The Bengaluru city Police Commissioner’s prodigal son-in-law never ceased to baffle the top cop. Barely three months into the marriage, Rohan displayed excessively erratic behaviour in sporadic fashion. Nothing could be predicted of him. The first four weeks after the wedding witnessed what was a continued party. Rohan, and consequently his wife, would cut cakes at sharp 10AM celebrating each day of marriage. ‘Happy tresdieversary’ was written on the cake on the third day after the wedding. Commissioner Da Cunha later learnt that the word was coined by Rohan after a quick internet research. The newlyweds would step out of the house at around 2PM visibly intoxicated, but smartly dressed nevertheless. They would return at around 8 or 9, start chanting psalms, which bewildered many, as Rohan came from an orthodox Hindu family. In the second month, for just under a week, Mr & Mrs. Rohan had set up an office, with an elaborately done glazed steel signboard that read ‘Carla’. By the eighth day, the office had disappeared. For the next two weeks, in the chilly month of January, the couple had taken off to Munnar, without a single woolly or a jacket packed in, as observed by the domestic help.
It wasn’t that Da Cunha was completely unprepared for a binging of sorts. Carla, his only daughter, was a notorious reveller and used to make the headlines in the local tabloids quite often. But she had never crossed the limits of the law. A graduate of English literature, she had done a course in Physics on a whim. Not that she tried to meld her apparently disparate sets of knowledge to present a new thought to the world or anything like that. She would never give a rationale to her random pursuits. People started dismissing her as a result of being in her influential father’s endowment, coupled with her aspiration to be a newsmaker. On her part, Carla, successful in working herself out to a svelte figure, dressed without inhibitions but stunned many the other way when she would come attend socio-religious gatherings draped in elaborately woven Kanchipuram silk sarees . Da Cunha had given her security cover, inexplicably having it accounted for in the department’s books. So, Carla would never suffer a scratch even if she were to pose in the nude. When she was interviewed by the media a couple times, she surprised people again by her statements on hard work, respect for the elders, and, on the virtue of virginity before marriage. In fact, she was going steady with Rohan, and never had taken off with him outside the city, nor was she seen with him after dark. This had reinforced Da Cunha’s belief in his daughter’s choices, and made him readily accept Rohan as his son-in-law.
However, all said and done….
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Three more months later
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Two more companies are known to have been registered in Carla’s name – Carlacious and Carladen – neither operating now. Enquiry reveals that Carlacious was a food joint and Carladen was a holiday ideas company. Her whereabouts have been ascertained but she’s unreachable.
Rohan is making some noises here and there. He doesn’t live with Carla, and has been spotted commuting to work. An analyst gig at Goldman Sachs. A couple of his reports have been published in financial journals.
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Da Cunha is none the better for his confusion still
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Carla has just returned home. She doesn’t look very different, but her face betrays uncertainty. Rohan asks her “You must have made your notes. What do you think?”
Carla says, “Maybe it’s just our country and not the world”
“You are saying our country still doesn’t offer limitless possibilities?”
“Not for your average chap on the road. My being in a position of influence didn’t get me that far, just think of others”
Da Cunha has his moment of reckoning.
He utters regretfully, “Wish I were never a Commissioner, or you were born to a different father”