Shubhro left after an hour of beer sipping and girly talks. Maya was now left all by herself in her new apartment. She was excited. She felt she was drunk. She was now searching for her mobile but couldn’t find it around. She fell asleep on the floor of her drawing room. Maya woke up and realized it was 7 in the evening and she had to meet Joydeep for the office tour and dinner. She heard her doorbell ring. She rushed towards the door and found Joydeep standing. He was fuming angry. She said, “Have you been here for long? I am sorry for keeping you waiting. It’s just that the beer got onto my head and I fell asleep.” Joydeep entered the apartment and looked around. He said, “What do you think you’d be wearing and how the hell will you manage to get ready in time for the office tour and dinner?”
Joydeep asked her to get ready in 30 minutes while he would do some work on his laptop. Maya went in for a quick shower and decided to wear a Gray Top with white ruffles and dark brown tights. She put on a pair of black studs in her ears and wore a black bracelet around her left wrist. She applied the most minimal makeup that included her kaajal and a lip gloss. She brushed her hair and decided to leave it open. She felt it was quite breezy In Mumbai. She closed the bedroom and entered the drawing room and looked at Joydeep and said, “I am done. Shall we go and see the office?” he looked up and was stunned for a moment. She cleaned up pretty well. Joydeep was now sure of his selection in Assistant. They left the apartment and managed to walk down the stairs as the elevators weren’t working. Joydeep called for a cab and let Maya enter first. He followed her and asked the cab driver to take the cab to Colaba. Maya kept looking outside the cab. She was mesmerized by the lights on the roads and so many people. She felt like a dream come true. They finally reached Joydeep’s office. It was a small place. The first room had around 12 desktops. Joydeep said, “This is where the content writers sit and work. This department doesn’t belong to us. I am a sole writer. My cabin is here and yours is here.” She found her cabin too cute. It was small but had a desk, a desktop, a printer, and many bookshelves. The room was pretty much empty and her desk was too huge. She started adding things she needed for her cabin in her mental note.
After a bit of touring of the office, they left for dinner. Maya was glad she decided to wear something elegant as the restaurant where Joydeep booked the table for them looked an expensive one. He had booked a table for three. Maya saw Shubhro entering the restaurant with a big smile. Maya and Shubhro hugged and sat on the couch, while Joydeep took the chair besides Maya. Shubhro and Joydeep started discussing work and Maya tried to understand them. Luckily she had an experience of Writing, so she understood a bit of the technical terms. The waiter interrupted them for the order. Maya ordered directly the main course that was a Cheese and Chicken Pasta while the men ordered starters and beer to go along with it. Maya decided to not to get drunk and concentrated on their conversation. The guys decided to go for another round of beer and ordered their main course; in the meanwhile, Maya was sipping her Pepsi and looking at her pasta.
By the time, the main course was placed on the table for the guys; Maya was done with her dinner and was sleepy. Maya was a bit tired, she said, “Joydeep and Shubhro, I guess I should leave. I am too tired and I think I need to crash on my bed.” She was waiting for some reaction. She continued when she got nothing in return, “Bye guys… See you’ll tomorrow.” Shubhro got up and hugged her and asked the waiter to call a cab for Maya. On reaching home, Maya checked her phone and saw too many calls and texts from Shiv. She called him but he didn’t respond. She was too tired to wait or text him, she kept her phone on the table and crashed on the bed.
Next day without much of a hangover, Maya was awake when Saturday didn’t seem Saturday. She made herself tea and decided to call her parents and tell them about her whereabouts. She read the texts from last night that Shiv had sent. One of them said, ‘your dad was about to go to the police to file a missing complaint. I had to tell them about your whereabouts. Call me.’ She was tensed and called Shiv again but there was no response. She then called on her mom’s phone and there was a restless voice. Shiv had arranged for a new number for her. She said, “Ma, it s me!” Her mother burst into tears and cried profusely over the phone. She then heard the grumbling of her father. The next voice was of her dad. He said rudely, “Maya, Where are you?” She explained him everything. He very impolitely told her, “From today on, you have died for us. Don’t come crying to us when you fail in life.” Maya was shattered but she was prepared for this. Her father disconnected the call. Maya sat on the floor looking at her phone and crying. Her phone rang again and it was Shiv. “You spoke to them, didn’t you?” She gave him a verbal nod.
