As I began to do the typing work, I noticed for the first time that even a letterhead could be done smartly. Then I met a few people in person sometimes. They were as smart as their letterheads. I was not only impressed, but also drawn towards them. They exuded confidence, spoke smoothly and knew exactly what they wanted and what they were doing. Well, I certainly wanted to be like them. It so turned out in that business that most of the callers and visitors were male. I had this great desire to unravel the mystery of their confidence. I would look for a small opening in the conversation and ask them about some detail of their background.
There was this caller, who appeared to be well into his forties from his voice, who would always fix up an evening meeting with my boss. I soon learnt he was the Chairman of a trust that ran a hospital. He would always be sweet and friendly on the phone. Once I made bold to tell him that I wanted a chance to meet him in person. He laughed. After a few days my Boss told me that Dr Cholkar had appreciated my way of handling calls. I was thrilled. I also realised that Dr Cholkar was a well-known personality in the city and regarded as a very effective speaker. He would get frequent mentions in the local newspaper. He didn't appear too smart but wielded some power alright. He did remark once that he liked my voice on the phone.
Some of the regular visitors to the office became friendly. I felt good with the kind of male attention. I realised I was slowly getting disengaged from the female company. Wasn't that what I wanted? I started doing little things with my appearance, like not wearing the bindi sometimes, wearing my hair shoulder length, keeping them open on Saturdays. I wanted to wear pants and jeans. I would have to save some money for that.
Sushama noticed these small changes in my behaviour. She was a nice and warm person but wasn't willing to step out of the line too much. I wasn't enjoying her company as much as I did in the beginning. So I started spending more time in the office after office hours, doing odd bits of work. That was how I first met Dr Cholkar.