The Stranger on Deputation




There was a great buzz in the office. The head of the location had asked everyone to assemble in the conference room in fifteen minutes. In the break room, everyone was speculating about possible reasons for the hurriedly summoned meeting. Vanaja, the office gossip, rushed into the room out of breath. She gasped, “I peeked into the boss’s room. A handsome young hunk is sitting in front of him. I asked Sheila and the boss had told her nothing about this!” The wonder grew as the time for the meeting approached. They quickly gathered in the conference room. Mr. Sinha entered, ushering his young guest into the room. He called everybody to order and announced, “This is Shyam. He is deputed from our London office to help us modernize our marketing operations. He has impeccable qualifications. He will interact with all of you by and by. I am sure you will co-operate. Thank you.” Shyam shook hands with everyone. He was tall, dark and handsome. Dressed in subtle sartorial elegance, he caused several eyebrows to raise. Resident stylist Manohar remarked, “Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, Saint Laurent designer trousers. Made-to-order shoe…” Operation “Discover Shyam” started in right earnest! Snoopy Sam was assigned the job of finding all about the newbie.  There was something definitely mysterious about Shyam. He was pleasant to everyone but studiously skirted any foray into his personal details. The mystery surrounding him grew by the hour.  The next day, everybody got together and Sam in hushed but animated tones gushed, “Yesterday, I offered to drop him wherever he was staying. He politely but firmly declined. I followed him stealthily. He had taken a cab. Guess what! He went into Grand Hyatt Residences. Apparently, he is loaded. He has taken a grand apartment!” Six months later, a mail from Mr. Sinha asked everyone to be present at a dinner to be hosted by the chairman of the company, the next day. Attendance was compulsory. The rest of the day passed quickly as the import of this exciting but mysterious news sank in.  At a posh convention hall, a grand dinner was hosted. As the dessert was being served, Mr. Sinha drew everyone’s attention by clinking a spoon on his glass. He was seated with the Chairman at the head table. The Chairman rose,” I have a surprise for you. I am getting on in years and plan to withdraw from active operations. I am passing my mantle to my son, Kishan. You all know him as Shyam! “My son wanted to familiarize himself with every aspect of the company without the baggage of his pedigree. He wished to know each of you personally. I sincerely hope you will extend full co-operation to him.” There was a stunned silence in the gathering. Spontaneous applause broke out, led enthusiastically by the completely ineffective but adorable Snoopy Sam!   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!