Around 11.pm I received phone call from Sony. I could hear Sony crying over the phone… “Papa, Uncle had suffered heart attack we are all here in city Hospital…" I took an auto to the hospital.
At the Hospital Boss asked his wife “Do you remember the necklace which we purchased today? It is for your daughter–in-law”. His wife acknowledges with a smile. When I arrived at the Hospital Boss wanted to talk to me so he asks others to leave the room. Boss told me...“Years ago doctor had advised me not to smoke and drink. Property development and construction work is a high-pressure job. Cut throat business. The pressure is too much. I have small pub in my office cabin. The only time when I don’t smoke and drink is when I am at home”. I had no words for him. I am nobody to advise him. I nodded my head appropriately. Doctor came to his room and assured us it was only a minor attack. “We are all here to take care of him. Now you can all return home”. Madam stayed at his bed side.
I took Sony and Ajay to their house. At around four in the morning phone started ringing again. Boss had suffered a massive second heart attack. He did not survive this time. Even before we could reach hospital everything was over.
Next day funeral took place. Most of the leading city builders and some prominent people also attended funeral.
Madam resigned her job from MNC and took in charge of her husband’s business. Her son joined there as a chief Architect. Sony was still doing her collage.
One day Madam called me to her office to discuss her feature plan.
Madam. “It was Ajay who brought me Sony’s adoption news. At that time he was only seven year old and he wanted a friend for life! When I saw Sony’s photograph for adoption, I was sure Sony would be my future daughter-in-law! That is the reason I had adopted Sony .I had groomed Sony as my future daughter in law. They are not blood related; it is like they are getting married to their child hood friend. The only difference is they lived in same house. I feel Ajay and Sony should get married. There is absolutely nothing wrong in it. If Sony wants, she can continue her studies. We have no problem for that. I want to know your opinion?"
I…. . “I think you are right Madam, we must also ask children's opinion. I need to talk to Sony before we finalize”. After coffee I left office.
I called-up Sony and told her that I want to meet her at the college. She was surprised. I told her it was something very personnel that I do not want to talk to her in their house. In the evening I went and picked her up at the college. I took her to nearby restaurant. She ordered coffee for me and she had her favorite ice cream.
She “papa…you told me you wanted to talk to me something very personnel”.
I... “What do you think about Ajay”?
Sony... “Why are you asking now? What is the matter?”
I... “Madam wants you to get married …”
Sony…“what is the hurry? I want to study for MBA after that I wanted to go for work. My marriage, with whom?”
I... “With Ajay, You did not tell me what you think of Ajay”
Sony...“we are great friends. He is like my child hood friend. I never thought about marriage with him. One guy used to tease me in our collage when Ajay came to know of it he beat him very badly and declared’ she is my fiancée! You better keep off!! I was dumbstruck. Ajay is a young man with clean habits. He wanted finish his M tech the work for his dad’s company. …”
I …. “Sony, madam called me to her office in the morning and spoke to me. She told me it was Ajay who spotted your Adoption news from the newspaper. He was only seven years old at that time and he wanted a friend for life! He only told madam to adopt you… but our madam had other plans. After seeing your photo madam decided you will be her future daughter in law! Sony… Ajay’s family had given you everything you can ask for. Neither I nor your mother could have given you a secured life and a bright future. Whatever you are today it is all because of madam’s magnanimity. By marring Ajay ‘we’ are repaying our debt. It is like a token of gratitude. You and Ajay are child hood friends, you are not blood related. Getting married to Ajay is like getting married to childhood friend there is nothing wrong. But if you have any objection or if you are not happy getting married to Ajay then you have to tell me... I can convince madam...”
Sony… “Papa... I have pre pre-conditions that I should be allowed to study MBA after that I wants to work. ..”
I … I will get permission for that. You think about your marriage with Ajay and let me know or you tell madam”.
Sony did not answer me. Instead she changed the topic.
Sony “papa, I want to meet my mother and nana. “
I “sorry, I am little busy with my pending works. We will go to Calicut after two months….”
After paying restaurant bill I dropped her at madam’s house and returned to my room.
After few days madam rang up to me.”Sony agreed for marriage but she had one Precondition! After completing MBA she wants to work for me at my office!!