untold bargain
Fiction

Untold Bargain – Chapter 4

The annual performance report was tabled to discuss rewards and recognition of all factory workers. Sushma awaits for this time of the year eagerly, she is the most hard-working and dedicated employee, time and again supervisors have appreciated her work and determination. But this time, it was Mooshaka who is in command, they cannot stand each other it was obvious to the entire factory, but Sushma never gave him an opportunity to halt her career path.

Everyone (but her) can sense the obvious, she will not be considered for the role of ‘Junior supervisor’ due to her differences with Mooshaka (her boss). But when the appraisal results were declared everyone was stunned to learn, Sushma was not only highly appraised but also received a steep hike in her paycheck.

The factory floor was buzzing with grapevine and vigorous rounds of gossip today, everyone wanted to know the turn of events exclusively. Sushma was aware of the murmurs and ignored the commotion, but then a few of her colleagues overheard factory owners mentioning how her boss (Mooshaka) is impressed by her work. It was her boss who convinced the management to promote Sushma as an “Assistant Senior Supervisor” and reward her handsomely as an example for others, it spread like a wildfire.

What happened between them, that the entire equation changed? The man who could not stand her presence, and often insulted her in front of the whole department, suddenly had a change of heart. Workplace gossips could turn noxious, suddenly all her colleagues started questioning her character, some also insinuated her to be a slut who sleeps with bosses for benefits.

Deep down, Sushma was expecting this but it would be so toxic she never anticipated it.

They want my head; it feels like as if I have done a big crime to work hard and reach this level,’ Sushma said to Maya while unwrapping two samosas she bought from outside the station.

Maya loves these extra-spicy samosas that Sushma brings as evening snacks during their train rides. While relishing one with dry chutney, Maya said, ‘obviously they will be jealous dude, as you got the promotion and money. Ooooh, I bite a chili, this is so yummy, Sush.’

Sushma gave her an annoyed look, ‘I know, but this has spoiled my peace of mind. Every time I tell them to do something, they act as if I am nothing. How am I going to manage things, Maya? This is about my career, money, my survival.

After a few moments of silence, Maya’s face lit up with an idea, ‘Dude! Quit the factory job. Now that you are a supervisor, and also have good experience join some other firm. You know na, how much demand of Indian cotton has in foreign countries. You will get a better job in no time, I am sure.

Are you crazy? Who will hire a person with no degree and only experience of a manufacturing unit, in a professional set-up?’

Arre, why do you think so much? What’s harm in trying it out?’ asked Maya.

Sushma hesitated for a while and said, ‘I cannot quit for three years, Maya. I am under personal bond with Gosh (Mooshaka).’

WTH, are you talking about, and what is this “personal-bond”, are you his pet or what’? Maya was almost shouting now.

Sushma gestured her to calm down and whispered, ‘I made a personal pact with Mr. Gosh for next three years to get this promotion and raise, Maya.’

Maya just could not believe what she heard, she wanted to say many things but her lips were intact. She wanted to shake Sushma out from this folly but remained silent, it was a huge surprise for Maya to absorb. Why would she give any commitment to the man who despised her, insulted her at every level? Why on earth she had to beg that leech of a man. Her mind was churning zillion questions, but before she could frame even one, Sushma gets off the train.

Wait this is not your station, Sush…’, Maya could not complete the sentence seeing Sushma waving at a middle-aged man with a paunch and receding hairline.


The path the Sushma is walking is dangerous and Maya can sense it, will she be able to stop her from falling down, or is she overreacting? Stay tuned for the next story.

To read the beginning of this short story, click here.

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon

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