"I wish I get the opportunity to make the client presentation" Sanket sighed wistfully. Wishes were not horses and even if they were Sanket had no desire to ride horses. He was pretty happy with his car. He knew he would never get an opportunity as long as Apoorva was there. Apoorva was his boss' favorite and he was the one who always got to do the client presentations. And Sanket had to grudgingly admit the presentations were definitely a class act and so far their team had been enjoying a 100% success rate with clients.

Sanket adjusted his seat and leaned forward as Apoorva looked all set to add one more feather to his cap. Apoorva looked smart, cleanly shaven, hair nicely set, and in his dark blue custom made suit. He had already made an impression on the client without uttering a single word. His appearance itself worked wonders. He switched on the projector and his lap top screen came up. there was an open folder with a single file called 'Bank of America Presentation.wma'. Apoorva always added stunning special effects to his presentations. The media file opened and the screen came to life. But the special effects were more stunning than usual. There were a man and woman on the screen. They were in bed - naked. The woman's moans filled the room. Apoorva's face was a sight to see. It took a moment for him to recover and stop Jenna Jameson's  'stunning special effects'. But then the damage was already done. The clients were looking horrified and George their boss' face had turned white. Some of the team members were having a smug satisfied look on their faces. Apparently Apoorva was not very popular.

The clients got up to leave. "You seem to be having issues with the presentation, Mr. Mammen. You probably have a pressing internal discipline issue to attend to. Please attend to that. We have to attend the other vendors' presentations."

Apoorva had lost all his confidence and poise and looked as if he was going to burst into tears any moment.

"I don't know how this happened, George. There has been a mistake somewhere."

"Yeah. It was mistake to have reposed my confidence in you."

"Please, George. Give me a chance."

"Ok. Do you have presentation for Royal Bank of Scotland for the evening ready?"

"Yes, George. Here it is"

The screen came alive again. Apoorva and George looked on with anticipation. Luckily this time the presentation was the right one.

"Sanket, do you have your pen drive?"

"Yes, George"

"Then take the RBS presentation from Apoorva's lap top. You will be presenting today evening."

Apoorva could not believe his ears.

"But George..."

George ignored him and continued to address Sanket

"Apoorva has another engagement this evening. So he will not  be available"

The puzzled look on Apoorva's face clearly indicated that he was not aware of any such engagement. George also probably realized that. So he turned to Apoorva.

"I am scheduling a more important meeting for you today evening- with the anti sexual harassment initiative (ASHI) committee.They will be interested in knowing the reason for the presence of pornographic content on your office lap top"

Apoorva realized it was futile talking to George when he was in this kind of mood.

The presentation in the evening was altogether a different affair. The presentation had been a rousing success and George had asked Sanket to work on a couple of more client presentations coming up the following week.Sanket's fortunes were on the rise and his wishes seem to be coming true.

A month had passed. Apoorva has been let off with a warning. But George would never forgive him for the loss of face he had suffered in front of the clients. Now Sanket was his new blue eyed boy. Sanket had lodged himself firmly in the position hitherto occupied by Apoorva. They say there is a tide in the affairs of men when seized takes him sailing on the high seas. Apoorva asking him to help him connect his laptop to the projector while he had gone for some pre-presentation discussions with George had been the tide in Sanket's life. He had seized it with both hands and now he was sailing on high seas. Wishes never came true by themselves. One had to seize initiative to make wishes come true.

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For whom the bell tolls

A book of faces