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Shades of Grey – Kusum

Kusum – 1: The Interview

16 September 2010


It had been a long day and after more than 20 interviews, he was tired and irritated. He hadn’t been able to select even one candidate. He promised this would his final one for the day. He felt he could do with a drink but of course that wasn’t possible in office. As he approached the meeting room, he saw her sitting towards the corner of the table wearing a modest maroon coloured salwar kameez, her mid-length hair braided together falling over her back.

“Hi, you must be Kusum” he said as he approached her. She turned and got up from the chair, clutching to the folder of papers she was carrying. She nodded in response to his question. He came and sat on the opposite side of the table facing her and with a wave of his hand motioned her to take a seat.

“Thank you sir” she said, her voice resonated in a soft sweet tone. Suddenly he felt perhaps the day would not go waste.

As she sat down, he noticed her dusky complexion. Her face was almost flawless, her wide doe eyes with just the right amount of kajal mesmerizing him, holding his attention. He suddenly realized that he was perhaps staring at her, steered his eyes away towards her resume he was holding in his hands. She seemed to have the right experience he was looking for. He started the interview with general questions letting her talk open ended about her experience. He was lost in her soft voice, her eyes dancing and her hands moving around as she spoke. He sat back observing her. She was not conventionally beautiful but she was attractive. Her well rounded lips didn’t need any lipstick and she didn’t wear any. She wore small gold studs in her ears. Her thin mangalsutra inconspicuously traced its way from her neck behind the folds of her duppta and into her neckline. Her salwar kameez was modest and didn’t show any part of her cleavage. She adjusted her dupatta as his eyes traced her breats that stood firm. He looked at her resume to check her age. At 36 her breasts still seemed firm, standing out even through her not so tight kameez. Her arms were smooth without much trace of hair. Her hands seemed soft and well kept. He glanced at her feet pretending to read the paper in his hands nodding knowingly to what she was saying. She wore an ordinary pair of sandals, her toe nails had the most subtle nail polish.

He suddenly realized the she had stopped speaking and was looking at him to ask the next question. He forced himself to focus on the job at hand, which was to find the right candidate for the job. As he asked her more relevant questions, he felt she was indeed the right person for the job. The fact that she was attractive was bonus. But he couldn’t base his decision on her attractiveness alone. He started explaining the expectations of the role to her and she listened intently.

“This is exactly what I was looking for” she said.

“Good. I think your experience also matches what we are looking for” he said. “I hope you don’t have any problems with the travel associated with this role” he said.

She paused a little and said “Where will I need to travel? Is it frequent?”

“Well the distributor network is across the state. You will need to travel about once a month”

Her shoulders drooped and she fell silent.

“What happened?” he asked

“I can’t travel” she said hesitantly

“Why not? Please understand, travelling is a critical requirement of this job”

“I can’t leave my son alone”

“Is there no one at home to take care of him while you are away? What about your in-laws?”

“They stay with us. Yes actually do take care of my son while I go for work. They are very supportive and wouldn’t mind taking care of my son while I am away”


“Actually I am afraid of travelling alone. I have never travelled alone.”

He was surprised to hear answer. “But you’ve been working for so many years now.”

“I know. It’s just that I never had a chance to travel alone. Always with someone from the family”

He was disappointed. He thought finally he would be successful in getting the right candidate but he would have to wait.

“Sir I really need this job. It is just what I wanted to do” she almost pleaded.

“See travelling is a must for this role. The best I can do is that the first few times I can travel with you to help you get started. But you have to be able to do it on your own.” he said trying to think of options. He really needed to hire someone quickly before the operations went out of control.

“Can I discuss this with my husband and get back to you?” she continued in her pleading tone.

“Yes sure. And discuss with your in-laws too. I don’t to hear any complaints later. And get back to me quickly as I need to close this position quickly” he said authoritatively.

“Yes sir, just give me till tomorrow evening sir” she pleaded.

“Ok I will wait till tomorrow but later than that”

“Thank you so much sir. I am really looking toward to working here sir.”


She got up from the seat and walked out. He watched her firm buttocks sway by. He was disappointed. She would have been a great person on the team, right skills and attractive looks to match. He hoped she would accept the offer. Would tomorrow be another long day of interviews, he wondered.


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