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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Free Bird Part 10

Read the previous part here
'I hope that you have given up the thought of starting your own business.' Mrs. Sharma said as the mustard crackled in the pan.
'I have given up everything mother.' Rupa said. But her words were drowned by the whistles of the cooker.
Mrs. Sharma turned the gas sim and wiping her hands to the towel emerged out of the kitchen. She was five feet two inches tall and was on the healthier side. The big rotund bindi which adorned her forehead made her look aggressive than she was.

'Rupa, I am your mother and not your enemy. We are middle class people and hence we can't take any risks. What if the business fails? All will be gone – the amount you will invest as well as the salary which you are drawing right now. How will we survive then?.' Rupa didn't speak a word. Sneha had already resigned and after much pestering she had shared her idea of starting her own business with Rupa. Rupa was damn excited about the whole thing.

'I want to be an entrepreneur Sneha. We will be our own bosses. What a wonderful thing it will be! We will be called to IIM's and IBM's to deliver lectures. We will be featured in glossy tabloids.We will make a lot money' She had squealed in excitement. Sneha had to hush her for she had not shared this piece of information with any other person. She told it to Rupa because she was desperate to uncover the secrets behind Sneha's regular disappearances during the lunch time. Besides Rupa was always special to Sneha. For the past two years since Sneha had joined the electricity board Rupa was her colleague, friend, elder sister - all rolled into one. She knew from the deepest of her heart that she could trust Rupa and share her dreams, her plans with her. Sneha knew that Rupa will be very happy to hear that Sneha was starting a business of her own. But she seldom thought that Rupa will come on board as a partner.

'I too will resign. Let us start our own thing.' She had said.
That day when she returned home she was buzzing with excitement. When her mother opened the door, she hugged her and jumped.
'You look so happy beta. Tell me what happened.' Mrs. Sharma said. No sooner had Mrs. Sharma heard about Rupa's plan than she threw a basket of cold water on her excitement and dampened her spirits. Mrs. Sharma was born in a family of teachers. Her parents were teachers and so was her late husband. She was unwilling to give up the comfort of receiving fixed monthly renumeration.

'You know what happened to Bali Mama.' Mrs. Sharma continued. Rupa had heard that story umpteen times. Bali was Mrs. Sharma's cousin. He too had started as a teacher. He was an excellent physics teacher. Students loved his teaching. He made complex concepts and formulae simple. He was undoubtedly the most popular teacher in the college. Then one day he received an offer from an IIT coaching classes. They were offering him a partnership in the class plus a salary of more than five times of the salary which he got at the government college. Bali happily resigned from the college and joined the coaching centre. Any person in his position would have done the same. All was hunky-dory for the first five years. But afterwards the partners forked out. They got separated. Bali tried starting his own coaching, but it didn't work. Teaching and business are two different things. Bali was a good teacher but a bad businessman. He sent fillers to the college where he taught expressing his desire to rejoin the college, but he received a cold shoulder. Depressed and dejected Bali took up drinking and a promising career was ruined. 'All because of jumping into business.' Mrs. Sharma would say.

'I know this is not your brain. I know my daughter very well. You are cut for a salaried job and not a business. Business simply isn't in our blood. It must be Sneha who implanted all these wonderful ideas into your head. Remember we are not as rich as Sneha and we can't squander savings of our life behind some business idea which is doomed for failure. Every house in Khandwa makes its own pickle. It is a scrupulously followed summer ritual. Who is going to buy your ready-made pickles in our town?'
Rupa wanted to say that perhaps they could sell it in other cities and towns. But she didn't wish to further enrage her mother. So she kept quiet. The pain you feel when someone gives thumbs down to your ideas, your dreams is the harshest of all.
Read the next part here

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