Off-Pitch

Off-Pitch

The celebrations for Shalini’s business were short-lived. Within a month of its launch, Indian media denounced her baby food for containing chemicals that were harmful to infants. This led to panic among parents, and they stopped using the product. The inventory remained idle, with no one willing to buy the product. Distributors refused to keep stock, as did retailers. The chain of events came to a sudden halt. Investors were quick to ask for their money back. This came as a shock to Shalini, and she spiralled into depression. She had mortgaged her entire business, all her assets and properties and all her savings for this venture. She feared that she would lose all her wealth. Her nervous condition worsened, and she had to be hospitalized. The reversal in her fortunes was sudden and severe.

Anupam watched in despair as his wife’s business crumbled. Since Shalini could no longer take the strain of keeping the venture afloat, he decided to do whatever he could. He made frantic calls to Mumbai and talked to the distribution partners. They were equally disturbed by the turn of events. Bad reports in the media had dented the minds of consumers, and they were not even willing to touch the product. Anupam was determined to dig deep into the matter and find a solution. He called up a friend from college, who was a senior editor with a leading channel. He received shocking news.                                             

A famous spiritual guru in India was planning to launch a similar product in the market. He had manipulated the media to create a negative perception about Shalini’s brand amongst people. Anupam couldn’t believe it, yet he knew that his friend was telling the truth.

Confused and sad, Anupam was desperate for a solution. He could hardly do anything from New York. Matters became worse when Shalini’s health deteriorated. She suffered a partial paralysis in the legs and was unable to walk. Life was falling apart for Anupam.

Anupam wanted to share his tension with someone whom he could trust, someone he could lean on. Only one person came to his mind: Mohona…

Mohona. What can she do? She isn’t even remotely connected to the world of business. I can share my worries with her for the sake of sharing. That is all. Yet, that is enough. Mohona would listen and empathize. How ironic. I was not there when she needed me. I could do nothing to support her. But I … I return to her again and again. I know you will be there every time that I need you, Mohona.

Photography: @focusraghu_photoartist
Location: Varanasi, India

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