“Aoa, how are you? Good Morning!”
“I am at Gymkhana Club. Want to invite you for a morning walk.”
“If you minded something, I am sorry.”
She scrolled down all the messages of him after a long day at her office. Annoyance and irritation robbed off all her liveliness. It wasn’t the first time. Still she couldn’t make out why her casual and introductory meetings ended up like this.
She recalled her only interaction with him that she had had a day before. Her driver, Akram, was unexpectedly late and was not picking up her calls. Bothered and worried, leaving her daughter in the attached coffee shop, she was standing in front of the Memoir section of the famous bookstore, Readings, trying to concentrate on the titles of new arrivals.
“Excuse me Ma’am, could you please suggest me a good memoir?” A voice struck her ears.
She turned and found an unfamiliar face, surrounded by grey short hair. His round optical were showcasing his small eyes. His facial expressions spoke aloud for his struggle and hard journey in a short time period of around 40 years.
“I didn’t read many memoirs but the last one I read about Hillary Clinton was good.” She replied, feeling too occupied to answer a puzzle like this. Suddenly she started to feel guilty. As a Literature student, she should have been able to help him.
“What do you do?” He asked.
“I am into Corporate Writing and run a social media consultancy.” She collected all her senses and her inner business lady woke up. She looked up at him confidently, as a marketing manager comes across a potential client.
“What is your qualification?”
“I am an MBA from BNU.” She replied.
“Really? I am doing my PhD there. Do you know I teach Business writing as well?”
“Great.” She said courteously.
“I am about to open an Institute for Business Writing. Let’s make it a mutual venture.” He added hopefully.
“Yeah, it seems interesting. You take my card and let me think about it.” She took out her visiting card from her purse and handed it to him.
“BTW, where do you live?” He asked.
“At DHA”, she replied.
“Mama!” She saw her teenage daughter approaching her.
“Is this your daughter?” He inquired.
“Yeah, this is Zainab,” a smile lit up her face as she was proud of her pretty daughter.
“Oh, you are lucky to have her!” He said, meeting affectionately to Zainab.
“What does your husband do?” He became curious.
“He is a Dentist.” She smiled again and her eyes glowed with the mention.
“Nice meeting you.” He said.
“Thank you, same here,” ends the meeting.
She remembered her focus of the meeting was business, not personal relationship. She never expected that after introducing herself as a married family woman, gents would approach her this way. But it happened again this time as well.
“It is still strange in our society that a friendly woman means only business. Our men should be able to read the context well.” She concluded.
“I might not be able to carry on with my business. Perhaps, it is better and safer to complete my post graduate studies and enter into my university teaching job.” Disappointment and hope engulfed her simultaneously.
Various thoughts and questions clouded her mind. Why didn’t people understand the difference between personal and professional relationships? What was the point in pursuing a married woman? Was any woman out there for work available for relationships also? Had we lost all our social and moral values? Or, did we need time to get adjusted to the new social scenario where women had come out to work together with men?
She picked up her cell phone and dialed his number.
“Yes, Mr. Ferhan, for what you have contacted me?” She asked directly, in a cold businesslike tone.
“Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about the idea?” His voice was nervous.
“Which idea?” she inquired as if she had no clue.
“The idea of teaching corporate writing.” He answered quickly.
“Hmm…actually, I am very busy with the promotion of my business. If I find some time for something else, I will let you know.” She said politely, maintaining her professional tone.
“Got it Ma’am, got it. It’s fine.” He replied.