The Vogue

 

The Vogue

 

Dhananjay was studying architecture. The handsome, brilliant young man was very popular amongst his age group. The subject of architecture was giving him ample scope to express his creativity. He was performing excellently in his curriculum. Thinking something different from the normal, was his trait that was getting strengthened.

And one day, his creative mind spilt over into his daily routine. He decided to keep long hair. Months passed without a haircut. When someone checked about this, he would reason out the heavy submission work which was keeping him away from hair-cutting saloons.

Soon he started tying a ponytail. Initially, he was the topic of ridicule by his friends. But confident Dhananjay paid no heed to the comments. Slowly he was accepted as a person with a ponytail. Apart from his brilliance and handsome personality, his ponytail too became a prominent feature of his.

Days passed into months.

To everyone’s dismay, another man from the same group stopped visiting hair cutting saloon, and soon one more person from the group was seen sporting a ponytail.

Then one more and then one more.

Many young men from the College of Architecture were now seen with the ponytail. Yes, it became a fashion for men to keep long hair.

After graduation, these young men joined the professional world. They maintained their fashion and it was widely accepted as keeping up with the new wave.

Dhananjay joined a company and started fetching a fat salary. After a few days Sandhya – a bright young lady in the I.T. profession joined the same company.

There were many occasions during lunchtime when Dhananjay came across sparkling Sandhya. He liked her, and many times approached her. For a long time, the encounters did not extend beyond formal hi & hellos.

Usually, whenever he came across any young lady, he used to be cautious and would refrain from getting closer to her. But Dhananjay was attracted to Sandhya. He was willing to get closer to her. He was trying all the known tricks to interact with her as much as possible. Sandhya was keeping herself at a distance from Dhananjay.

That day Dhananjay’s senior officer called him to the cabin. While entering the cabin, he saw Sandhya already sitting there. He had a disturbing thought. ‘Has Sandhya complained against him? Oh my God! But I have not done anything wrong.’

“Take a seat, Dhananjay.” The officer said.

Dhananjay was relieved. He was eager to know what his boss wanted to discuss with him in the presence of Sandhya.

“Dhananjay, I believe, you know Miss Sandhya.”

“Yes. Of course.” Dhananjay smiled, his ponytail shaking swiftly.

“See, we have to design an office for our client an I.T. company. You have to work with Miss Sandhya to produce a novel design.”

“Ok, Sir. How many storeys?” Dhananjay’s creative mind had already started working.

“I have discussed the client’s requirement with Sandhya. You get all the details from her and start working.

“If you have any difficulty, contact me.

“Ok then. All the best Miss Sandhya and Dhananjay.” Saying, the senior official closed his book indicating Dhananjay and Sandhya to leave his cabin.

Dhananjay and Sandhya went to a  discussion room.   During the discussion, Sandhya detailed the requirements of an I.T. setup. His imagination was running wild. After discussing various ideas, Sandhya was able to present a realistic picture of a progressive I.T. company’s functioning. Incorporating the latest features of communication and project management techniques, they started working on designing the layout of the office.

Dhananjay and Sandhya met regularly to give maximum scope for Dhananjay’s design ideas. He was getting involved more and more with Sandhya as the layout of the office was taking a more concrete shape.

He wondered why was it that Sandhya’s emotional responses were not intense enough as much as he expected. He had confirmed from all his friends that Sandhya was not already involved with anyone else. But still, she kept herself emotionally aloof. After every meeting, he was disappointed on the emotional front.  

The project reached completion, and the day arrived when the client was presented with the design and the plan. A thrilling appreciation was received from the customer. As a result, Dhananjay was congratulated by everyone in the office. A group party was arranged.   Dhananjay and Sandhya were felicitated for their achievement.  

At home, Dhananjay was a bit disappointed by Sandhya's reaction. He was lost in thoughts over why Sandhya was distancing from him. He needed some help in this regard. But how was that possible?

The lunchtime gossip centred around Dhananjay and Sandhya. Dhananjay used to enjoy comments from the group members. Senior members of the group also wished that Dhananjay was paired with Sandhya.

