Rajat was tremendously rising at work but was slowly detaching himself from us. He would not show-up at family dinners, would usually skip breakfast and sometimes  would spend nights at the office. Amma had very little time left and all the efforts by doctors, family members failed to revive her. All she kept asking for was Rajat, that’s when my parents tried to talk to him about the severity of this situation and remind him of his duties to his mother. Rajat realized what he has been neglecting for such a long time. He took a week off from office, but it was too late by then. I could realize that he had come out of the mourning before I could. He came back to his routine within three days. Back in the office he was frantically working and moving on with his life. Within a month of Rajat’s arrival I had lost not just a mother, but my best friend and my faith in my sister.

I mentioned a surprise that I had planned for him for his arrival, now is the time to reveal it. Our company was extending its roots and we were establishing a new office at Lucknow and the surprise was that Rajat would be appointed as its managing director. He was to leave for Lucknow soon. This was the only good thing that happened after Amma’s demise. All of us were happy, except Aisha. Although she did not tell me, i could make it from the look in her eyes. Every now and then she would come up with an excuse to go to Lucknow for launching a new d├ęcor range or so as to why Rajat should stay in Delhi. She was hindering company’s plans, plus I could not take there secretive relationship anymore. So i finally informed mother about this (but dad was still oblivious). Hearing this mom got infuriated. She scolded and insulted Rajat to an extent I thought was overboard. She even rebuked and criticized Aisha. From then on she took matter in her own hand to make sure that Rajat goes to Lucknow and Aisha forgets him.

I was more than happy that Rajat left, we all needed a bit of space from him, at least I did. It was not tough to convince Aisha of her infatuation with him. Rajat was not the right guy for her, me and mom knew. We assured her that we would find a more self-reliant, understanding and stable match for her. A guy who would understand and respect her feelings. someone who would make time for her. Someone who respects relationships. If it was old Rajat, may be i would have accepted but I can’t expect this new entrepreneur to be good enough for my sister.
Soon things started to fall in place. A few months passed, he decreased his contact from me and he was too busy to be in touch with mom or Aisha; although he was frequently in touch with dad. Aisha was close to forgetting him and we grabbed this opportunity and fixed her marriage with a family friend's son - Arman. It was around then that I came to know about a few losses in company’s accounts. A few transactions were made by the Lucknow firm which was apparently unreported. Soon I found out that Rajat invested huge amounts of money in shares without the decision of board due to which his company was in losses. It was against the protocols of Casol & Casol. The entire board was displeased with his actions, but still dad gave him another chance, he would have done the same with me.
Within few months Lucknow firm was submerged in losses, unfinished projects, and client complains. Rajat was not fit for the job. He had taken many projects altogether, that it was impossible to finish them all. At this Dad was outraged, because he did not even took the liberty to consult him who was not just his father but also the CMD of the company before taking such a huge decision. After this incident he lost faith from the only member left in the family who still trusted him. He was demoted to the post of Regional Manger- Southern India and was transferred to Chennai.

A few months passed, we hardly talked to Rajat. Dad used to ask me about my chilliness with him, to which I never could reply him truthfully. No matter what, I could not tell dad that Rajat loved Aisha, or he would relinquish him not just from the job but from the family. There was just one way to get rid of this malice, Aisha’s marriage. I hoped that Rajat will maturely handle the situation, forget everything and will join the Delhi firm back. He was still my best friend and I missed him. Within a few months all the cards were printed and sent and just a week was left before the engagement. Everyone was in a festive mood when the tragedy happened. 

Read the next part here: The Phone Call After Ten Years - Short Story - Part 4

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