. Then she disconnected the internet and shut down the PC. She had to get some sleep.
As she lay down in her bed, she for the first time started thinking about Mark. She liked him; there was no doubt about it. However, till now she was shackled by being married to Avinash. Now that suddenly her shacked had been removed, she felt a different kind of feeling towards Mark. It was a strange attraction for him. But doubt engulfed her mind if she was right in doing this. Mark had been asking her for her personal number since last 6 months. She had been avoiding him. And now that she was heartbroken (at least socially) she had given her number to him. She was turning towards Mark because her boyfriend had turned out to be a wimp. And she thought about this as she lay in bed. She wanted to sleep, but the question whether it was right or wrong just didn’t allow her to sleep. However more she thought about it, better she felt. After all lots of love affairs bloom after one partner is dumped by someone. There was no guilt in turning to someone for consolation after you have lost love. You can’t just throw away your life because you loved a wrong guy. As she thought along these lines, she felt much better and her feeling of guilt reduced.
Just as she was dozing off her cell phone rang. She was still dreamy when she collected her phone and checked it. It was an US number and there was only person who could call her from US. She smiled to herself as she answered the call.
“Hi Mark, how are you?’ She said as she got up from the bed.
“Hi Pooja, I should be asking you about how you are. You got quite a good break. What happened to you? I was wondering if you are going to turn up or not.” She rubbed her eyes lightly.
“Well I was not feeling well. So I decided to take leave for some time.” She replied.
“Yes. But what happened to you? Is it fever, sneezing of something serious?” He sounded a bit excited and there was lot background noise around him.
“Well there is nothing wrong with me physically. It’s emotionally that I have a problem.” Her heart raced as she said this.
“What happened? Is anything wrong?” She fell back again on the bed and lay down.
“Well I don’t know if it’s wrong as such. But if you want to know, I have decided to break up with my boyfriend.” Mark exclaimed at the other end as she said this.
“Well well, then all my long wait and persistence has paid off finally.” He laughed lightly.
“Hey please, don’t laugh. It wasn’t very pleasant for me.” She admonished him, but even she knew that it was faked.
“I know baby. I have had one break up myself last year. In fact I had a divorce. And I know the perfect remedy for this decease.” He seemed to be walking.
“And what’s that? May be it will help me.” She laughed. She was already feeling much better.
“Start searching for someone else.” She had expected just this.
“Is that what you were doing with me for last 6 months?” She felt oddly happy at the turn that the conversation had taken. She wanted this talk, but hadn’t expected to happen so quickly.
“What do you think baby? That’s what I was doing. And that’s what you should do. So does this mean that you are single and ready to mingle now?” The background noise had cleared now and she could clearly hear him.
“Well I am single all right, though not legally. Legally I am still his wife. But I am not sure I am ready to mingle just yet. I am so angry that I don’t feel like I will ever get hitched to another man.” She knew that it wasn’t true. She wanted to get hitched with him. But she didn’t want him to feel like she was turning to him the moment she had broken up. She had her pride.
“Oh don’t say that. All men are not same. What was his problem?” He asked.
“Please, I don’t want to talk about him.” She cut him short quickly.
“All right, but you shouldn’t ruin your happiness for him. So don’t say you will never get hitched. You are damn sexy. Any man would love to have you as his girlfriend. Take me for instance. I have been trying for last 6 months even when I knew you were engaged otherwise. And now that you are single I will try even harder. So what do you think?” He paused for a moment waiting for her.
“What do I think about what?” She knew perfectly well. But she couldn’t resist teasing him.
“Well about being my girlfriend? About getting hitched up with me?” She couldn’t help but smile.
“Oh Mark, you are so nice and impudent. I just said I decided to break up and you again start making a move on me. I am not divorced yet. I am still married to him.” She thought that he hadn’t stopped even when she was engaged.
“Well there is no time to waste. So what do you think?” She knew she was interested in him. But she still wanted it think about it.
“Mark, I really like you. You are very nice person. But right now I am not in a position to talk about this. Please give me some time. I promise I will think about it. And don’t bring up it with me. I will talk to you about it. Just let me think.” She was feeling her heart racing.