One of the senior members of the group once found Dhananjay working all alone. He approached Dhananjay.

“Dhananjay, very busy with work? Can I disturb you for five minutes?” the senior said.

“Oh, my God! If you want to talk to me, I am always available,” saying this Dhananjay set aside his paperwork. “Now, tell me.”

“I consider you as my younger brother. Can I ask you a personal question?”

“Yes. Yes. By all means.”

“Dhananjay, You did a great job in designing the office for the I.T. organization. The entire office is proud of you both. You and Sandhya. Now, to tell you, our entire group thinks of you both as an ideal pair in real life too. I want to know, do you like Sandhya or not?”

Dhananjay was shocked. He never expected such a private question from the senior. He also realized that his behaviour in the group, however objective, must have reflected his liking for Sandhya to other members.

With a soft smile, he looked around and whispered lowly, “Yes. I like her.”

“But then why don’t you express it to her? Have you ever gifted something to her? Have you ever asked her to dinner?”

“Gifts? No never. I don’t think Sandhya is that cheap who will get impressed by the gifts”

Dhananjay said positively. His ponytail wiggled.

“All girls surely value gifts. But you are a mature man and you know better the person whom you like. So, no comments on that. Then, what is holding you up?”

“I am not holding up.”

“Then, shall I speak to that wonderful girl on this matter?”

“That you decide. I can only say I like her.”

“Thank you, Dhananjay. I will now clarify her ideas about you. I must find out why these two fabulous people are not getting together,” saying this the senior got up.

“I will talk to you soon.”

Dhananjay was overjoyed to find some unexpected help.

In a happy mood, he pulled out his paperwork and started pouring in his imaginative ideas.

 

After a couple of days, the senior called Dhananjay to his cabin. Dhananjay thought he would get to know Sandhya’s ideas about him.

“Dhananjay, Congratulations. The top management is very much pleased with your creativity and they have promoted you as the team leader. You will also get a fat raise in your paycheck.”

Though very happy at the news of a promotion, he was disappointed that he did not hear anything about Sandhya. He rose from the chair.

“Dhananjay, congratulations again.” They shook hands.

With a little disappointment, Dhananjay turned around.

“Dhananjay, tell me what prompted you to sport this ponytail?”

Dhananjay was shocked at this unrelated question.

“Sit down for a few more minutes. I spoke to Sandhya. She also likes you but for your ponytail. She told me she has a hatred for the ponytails sported by men.”

Dhananjay was jolted. He could not hide his disappointment.

“Further, she added ‘with a normal haircut, Dhananjay would be unstoppable’. Think over this situation. If you need my opinion, I am available to you.”

Without adding a single word, Dhananjay rushed out of the cabin. He went to his cubicle and opened up the file he was working on. As a true professional, he set aside his emotional turbulence and continued his design task.

When at home, Dhananjay was lost in thoughts.

'My ponytail came as a hurdle. Unimaginable!

If she likes me, she must accept me as I am! If she can't adjust to such an unimportant matter, how is she going to adjust to much more difficult situations in life? No, it does not make any difference to me whether she hates the ponytails sported by men.' Dhananjay had taken his decision.

The next day, Dhananjay discussed this matter with his close friend Avinash.

“I have a solution. You have a normal haircut now and after marriage, you insist on a ponytail and grow your hair as per your wish,” Avinash suggested.

“What nonsense! That amounts to cheating. No. I will never do such a thing.” Dhananjay was certain on his stand. ‘No conditional acceptance. No bargaining in a relationship.’

Dhananjay spoke to his senior, “Sir, I am not ready for any suggestions. No negotiations while deciding life partnership. Acceptance should be as one is. I don’t want her to change in any way.”

The senior was disheartened.

Sandhya, when learnt about Dhananjay’s point of view, thought on the matter more deeply 'If for such a trivial issue of hairstyle, he cannot adjust, then how is he going to adjust on more serious matters in life in the future?'

Thus, the blooming relationship withered away.

 

Vijay Likhite

 

 

 

 

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1 Response

  1. Musipatla Prabhakar says:

    Good story

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