Everyone was in the conference room by the time Emil showed up. No one said anything as he entered the conference room and sat down quietly beside Anindya. It had rained, and it was perfectly fine for employees to turn up as conveniently late as necessary. “Anindya, update Emil on what we are doing.” Rashed bhai said and started a private conversation with Shaheen bhai. Anindya leaned in towards Emil and said things; Emil thoughtfully nodded his head. It was a good hour into the meeting when Emil received his first text of the day from Sania.
How could you do this to me, Emil? How could you?
Emil, operating all night and all morning under the assumption that he had already seen and heard and tolerated the last of Sania on the night prior felt it would reflect badly upon his character if he abandoned his conviction at first appearance of doubt.
He ignored the text.
For the next ten minutes, nothing happened and that strengthened his faith. Assumption was en route absolution.
Then, she texted him again, You are not even going to talk to me? Thanks a lot for everything, Emil. Thanks a lot.
She was only repeating herself once; so Emil concluded that Sania had calmed down sufficiently since the previous night. He checked his watch. If he made a rush for it, he could be well out of her reach before she had completely calmed down and was ready to accept his sincere, heartfelt apology, hit the worn-out reset button, and go back to normal. Partly because he did not want her to begin acting like nothing had happened, but also partly because she had never allowed him to press her special button, he decided to ignore the second text as well. In any case, Anindya was demanding attention, “Excellent idea! I have it! This will be the best TVC we have ever made! Rashed bhai, I have it!”
Everyone turned towards him, “Let’s hear it,” Rashed bhai said, glad that at least one of his copywriters was working.
“It just came to me, Rashed bhai, just like that. Here I am, sitting, thinking and it just came out of nowhere!”
“Good, good. That is how all the worthy ideas come; from nowhere. Go on, tell us.”
“How about CPR?”
“More.” Rashed bhai asked.
“What if we show a girl, and this is a very flirty, bouncy girl, in all her bodacious glory, sticking out in all the right directions, bujhsen? The type of girl Masum bhai stares at from the corner of his eyes, and we show this girl drowning, ok? In a pond…no…in the ocean. And she is also screaming. She is screaming, ‘Help! Someone help me!’ because she is drowning.”
“Quite so, quite so.” Rashed bhai said, eager to move the story along.
“Best thing to say in that situation.” Abul bhai agreed.
“And she’s all wet and glistening,” Shaheen bhai added, “with her silk clothes sticking to her…”
“Bodacious body,” Anindya added.
“Accha, tarpor? What happens next?” Rasel bhai asked.
“What happens next is that she is rescued at the last moment by a lifeguard. And CPR, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, is administered but nothing happens, and it seems like it is too late for our bodacious beauty.”
“But that is not the case, is it?”
“Oh no! Just when all hope seems lost, our hero, who happens to be riding a white horse bareback down the beach with a guitar slung over his shoulder arrives at the scene and administers CPR. And because he uses Froopaste, his fruity fresh breath brings her back to life.”
“So he brings a dead girl back to life?” Shaheen bhai asked.
Anindya nodded, “And the commercial can end with the two of them riding away on the horse.”
Shaheen bhai started laughing, “Heh, Anindya, so he kisses a dead girl? There is a word for people like that, necrophilia. Right Emil?”
“What is that?” Rashed bhai asked.
“Boss, it is people who like to party it up with dead people. Necro means dead and philia means lover. Right Emil?”
“Shaheen bhai, where the hell do you get these information from?” Anindya asked, shaking his head from side to side.
“But we cannot show people kissing on TV.” Rashed bhai reminded.
“But we are not showing anyone kissing. It is CPR. It is a medical procedure.”
“Yeah, it might be a medical procedure but…” Rashed bhai was saying but Shaheen bhai interjected, “But people like Masum mia are going to take offence at things like that, right Masum?”
“It is a bit too much, right?” Masum bhai agreed, “I mean one guy is ok, but two guys kissing the same girl? On the mouth no less! If that happens, I do not think many people will have any sympathy left for such a girl.”
“But they are just trying to save her life…”
“And she lets them!”
“She is unconscious toh.”
“What was she doing all alone in the sea after all?”
“If we air this ad, Masum will probably write a letter to the authorities.”
“Or announce a fatwa.”
“And woman swimming.”
“And bad ads. Where is the fruit in this ad? Why can’t she be drowning in a well inside an orchard instead?”
“Or choking on a pomegranate?”
“Or a banana?”
“Uff, Masum! Abar keno?”
“Hah, Masum bhai abar kola bolsey.” Anindya high-fived Shaheen bhai.
“Masum, some of the ideas that you give, seriously, maney! If the client could see someone like you sitting here with us, they would terminate our contracts.”
“Masum’s ideas are too raw,” Abdul bhai said, “he does not think them through. Spend more time and develop your ideas more.” He patted Masum bhai on the back.
“We are making fun of him.” Shaheen bhai was saying, “But on the inside he is thinking, let the judgment day come. I will be philandering around with my seventy virgins and two whores while you all will be burning in eternal hell fire.”
“Na, na! I do not. I do not want that at all. Why will I want two whores?”