Nishant had not even had his morning coffee yet, and he was already on the verge of a panic attack!
“Where is the Amrapali presentation, Maya?”, he shouted.
‘It’s right there on you table, Nishant.” Maya, his PA, was used to Nishant’s over-the-top reactions.
“I mean the soft copy! I had saved in on my desktop, I cannot find it anywhere.”
“You had mailed it to me last night before leaving. I will mail it back to you”, Maya said calmly.
Nishant’s heartbeat slowly returned to normal. He just could not afford to mess this contract up. His promotion was on stake with this one deal. He would be the youngest VP in Jaiswal & Mehta Associates!
All the late nights in the office were taking a toll on the entire team, most of all on Nishant. But Maya somehow managed to remain calm and collected, even though she would hardly have gotten anymore than 4 hours sleep last night!
“Fine, send me the finance documents also”, Nishant said contritely, a little embarrassed about his earlier outburst.
Maya looked at him and smiled. Nishant smiled back. They stared into each other’s eyes.
Just then, Nishant’s phone rang and broke the moment.
The clients were on their way.
This was the moment he and his team had been working their backs off for since last 6 months. Maya told Nishant to go ahead and prep the team, she will gather the documents and bring them along.
The presentation was going on in full force. The clients were asking the right questions and Nishant’s team had perfectly-prepared-answers for each of them.
“The plan seems to be in order, Mr. Nishant,” Mr. Oberoi said. “Let’s discuss the finances.”
“Sure, Ravi, load the finance file on the projector”, Nishant could hardly speak in excitement.
THE FILE IS CORRUPTED AND CANNOT BE OPENED
“What’s this Ravi?”, Nishant was alarmed.
Ravi nervously started checking the keyboard and the projector settings.
“I don’t know, Sir”.
Nishant vaguely noticed Maya leaving the office.
His focus was now on the disapproving faces on Mr. Oberoi and his associates.
“There seems to be some technical difficulty. Mr. Oberoi. Ravi will start the presentation asap.“
Ravi stood up and started fumbling amongst his papers to look for the hard copy. Two other members of his team started fiddling with the laptop. The rest of the team looked panicked.
The client team was starting to fidget and murmur disapprovingly amongst themselves.
Nishant’s mind went blank and he started hyperventilating.
Just as Mr. Oberoi was about to address Nishant, Maya entered the room, followed by the pantry boy with tea and refreshments, and the IT guy.
Maya’s smiles, the sight of refreshments and the aroma of freshly brewed tea brought down the tension in the room.
The IT guy had fixed the bug by the time refreshments were served.
Maya placed her own Finance document’s hard copy in Ravi’s hands and gave him an encouraging smile.
Ravi started the projector and the rest of the presentation went away without a hitch.
Nishant could not believe how close a disaster they had avoided, all because of Maya’s presence of mind!
Mr. Oberoi had signed the contract and Nishant’s promotion was certain!
The team went out for a celebration that night in a nearby club. Nishant kept sneaking glances at Maya throughout the party. He could not believe how lucky he was to have Maya in his life.
Everyone started leaving for home, and Nishant and Maya were the last ones left. Nishant had not had any hard liquor since he had to drive a long way home. Maya, though seemed to be a little tipsy.
He went over to her and took her hands in his.
“Your presence of mind saved my career today. You truly are my anchor, Mrs. Malhotra”, Nishant whispered in her ears.
“Well, well, Mister Malhotra! Isn’t that what I have been doing since the day we met, being your shining knight in armour?” Maya batted her eyelids and gave a teasing smile.
Nishant thanked his stars again, as they both started walking towards their car.