Carla, the cat, was having a bad tail day and to top that, no one had noticed how well her new green nail polish went with her eyes. Being an Animal-Resource Executive in Nandan-Associates hasn’t been an enviable job over the years, especially with a Manager as obnoxious as Eugene, the fox, and an aging whimsical owner, Shamsher Singh, the lion. Reflections on her miserable life were interrupted by the phone ring. It was Eugene.
“Sweetheart, could you please bring the list of Employees to my room? It’s time for you to make those three-meow calls.” There was wickedness in Eugene’s voice.
Three-meow-call is a practice followed in Nandan-Associates at Shamsher Singh’s behest. Anyone about to be fired gets the call from Carla in which she asks the employee to visit the boss and then she meows thrice before ending the call. Why so? Well, Shamsher’s step-mother was a cat and she used to meow thrice each time before thrashing him when he was a naughty boy. So, this was his way to revenge the world.
“Here’s the list, Sir”. Carla enters Eugene’s room without knocking.
Eugene stops picking his nose and smiles, “Carlaaa, please have a …Oh you’re already sitting. You see Carla, all of my friends are busy laying-off their juniors. I don’t get to tell any stories over the game of golf. Besides, this is recession and we must be doing something terribly wrong if we don’t feel the need to cut down.”
“Eugene, is it really necessary?”, Carla says casually tapping on the table with her nails.
“I must axe somebody before this weekend; do you have any idea how it feels to be left out? Daniel, from Champak-Sons, fired four rats and a hen last week. What about that dog Moti we hired last month for managing the Asia-pacific account? I can’t stand his smiling face.”
“He is doing a splendid job. Shamsher looks very pleased with him”
“I noticed that too and that’s another reason I want him out of this place. You know how tough Shamsher is while interviewing. But his interview with Shamsher lasted just 10 minutes and he came out without a scratch on his body. I guess maybe because they both are Indians. But you can find something on him. Does he surf net during office time ? Any personal calls from the office phone?”
“Nope. He is clean as a dove. Always on time and is friendly”
“I see. Carla you need to do me a favor, dear. You know what I mean...” Eugene says in an overly suggestive tone.
“Eugene, I get it. You don’t have to be so animated. But remember last time you asked me to seduce Jack. He is now ..” Carla was interrupted here.
“Don’t remind me of that parasite again. He belongs to that disgraceful jackal race.”
“He is now my husband; how many times I have to remind you.” snarled Carla.
“And that is why he is still in this office. I’ll handle this myself. Call Moti right now.” He pushes the phone to her. She dials the number.
“Moti, Eugene would like to see you. Meow, Meow, Meow” Carla feels like an idiot yet again.
Moti enters the room in a very cheerful mood. He knows nothing about the three-meow theory. He is holding a red colored card in his hand.
Effervescently smiling he says, “Hi Eugene, What a coincidence. I was about to come to your room anyway. I am getting married next month. This is my wedding card. And Carla, that nail-polish goes really well with your eyes”.
Carla is speechless. She looks towards Eugene with accusing eyes and rushes out of the room. Moti senses the unease in the air.
“Many Congratulations! Moti.” Eugene is stumped too. This wasn’t going to be as much fun as he had imagined. He doesn’t even glance at the card and puts it close to the phone.
“Eugene, I know you would come. I am having the time of my life”
“I am afrai ,Moti. I won’t be able to make it. Listen, I need to discuss something very important with you. I hope you understand that this is nothing personal. The whole economy is doing pretty badly and we need to downsize. We are cutting down the Asia-pacific accounts and you are an unfortunate victim of this global phenomenon. Today is your last day at Nandan.”
“Hang on Eugene. You must be kidding. Asia-pacific accounts are doing much better than Europe and America. You are joking right, because you saw the wedding card so you are just being funny, right.” Moti is smiling once again. There is an air of invincibility about him.
“Moti, Your marriage is your personal problem. I don’t indulge in bullshit. You may leave now with your belongings” Eugene is visibly irritated.
“I am pretty sure Shamsher Sir doesn’t know about this decision” a confident reply from Moti. He is finding it hard to stop smiling.
“Are you his pet? Shamsher is an old imbecile. Don’t challenge my decision. I never liked dogs anyway in this firm. If I had my way I would have put ‘Dogs not allowed’ outside the gate. Get lost now, will you.”
Moti bursts out laughing. He leaves the office and is laughing his ass off over a phone-call. Eugene can’t stand this any more. He dials the security and then slams the phone back. He sees that stupid wedding card and is about to throw it in the dustbin when something familiar on the card catches his eyes.
Moti (Son of Colonel Sheru Daga )
Mohini (Daughter of Mr. Shamsher Singh)
The date was the first of next month and the venue was Nandan-Associates’s huge sprawling garden.
Eugene is out of his senses when Ganpat the hippo, knocks on his door.
“You called security, Sir” says the guard who hailed from Shamsher Singh’s village.
Eugene’s face is colorless by now.
“Get me an Orange juice, please” says Eugene meekly.
The hippo stands confused and just then the phone rings on Eugene’s desk. Eugene does not move. The phone rings once again. Ganpat walks over to the desk this time and hands the receiver to Eugene. “Your phone, Sir”
“Hello Eugene.” It’s Carla at the other end. She savors a pause. Eugene stays mum.
“Shamsher would like to see you in his office, Eugene. Meow, Meow, Meow.”