Too Late For Atonement - Chapter 7


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“Read the previous part of the story here – PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,Chapter 4 Chapter 5, AND Chapter 6

                                                            




“I have made this clear team, we have to get this done today. This photo shoot is very important for the company because it gives us the opportunity to cover and rule the overseas market.” Tara barked to the team.
“So as far as your personal life is concerned, keep it out of this office. We have no time to spare, and I need two hundred percent from each and every team member. Am I understood?”

The whole team stood like a row of mummies watching Tara. How she managed to carry herself so well even on such a hectic day, they scarcely understood. She was a certified workaholic. They resented her attitude, but no one had the courage to question it. Tara was known for her strong work ethic. She had on many an occasion, ignored her own family and their needs because the office needed her full attention. They had a word for her, the “boss-ster”.

They were in the middle of their bickering about the workload this week when they heard her yelling out to her personal assistant.

“I need a strong black coffee!”
“It is getting worse with every passing day,” her PA groaned to the barista in their private cafeteria.
“What is getting worse?” the barista asked.
“It… IT… the boss-ster!”
“Bad day again, huh?”
“You have no idea. She behaves as if she does not have as life outside this office. She never answers any phone call from home. She never talks about anything that doesn’t pertain to work. I mean seriously, what if there is an emergency back home? Some one needs to tell her that she may not have a life outside the office, but the rest of us do!”

“I have to rush back in now. If “it” doesn’t get “it’s” coffee in the next five minutes the “boss-ster” will virtually rip my head off. Bye!”

“Damn, what’s wrong with these photographers,” Tara thought to herself. “Why can’t they get it right?”
These days she was so tired and irritable all the time. Everyone around her told her that she should be taking it easy and that she was pushing herself too hard. If they just knew, the things she had gone through before and the things she was going through even now. Shekhar was a good man, but she could never muster an iota of feelings for him the way she had for..

Forget about it. There is no point dwelling on the past.

 She willed herself back to the project at hand. This photo shoot had to be perfect. One small mistake and everything could go down the drain.

She saw the phone buzzing again. It was Shekhar. He had called so many times since last night. She hadn’t been able to go home, for the third time this month. It was unfair on her part for Roohi. Roohi, whether anyone believed it or not, was the apple of her eye. She had made a promise to herself, a long time ago, that no matter what, she would provide everything that Roohi wanted and desired. She would be left wanting for nothing. It was for this reason, and this reason alone that Tara worked so hard. Shekhar was trying but his meager income was not enough to keep the household going, and be able to afford the various luxuries that they were now used to.

If only things had turned out differently.

“Tara, you know I love you, I love you very much. But I am married, and I have a certain responsibility to my family. And whether you like it or not, I have a reputation to keep. I have made a lot of sacrifices to come this far, and I can’t let it go just like that. You, on the other hand, your life is just beginning. You have your career to look out for. We cannot afford a baby drama in all this. You know we have a good thing going here, don’t mess it up now. A baby will only be a liability.”

A “liability” he had said. Her baby was no liability. She was a wonderful outgoing child, and this was worth it. Everything was worth having her. She had never once regretted her decision to keep the baby.

She was shaken out of her reverie by the insistent knocking on the door.
“Ma’m, your coffee. And this is a new list of shortlisted photographers with sample pictures, we need your approval to finalize the photographer for this project.”

The coffee was a good energizer. Maybe it was in her head but a coffee made her feel better instantly. She set to work immediately, looking at the photographs and the portfolios of photographers that her assistant had just brought.

She picked up a particular photo of a little girl, expressive eyes and a stern stare. The black and white photography accentuated the little girl’s features beautifully. She was not too fond of black and white usage for children’s photos but this seemed to work well here. The photographer had made it work.

She looked at the name of the photographer.

Jennifer Joseph.

She picked up some more photographs clicked by Jennifer. She seemed to have brought out the angst in every photograph. Even the photographs of smiling kids seemed to tell a different underlying story.

Tara had been working in the field of advertising for long enough to recognize talent when she saw one. She knew Jenny had potential. She may have been a tad bit raw, but with a little effort, she might be able to do a fantastic job.

“Veena, call up Jennifer Joseph and ask her to meet me in my office before six. I may have work for her.”



Wondering what will happen next??    Read @ Chapter 8

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