Harish loved conflict more than anything else in his life. He build his life around conflicts. He worked in the Human Resources Department of his company. He was famous for resolving conflicts of any kind.

It all started in college. When his seniors and his classmates fought for something else, Harish stepped in resolved the conflict using his intelligence. He learnt a lot over the next few years and used his intelligence and wit to resolve conflicts. Unlike others, he is not dithered by conflicts. He gets excited at the sight of a conflict.

Harish loved conflicts so much that he fought regularly with his wife for no odd reason. Then, he would reconcile with her. His wife was very worried when they initially got married. After knowing more about his penchant for conflicts from his parents and friends, she started acting cranky and irksome whenever he planned to fight with her. She would let him feel proud of winning over her again using his conflict resolution skills.

As with any other job, Harish had to search for a new job when he was given the pink slip during a downsizing in his company. Fortunately, he found a job in a new company. The director told him that there were far too many conflicts in the company and they were disturbing the productivity of the employees. Harish realized that he was at the right place at the right time.

One of the first issues on his table was to resolve the discord between a manager and her employee. It seemed to be such a simple task, even though his manager told that this lady was tough nut to crack.

Harish scheduled a meeting and planned to meet this lady boss, Debosmita, the next day.

Harish was all perked up to meet her. He arrived in the conference an hour in advance to plan the meeting and resolve the issue at the earliest. To his surprise, Debosmita already reached the hall. She left her laptop and coffee cup in the room and stepped out for a call.

Harish started setting up his laptop. After a few minutes, Debosmita walked into the room.

Harish was shocked to see his first love, Smita, there.

Harish said, “I never knew you changed your name. I thought you were called Smita. When did you add Debo to it?”

Smita laughed hard and said, “I think you lost it already. You are not going to resolve this issue. You are already sweating and panicking. I’m glad you are here. It’s time for me to seek revenge. And, yes, I have always been Debsomita. I prefer to be called Smita. Please do not call me Debosmita or Debo. I like to be called Smita better.”

Harish recollected their love story. Twelve years ago, Harish met Smita at a coaching center. They both were appearing for a management entrance test. Harish fell for her the first time he saw her. Smita also reciprocated and they had a great time. Everything went on well until the head of the coaching center and Harish’s aunt warned him to stay away from Smita as his performance was dwindling in the exams. So, Harish had to break up with her and stay away from her. He never told her the reason. Smita tried to know the reason for a week. She could not even talk to him. So, she left the coaching center and never met him again.

Harish never knew what happened to her after that.

Smita recollected her life from those days. She was a very innocent girl and believed in everyone. She was a happy girl and believed in love and luck.And, then, Harish happened in her life. She felt as though she was the happiest girl in the world. But, even before she could completely enjoy the bliss of romance, Harish broke up with her without telling her the reason. She cried for days and months after that. She went into depression and tried to kill herself. Finally, she transformed to such an extent that she hated everyone and became rude with everyone. Smita believed that people deserved to be treated badly and that there is no good left in the world.

Harish and Smita did not talk much for the next few minutes because of their awkward history.

Chetan walked in a few minutes before the meeting. He avoid looking into the eyes of his boss, Smita.

As the meeting started, Harish asked Chetan to get started. He said that he wanted to have an open meeting and wanted the discussion to happen in front of Smita.

Chetan said, “I want to get out of her team. Or, I will quit.”

Smita angrily said, “Quit. But, trust me. Your relieving letter will be the worst. You’ll never get into another job.”

Chetan said, “Look at the way she has been threatening me right in front of you.”

Harish wanted to add a dose of humor to stop the heated exchange. He said, “She threatened me, too, as soon as she stepped in the room.”

Chetan did not find it funny. Neither did Smita find it funny.

Harish asked Chetan to describe the problem from the beginning.

Chetan shared his sob story. He said, “I joined her team six months ago. She has been rude to me from the beginning. Sometimes, she treats me like a slave. She forces me to work more than the targets and keeps insulting me every time.”

Harish asked, “Does she use any expletives?”

Chetan said, “She is very smart with her use of words. She indirectly incites horror into other people’s lives.”

Chetan and Smita started shouting at each other and hurling insults at each other. Though he enjoyed conflicts earlier, he did not like the fact that Smita was part of it. He could never picture the innocent Smita being so violent and rude to everyone.

Harish interrupted them. He said, “Guys. Please stop fighting. We are not kids. We are hear to resolve issues and not kill each other. Let us be mature.”

Smita laughed again in her characteristic sadistic way and said, “Look who’s talking about maturity. Aren’t you the reason behind all this. You are the one who made me so curt and crude. You are such a hopeless jerk. You ruined my life.”

Chetan was left clueless. He did not know what was happening.

Harish said, “Let us not get our personal stories to the table.”

Smita said, “You are acting too diplomatic. But, I told you the truth. If you can change that, you can resolve this issue. That is the root of all conflicts in my life. If you make Chetan quit, you have seven more conflict resolution complaints from my team.”

Harish said, “Why are you dragging me into this? I’m here to facilitate peace. Don’t you ever try to understand why people take some decisions? I had my own reasons.”

Without his knowledge, he started taking things personally and justifying his actions.

Chetan started enjoying the show. He could never imagine Smita loving someone.

Meanwhile, Harish and Smita started arguing and shouting at each other.

This time, Chetan took the trouble of intervening them. He said, “Guys. We are here to resolve issues.”

Smita looked at him and said, “Shut up, you douche bag! Look at this Harish. Because of you, my subordinate is treating me this way.”

Saying those words, she stormed out of the room. She would come back as she did not take her laptop.

Chetan took advantage of her absence and said, “I’m sorry I’m stepping into your personal topic. But, she seems to be right for the first time. Her love story with you did not have a closure and that seems to have and effect on her life and her behavior since then. You might want to address that first.”

Harish felt bad. He dismissed the meeting and rescheduled it for the next day.

That evening, Harish’s aunt, Vasundhara called up Smita and told her the entire story that happened twelve years ago and how she threatened Harish to break up with her.

Harish reached the meeting room early as always. He wished his aunt’s call would bring in some change in Smita.

After a few minutes, Smita walked into the room. She walked directly towards Harish and said, “I heard the entire story from Vasundhara ma’am last night. I will forgive you. But, for that, you should marry me.”

Harish said, “I’m already married and I have a kid, too.”

Smita became silent and walked out of the meeting. She sent a mail saying she came to the meeting but had to leave as she was not feeling well. The next day, Harish came to know from his boss that Smita resigned from her job.

Harish wondered if she was alright. A few days later, Harish came to know that Smita tried to commit suicide but did not die. Harish got a message on his phone from Smita saying, “At least, have an affair with me.”

Harish replied, “I cannot cheat on my wife.”

Harish avoided thinking about her for some time, despite feeling guilty for everything that went wrong in her life.

After a couple of years, Harish came to know that Smita got married and was leading a happy life. He was surprised when he came to know that Smita married Chetan who was her subordinate and at least five years younger than her.