Seema Patel was a lovely young woman. She was twenty-one-years-old and had recently graduated from college. She had gotten the highest marks in all of her classes and had graduated with honors. Her mother, Asha Patel, and her younger brother, Manish, were both very proud of her.
It had not been easy for Seema. She had grown up as part of a traditional family in a small village in central India. Her father was a good man who had worked hard at low paying jobs just to keep his family fed and a roof over their heads. In spite of their financial difficulties, he had refused to allow his wife to work outside their home. He had always held that a wife's job was to see to the household and tend to the children. Given the long held beliefs of his family and culture, he had made a major concession to the modern world by allowing his daughter to attend school beyond a basic level.
Unfortunately, Mr. Patel had died several years earlier in an accident at work. He had no personal insurance and there was very little compensation from his employer. Thus his wife, Asha Patel, was forced to take work using the only skills she possessed. She cleaned homes and did laundry for some of the wealthier families in their village. She not only allowed Seema to continue attending school, she encouraged her daughter to go on to college and excel in her chosen field.
Neither of Seema's parents were educated people. Seema was the first of her family to attend school beyond the first few levels. Seema knew the sacrafices her family had made that had allowed her to attain a college level education. Seema had faced of her many challenges during her schooling. In spite of her challenges, she graduated with honors in mathematics and accounting.
Even her own body had been a challenge for Seema. As she matured, she became a beautiful young lady. At graduation, she was five feet four inches tall, weighed about 115 pounds, had a well pronounce chest and a small round butt that wiggled naturally as she walked. Long curly hair framed her beautifully rounded face in a shiny black halo. Her eyes were dark pools that had a hypnotic effect on many of the boys in her classes.
Seema often asked for her mother's advise. "Mama, how can I concentrate on my studies when the boys want to be around me and talk to me all the time? And Mama, some of them make me feel strange inside when they are close to me."
The young woman always got the same answer from her mother. "Seema, you're a pretty girl. The boys are just being normal. You must ignore them and study even harder."
Seema listened to her mother and studied even harder. None of the boys in her classes ever had a chance of getting close to Seema. She was friendly enough, but she just didn't have time for the boys. As a result of all her hard work, Seema had won many awards for her academic abilities and finished with top honors from her school.
One evening, several weeks after her graduation, a lady came to the Patel home looking for Seema. She was a recruiter representing an employment agency. She had a job offer for the young woman.
Seema's high marks in mathematics and accounting had gotten the attention of a large accounting firm. They wanted her to come to their main office for an interview. If she passed the interview, Seema would be offered an entry-level job.
The recruiter told Seema and her family about the accounting company that had made the offer of employment. "This accounting firm is a reputable company. They pay well and have never treated their employees badly."
Seema was excited about her prospects with the accounting firm. The offer of a good job was a welcome turn of events for the poor Patel family. The problem was that the accounting firm was located in Mumbai. If Seema accepted the job, she would be a long hard bus ride away from her home village and her family. After several tearful hours of discussing the offer with her family, it was decided that Seema should go to Mumbai seeking the offered job.
It was a happy but tearful group of family and friends that accompanied Seema to the village bus stop. The recruiter was there as well. She was going to accompany Seema on the journey. The recruiter had told the family that if for some reason Seema did not get the job, it would be her responsibility to bring her home.
Seema easily past her pre-employment interview. She then passed all the other tests as well. She was offered a job as an entry-level combination bookkeeper-secretary. Her starting salary was more than adequate. It was actually large by her village's standards. Seema would be able to send some money home to her family every week. Along with the job came a small apartment that was close enough for her to walk to her new job. She was also given a small advance against her pay to help her get settled in. After she signed a multi-year contract, she was shown to her new apartment for the night.
In spite of her good fortune, Seema cried herself to sleep that first night so far from her friend and family.
The next day Seema arrived at work a little early. Her early arrival made a good impression on her new employer. She was assigned to work with one of their top accountants on the accounts he was responsible for. She was also to be his receptionist. As is customary in many fields, the accountant met with the clients while Seema did most of the actual accounting work.
Seema didn't mind the heavy work load. It helped keep her mind off her loneliness. She missed her family and friends back in her home village. However, she was determined to make it on her own. She refused to disappoint her family's faith in her and waste her hard work in school.
Seema wrote to her mother once or twice a week. In those letters she describe her job, how much she liked it, and how well she was doing. When her pay began coming in, she happily sent some of it home to her mother.
Seema had been on the job for about three weeks. She had made a very favorable impression on her supervising accountant and some of the company executives. Her accounting skills were all they had expected and more. Her interaction with the clients that came to the office was beyond reproach. She had already been given a small raise in salary. With the increase in salary, she had begun sending a little more of it home to her mother.
Then one day a client came into the office that made Seema fell very uncomfortable. Though she couldn't pinpoint what it was about this particular client that bothered her, she knew he was not a man to be trusted.
Perhaps it was his physical appearance. He stood well over six feet tall and weighed about three hundred pounds. He towered over the much smaller Seema. His inexpensive suit was too small for him, and his belly was poking out between his shirt buttons. He didn't seem to fit in with the other clients Seema had met. She could not believe this man was her employer's best client.
Maybe it was his overly familiar greeting that bothered her. Even with her desk between them, the man intimidated Seema. With a toothy grin, he bent over close to Seema's face. She could smell alcohol on his breath.
He stroked her upper arm and said to Seema, "Well, hello young lady. You look like a delicious little morsel. Care for a bite to eat, my dear?"
Seema had no experience in handling such an aggressive and rude man. So, all she could do was politely reject his offer. "No thank you, Sir."
This man didn't give up. "Are you sure? We can have a good time over lunch. I can make it all right with your supervisor. How about it, sweetie?"
She again politely rejected his offer by saying, "No thank you, Sir. I have a great deal of work to do."
"We'll soon see about that." With a smirk, the man turned and left Seema. Mr. Tamraj took Seema's rejection as a challenge. He stared back at her as he walked away.
For some reason, the stare was frightening to Seema. A chill ran up the girl's spine. She thought his last comment sounded almost like a threat.
Mr. Tamraj was one of the accounting firm's best clients. He owned several businesses, and Seema's employer did the accounting work for all of them. He paid them a great deal of money in accounting fees each month.
Seema was expected to be nice to all the clients she met, especially Mr. Tamraj. She didn't know how she could be nice to this man without seeming to accept his rude advances.
A week later, Seema was called in to see the office manager. She was directed to sit in the chair opposite the manager's desk. With his eyes downcast, he quietly spoke to her, "I am very sorry, Seema. We have to let you go."
Seema was in shock. "Why? What mistake did I make? If you tell me what I did wrong, I will make amends. I really want to keep my job. Please Sir."
"There is nothing I can do. I am so very sorry. Seema, you have done nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, you have worked out much better than any of our other recruits. Unfortunately, it seems Mr. Tamraj has bought your contract from us. So, for the next three years, you will be working for him. We are so sorry, Seema." The manager seemed to be truly sorry for her. The weeping girl slowly rose from her seat and returned to her desk.
Mr. Tamraj was waiting for her when she returned to her desk to retrieve her personal belongings. "You're mine now, sweetheart. Do a good job and do what you are told and you will make a good living. Disobey and you will be punished severely. Do you understand?" He snarled.
Through her sobs the frightened young woman answered, "Yes, Sir. I understand." Tears freely flowed down her cheeks.
"Good. Follow me." Mr. Tamraj led Seema out of the office building and into the rear seat of a large black car.
.... There is more of this story ...