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  • kewal sethi

short story

short story

the girl was talking to her father. she told him that she had made up her mind to marry raj.

"he is good looking, a very bright student and is very likely to go up in life. i love him and he loves me, what more do you need."

"and what is he earning?"

"looking for a job and going to land a good one any moment now."

"i see and what is his father".

"he is an officer with central government", said the girl

"and his pay?"

"does it matter? never asked him about it but should be ten, fifteen, twenty. who cares."

"why don't you ask him to meet me".

" ok papa.?"

the boy was punctual.

"see here, my boy", said the father to a nervous boy.

"name is rajiv but people call me raju", the boy introduced himself.

"raju or rajiv, it does not matter. i am told by my daughter that she wants to marry you. but are you good enough for her. she spends more in a day than you father earns in a month and you have not even started earning as yet. look i make you a very liberal offer. you choose how much you want to forget about her,"

"thanks for the offer but, you know, forgetting is not easy after such association."

"alright, don' forget her but cease meeting her. is that ok. name your price."

"absloutely any thing, any amount?"


"ok. five crores and i don't meet her or message her till you say so".

"aren't you over ambitious?"

"well, it was your offer."

"alright. here you are but remember your promise. you appear to be a good person."


the cheque was signed and handed over and raj, raju (or rajiv) took his leave.

a month passed. he was sitting in his office, a huge one. a visiting card was brought. it read r. malhotra, MD. stupendous construction co. he felt intrigued. the name of visitor was unfamiliar but the name of the company?

"show him in", he told the secretary. the visitor was shown in.

"you! how dare you?"

" you told me not to meet your daughter but you did not prohibit meeting you."

"and what do you want? more money? can you not be content."

" i have not come for the money. just to tell you that i deposited 2.40 in a fixed deposit. with remaining amount i set up a company. you have seen the visiting card."

"i have but it does not mean anything. your father is still a small time government officer. you cannot change that."

"it is already done. he left his job and is now the chairman of the company. and he is a financial wizard, or maybe not, but certainly a qualified CA. i landed the lansdowne project yesterday. i believe you also tendered for the same.'

so that is why he was intrigued. why should a person from a rival company visit him so soon after the result of the tender was announced. was it to sell the project off for a consideration. such things are not unknown.

"well, what do you really want?"

"your permission."

"permission for what?"

"to meet your daughter and to marry her."


"well, i am not a pauper as i was on that day and my father is not a petty officer any more. with interest on the fdr, i can meet the reasonable expenses on household. not extravangant, i admit, but not too stingy either."

he leaned back in his chair and contemplated the young man before him - a long time passed. no one spoke.

then suddenly he smiled. he had decided on a course of action in his mind.

"i like you", he said. "you have guts. just the sort of son in law i need. ok. you can go ahead, meet her and propose to her. see if she accepts you. if she does, my congratulations."

" i need your blessings, not congratulations." he said and walked out.


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