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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Free Bird Part 12

Read the previous part here
It was not that Sneha received encouragement from all quarters. She received some opposition too. As it often happens the fiercest opposition came from her own relatives. They scrunched their noses when they heard of Pa's pickles. 'Such an educated girl and what she is doing, seasoning pickles in the garage. If she wanted to do the same, why did she waste her father's money and her time in college education.' Some said. 'She is a bold and daring girl. She should have joined the police or military force. Her valour would have been put to some good use.' 'Business? Do you know nine of the ten newly started businesses shut down in the first year itself.'

The relatives made it a point to stop Sneha on the road and lecture her. Those who otherwise didn't even bother to call her, phoned her and discouraged her from her plans. Their sermons ended with lines like, 'We have seen more world than you child. We are your well wishers. We care for you. That is the reason why we are telling you this.'

Given the kind of woman Sneha was, she was not going to give up so easily. Neither was she going to listen to her distractors and stop her pickle business which at that time was still in a nascent stage. But she was a little shaken up for sure. That night sensing her troubles, her father had said, 'Remember my child, every new work goes through three stages - ridicule, opposition and acceptance. Every success is like a child birth and you have to bear the labour pains.' Sneha nodded her head and worked extra hard to make her business a success. She was very particular of the quality of the products. The quantity of spices that went into the pickles was handled by her personally and no one knew in what proportions she mixed it. This was a trade secret which she closely guarded. She met various stores, offered them free samples, lured them by offering extra commissions and won them over. Soon Pa's business was going to places. There were hoardings displayed in the main market and in front of the busy railway station. Half page advertisements were booked in the newspapers. 'This is the age of marketing and we cannot shy away from it only to save money. In the long run the returns will be multi-fold.' Rupa had said and Sneha realized that now Rupa had indeed become an entrepreneur to the core, and was making some sensible talk. This is what happens when you venture out into the real world.

Sneha's business was flourishing. She had become a celebrity in the town. A journalist had come to write a feature on her. 'You are an intelligent, educated woman. Why did you decide to venture into pickle business.' Meera, the journalist of New Times of India switched on the voice recorder and asked Sneha.
'Sometimes in life you take some decisions on an impulse, and those turn out to be the best decisions of your life.' Sneha replied.

The journalist had some other questions inter alia regarding Sneha's future plans, her message to the youth. When the interview was over Meera switched off the voice recorder. Sipping her tea she asked Sneha. 'Now that the interview is over, tell me the truth. How did the pickle thing come to your mind.'

'Believe me Meera, I meant what I said in response to your question. It just happened. I just listened to my heart.' Unconvinced Meera nibbled with the biscuits.

The demand for Pa's pickles was roaring and Sneha had her team struggled to meet the ever increasing demand. Sneha's work force had expanded from two to ten. Now that the venture was successful, Rupa had gathered both courage and confidence to tell her mother that she was a part of Pa's pickles and intended to quit her job at the electricity office and join the business fulltime. Surprisingly now Mrs. Sharma had no qualms about her daughter stepping into the world of business. She had read the featured article in the newspaper about Sneha and secretly wished that one day her daughter too will make it big like her. Success turns your critics into your fans and Mrs. Sharma was one such convert. She called Sneha over the lunch, congratulated her and told her that Rupa was privileged to have a friend like her. 'If you require any help from me, I am just a call away. You are just like Rupa to me.' Mrs. Sharma had said. Sneha smirked. Nothing succeeds like success.
Read the next part here

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