Mahavir sat in his plush New Delhi office deep in thought trying to process a recent phone call from relatives in Mumbai. This had come at an inopportune time as there were strategic decisions to make for his companies requiring full attention. His wife usually cared for domestic issues but this one she’d declined to handle as it involved her extended family and Veena who she knew was the apple of Mahavir’s eye. Veena was the daughter of his previous wife now deceased and while Bharti his current wife had produced two sons she knew she was unable to step in and deal with any issue connected with Veena. Mahavir had insisted on dealing with Veena in the past. Bharti felt they should be seeking wedding matches for Veena. She was twenty years old, quite old for marriage within their community and she disapproved of her working. Veena was talking about continuing her education abroad which Bharti considered quite unnecessary. She could use her current experience helping her future arranged husband’s business. No further education was necessary.
Veena had been complaining about her cousin Mohan and wanted to return to the Goldring’s which she’d reported was a friendlier environment. This of course was impossible with Joseph Goldring’s son now returned from the US. He knew the family professionally and as friends. They were highly moral, and it would be a safe environment he knew, but others looking in from his community would consider it inappropriate and he had to take that into account. He knew the Goldring’s would understand as they were thoroughly aware of cultural restrictions. Veena was asking for him to send her to the US for an MBA degree and Bharti was pressuring him to arrange a marriage. He had to decide.
Mahavir opened the top drawer of his desk and reread the letter written in Hindi. It was not signed but the post mark on the envelope was from down-town Mumbai. It accused Veena of acting inappropriately with boys at a party at a white monkey bungalow. Having heard about the party from Veena prior to receiving the letter he understood the anonymous writer would have to be Mohan who she’d said made her life uncomfortable where she was living. Obviously he’d have to remove her from there and equally as obvious he’d not be able to lodge her at the Goldring bungalow.
He made a snap decision. He was due to take a business trip to Washington within the next three months. He’d settle Veena into her desired MBA course while there. He phoned his daughter and told her to offer her resignation from work at the bank and return to Delhi immediately while he arranged things. His business associates in the US could arrange a suitable prestigious university acceptance for his daughter. Money talked even there. He’d use his contacts in the US Embassy to speed up the process of a student visa for her. He’d worked his magic for other members of his extended family in a hurry and hoped it worked for his daughter now as it was important he see his daughter being settled himself on the next business trip. Perhaps on his return he’d investigate the possibility of a suitable match for her. Maybe Bharti was right.
Having made his decision, he put the letter through his personal shredder. Leaving any kind of personal or business letter in trash would be foolish as there were prying eyes everywhere.
Then he pressed the intercom to summon his personal assistant. He had much company business to attend to so put the decision about his daughter’s future on hold while he dealt with more pressing business.
To be continued.
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