“Of course, But you will think about it?” He asked.
“Yes. I will. And I will talk to you. I am joining office tomorrow. So that’s good bye for now.” She said.
“Good bye. And don’t sulk too much. See you tomorrow.” He said and hung up.
Next day she joined the office and soon got busy. Mark didn’t touch the subject as he had promised. The week soon ended, but she kept thinking about Mark. She wanted to say yes to him, but there were lots of questions. There were lots of points that she wanted to clarify with him. Finally she made up her mind and called Mark on his cell on Friday night.
“Hi Mark, how are you?” She was alone in her cubicle and there was no one on her sides.
“Hi baby, how are you? Is there any problem?” They had been talking all week, but all of it had been strictly official.
“Well I had promised I will think about it. And I have thought.” She confirmed once more that there was no one around her. Everyone was out on the dinner break.
“So what is that you think? Is it a yes or no?” She detected a strange excitement in his voice.
“Mark, I am interested in you. I like you. But do you really think we are compatible?” She felt very odd talking to him now.
“Why do you think that baby? Of course we are compatible.” She turned in her bed and lay down on her back.
“Well you think for yourself. There are so many differences in us. I am Indian and you are American. Then there are all the social differences. I have never been to U.S. and you have never been to India. We are worlds apart. Don’t you think you should find a nice American girl rather than trying to chase an Indian girl?” She spoke as calmly as possible. But even she knew that her argument was very shallow.
“Look honey, I know all that. But I don’t really care. All I know is that I love you. The only question is whether you love me or not. If you can answer that, everything else will fall in place.”
“Mark, Are you really sure about this?. Are you really serious about me? I am taking all this very seriously. And I want to be sure that you are also serious. ”
“Of course baby I am serious. I really love you. Don’t you trust me?” She knew him for almost an year now and she trusted him.
“Yes Mark. I trust you. ” She scrubbed her neck.
“So what’s your answer?” She knew finally it has come to that.
“Mark, I really like you. And if you must know, my answer is yes.” She blushed as she said this.
Mark was too much excited to speak and she waited for his answer. Finally he spoke and they spent next almost half an hour talking to each other.
So now that it was settled both of them spent lots of time talking to each other and getting to know each other. Both of them came to know lots of personal things about each other as the months went by. They both came very close to each other. They often talked to each other on web cam and spent lots of time chatting. They both wanted to meet each other and often talked about it. There was lots of attraction on their part, both emotional and physical. They often exchanged lots of sexual innuendos. After some time, it was only a question as to when and where they will meet.
But there was no question of Pooja going to meet him. There was only one possibility that Mark come to meet her. But due to some reasons, he couldn’t manage it. All this while, Pooja had almost completely detached her mind from Avinash. They lived in same house. But she slept in other bedroom. She had moved all her things to it including her PC. Avinash tried to break the silence and tried to patch up with her. But she didn’t respond too much. She was almost entirely thinking of Mark now.
One day on September 10th when she was in office, she got a call on her cell from him.
“Hi baby, where are you?” She got up from her desk and went towards the toilets to avoid gossip in office.
“I am in office. Where are you? ” She stepped in the toilet so could talk freely.
“Well if you must know, I am lounging in my home. I have taken an off today.” She was now more comfortable now that she was alone.
“What happened? Not feeling well or something?” She asked concerned.
“Not really. I am feeling great. There is a good news baby. I have applied for leave for 20 days from 1st December. And it’s been accepted.” Pooja almost jumped from her seat.
“Oh my God, are you sure? I was feeling that we may never get a chance to meet. So finally, are you coming to meet me?” She felt almost breathless.
“I have booked the tickets just now. I will start on 31st December and meet you on 1st.” She felt strange.
“So why didn’t you apply for 28th. We could have celebrated New Year together.” She complained.
“Well honey there is the catch. I am getting this long leave just because I am covering for some other guys on 31st. Otherwise I wouldn’t get such a long leave. For 31st is not important. Spending time with you is. Isn’t it honey?” She understood the logic, though she couldn’t understand there was such a fuss about long leave.
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