Shiv told her not to cry and to lead her life the way she had wished for. They disconnected the call after a few more advices from Shiv. Maya then wiped her eyes. She wanted to get out of the apartment so that she can make this apartment a cute little abode for herself. She went to her laptop and started to Google about places in Mumbai where she can buy home accessories at cheap rates. She also made a list of things that she needs to get for the house and her office desk. She couldn’t understand anything over the net. Maybe it was because of the conversation with her father or maybe she found Mumbai too confusing. She decided to take the Saturday off and just roam about in the neighborhood and go for shopping on the Sunday. The apartment already had a decent sized cupboard for clothes in the bedroom; there was no bed in the bedroom though. There was rather a sofa cum bed in the bedroom that looked a bit too huge. She decided to ask Joydeep about the sofa cum bed and get rid of it.
Maya looked at the bedroom and wondered about her dad again. “Did he really mean what he said?” She ignored her own thoughts and went to take a shower. She wore a pajama and a white sleeveless T-Shirt. She put on her floaters, took her wallet and closed the doors behind her and kept the keys in the pocket. She wasn’t expecting, scorching heat in the month of November. But she was in Mumbai, a city known for its different weather structure. She kept walking and was stunned looking at the big roads of Colaba. She finally managed to find a Furnishing Store. She asked for the rates of four mattresses. Maya wanted to keep just mattresses in her house. She managed to get a pretty good bargain for four mattresses. They took her address and said they would deliver the mattresses once they are ready. Maya also asked them to make two pairs of mattress covers for each of them. She felt the shop was too expensive for cushions. She knew Mumbai would have lots of cheaper places. She paid them some advance and left the shop. Maya found the weather changing to a bit colder and less of the heat. She was amused. She loved it. She wanted to prove her dad wrong and be successful at what she was aiming for.
She was hungry. There were so many places to eat that she was confused. She decided to go to some place that she knows and that happened to be Mc Donald. After lunch, Maya was back to the apartment and there was a parcel waiting for her at the neighbor’s house. Her neighbor was a cute old couple – Mr. and Mrs. .Godbole, whose daughter was in the U.S. They kept the parcel for her. Mrs. Godbole was very talkative and a good company to Maya. She told Maya the cheapest place to go for shopping for house accessories. She also promised to accompany her the next weekend, if she wants. Maya wanted a motherly creature in her life. She found it in Mrs. Godbole.
The parcel was pretty big. Maya read the tag on it. It was from Shiv. She opened the parcel and found few things that made her smile. There was a photo frame of hers and Shiv’s. Another was a frame with a family photo of Maya. She had tears looking at the picture. The parcel had many other small gifts from Shiv. Shiv knew her choice and selected the perfect decorations for her office desk and apartment. She called Shiv but he didn’t respond. She left him a text, ‘Thanks…’
It was just evening and Maya had nothing to do. She had just closed her eyes when the bell rang. The hideous sound of the bell was something that irritated Maya a lot. She opened the door and found Joydeep standing there with a packet of something. She asked him to hop in. She asked him about the sofa-cum-bed. He said he would get rid of it the next thing on Monday. He was generous enough to bring Maya some ready to eat food and a few grocery things. He also bought some beers. Maya had just too much alcohol the moment she entered Mumbai. She decided not to drink. Joydeep told her that he needs to have it.
Maya thought Joydeep wasn’t the type of man who would hang around with a new assistant. She wondered why. It was nine in the night and Joydeep was sitting at her place, and was 5 beers down. He had the last one in his hand. Maya assumed that he is pretty drunk. She asked him, “Where do you live?” Joydeep looked at her and replied, “The floor below.” Ohh. Maya was stunned. She in the wildest of the dreams wasn’t expecting her boss to live in the same building as hers. Maya asked him if he will be able to go back to his apartment or should she help him. He assured her that he would manage. He did manage.
Sunday was just another day for Maya. She explored a bit more of Mumbai and gifted herself with a Cow Bell. She always wanted to have one from Switzerland. She bought it from an antique shop. She was off to sleep by 9 in the night. Joydeep informed her that she has to be at work before 10. She was sure that as Joydeep lives in the same building he would pick her up. Monday was a busy day for Maya. She reached office along with Joydeep. The entire office was empty. She asked about the Content Writers and what time they arrive. Joydeep answered and got back to work. He told her exactly what was he expecting from his assistant. He wanted her to manage his day, tidy up his desk and take calls for him. Her job was a 10 to 6 and further. There was no time when Joydeep left.