As she walked into the party, a hush came down. She was looking stunning as usual. Sania Mehrotra was the star of today’s event. A young talented beautiful woman who had become the youngest VP in the company. She was to relocate to Singapore next month with her family to join the corporate office and head the South East Asia division of the company. This was a family event organized by the company in honor of her achievements and to celebrate International Men’s Day.
A minute after she entered, a plain but pleasant-looking guy walked in. He was dressed casually, a sack hung on his left shoulder and a girl about 8 years old held his right hand. Sania turned around, acknowledged them and smiled, pointing to a far end table. The guy simply smiled and walked away to that corner with the girl in tow.
There was a steady murmur as the party got back to life again.
“Did you notice the guy at the back? That was her husband. It is so sad that she has to slog so much for the family while the man is laid back! I have heard he just stays home. Poor woman”
“Do you know her latest package? It’s insane! That guy at the back is her husband, he does something in software, some start-up you know, but I don’t think he earns anything. It’s only her! Now all of them will move to Singapore, how cool is that!
“That woman has everything! Looks, talent and a stay at home husband, what more do you want!”
“I envy that guy! Had I hit such a jackpot, I would be staying at home making omelets as well!
Sania heard them all, but didn’t bother looking and went straight near the podium and sat on a red chair that had her name on it. As it was 19th November- International Men’s Day; there was to be a small Men’s day event followed by the formal announcement at the party. As she nursed her drink, a dashing guy walked up to her and sat on the seat next to her.
“Hi! I am Jai, part of the team from the head office. Congratulations on being the youngest VP.”
“Thank you Jai” Sania smiled as she watched his handsome face.
“I have been observing you since we came to this office and I am in love with your organizational and leadership skills,” Jai said as he continued smiling in her direction.
“I am flattered,”
“Once the formal announcement is done, our job here is done and then I would be leaving for the head office in US tomorrow. The office grapevine is pretty abuzz with your promotion and I heard a lot of things about you professionally and personally”
Sania nodded and simply said “ I hope most of it was positive” and took another sip at her drink.
Jai smiled slyly and as she looked around said casually “You know such a beautiful and talented woman should not be stuck with mediocre people”
Sania did not understand initially, but then she followed his eye and realized he was talking about Siddharth, her husband.
She smiled at Jai and simply said, “I think I am good”
“A woman like you deserves to get all the pleasures of life. She needs to be felt loved and special. She needs a strong shoulder to hold her. I can fill that void for you” Jai winked as he said that and presented his hand, as if for a handshake. There was a hotel keycard in it.
Sania stayed cool, squeezed his hand and took it back to his pocket. “I am flattered, but I don’t think you can give me what I want”
Just then the event started and Jai quickly disappeared.
After the Men’s Day event and announcement, Sania was called on stage to say a few words. She stepped on the stage elegantly and after thanking her team, company and all the mentors, she took a pause.
“And there is one more important person in my life, whom I have to thank today. He is someone whom I love and respect with all my heart. He showed me what a true gentleman is and I am so freaking lucky to have him in my life. That is my husband – Siddharth Venkat.
I will get a bit candid here and I know my husband hates it, but I have to say this today. I have heard all kinds of negative things about my husband – he is good for nothing, a parasite living off his wife’s achievements or even that I treat him like a doormat! I never bothered responding to anyone, because Siddharth never bothered about such people, but today I want to say this. My husband is my biggest strength.
We as a society are such hypocrites. If a wife is at home, she is a homemaker, dutiful wife, but if the same role is taken by a husband he suddenly becomes a parasite? It is trendy to say that behind every successful man there is a woman, but never stop to think that the inverse could also be true? Just because I am usually in the limelight, my husband suddenly becomes an unfit match for me?” She was looking pointedly at Jai, while saying this. It had been infuriating, when Jai had made that pass. She had to get back. Jai was crimson with embarrassment at this point.
There was also a steady murmur, some embarrassed shuffling of feet as Sania had started speaking. Sania cleared her throat and started again..
“I am Sania Mehrotra, wife of Siddharth Venkat a freelance ethical hacker. Mind you he is one of the best out there, though I don’t understand much about it, that’s what I have been told. When I got my first promotion in my dream career our daughter was just around a year old. Sid decided to get out of the corporate life- a career he had worked hard for and manage the house while I went about pursuing my ambition. He is the rock in my life who managed the house, our daughter’s schooling, and education and investment planning as well! Even today, he is sitting on the last seat, helping our daughter with her homework, so that she sleeps on time when we get back.”
As Siddharth was making way towards the stage, Sania’s face lit up with a dazzling smile “Siddharth, I want you to come up on stage with me today and share the limelight, it’s only because of you that I stand here. You have shown me what a true gentleman really is and I am so proud to have you in my life! Happy Men’s Day darling, love you loads!”
The hall broke out in applause