One day returning home early Sarala found her husband walking up and down the terrace of their penthouse.
Usually Karthik returns home late in the evening, and soon after coming home he would start writing down accounts in his notebook.
He has several notebooks.
At least a dozen for his business.
Then, a couple for the market.
One for the insurance policies.
One for those bonds he had bought.
After all how could one live without money?
Money is the only honey in the world.
And which fool doesn't know that?
Without the smell of it he couldn't even sleep.
Karthik being a very sensible father had put everything into proper places.
His earnings had increased by the grace of Lakshmi.
He had put things in vaults even.
Sarala was pretty pleased with her husband's this quality of finding money.
Karthik would also buy her gold chains, ear rings, and things of silver and bronze.
Sarala looked like a real queen.
Every one would admire Karthik's ways of decorating his wife.
The people at the neighbourhood apparently loved that too.
But, at the back they would call Karthik man fully wrapped into his wife's folds.
Sarala also knew that.
And she even enjoyed that.
Now seeing Karthik walking up and down the terrace with visible angst and anxiety, Sarala got worried.
'Ki hoyechey?'(what had happened?)
Karthik just looked at his wife and started his walk up and down again.
'Can't you see I am worried?'
His face looked flushed.
'Yes, that I could understand...but why?'
Karthik came near to Sarala.
He seemed to be very suspicious about something.
'Had put a bunch of bills under the mattress...before going out to office, at around six I remembered that I shouldn't have left that money under the mattress, after all the days are not so good, called you several times but your phone couldn't be connected, so rushed straight back home, leaving an important client meeting postponed, and you know what? Coming back home couldn't find that bunch of money! Who had taken them out? You?'
Karthik spoke with animated verbosity.
Sarala feared he might lose his breath.
She brought a glass of water for her husband hurriedly, knowing how much overtly worried he would become about money matters.
Then she said,
'You promised me to give a golden necklace, only this evening, while dusting the bed, I found the bunch of money and thought why not I give the money to the jewelers...so I went to the jewelers and asked them to make for me a necklace...and you would be very happy I think to know that the jewelers where I have placed the order, are actually giving unthinkable discounts in the labour charges...'
After hearing the story that the money was not actually lost but put into some real profitable investment, Karthik got relieved.
The client just then called Karthik informing him that they had found a better supplier, and so they were not doing any business with him.
This news saddened Karthik a lot.
The whole evening he almost starved.
When Sarala served him his dinner he remained completely unmindful.
Their children, seeing their father being very much lost in monetary thoughts did not disturb him.
A month after, Sarala thought of going to the jewelers and asking about that necklace.
But rummaging her purse she couldn't find the cash deposit memo.
She became worried.
She thought of informing her husband first about the missing bill, but then she restrained herself from doing that as she knew that could make Karthik, her husband even more worried.
The jewelers where Sarala placed the order of her necklace, was pretty new to the town.
Only last few months she saw that store doing business there.
It was at such a corner of the town that Sarala rarely went there for any works.
When Sarala arrived at the store, she found it locked, its shutters downed.
She was quite baffled.
A betel leaf and cigarette shop was there just beside that jewelry shop.
Sarala upon making an enquiry there realised that the shop owner of that jewelers had been arrested and his shop had been closed down by the police a few days back.
Sarala asked astounded.
'For police have found something in their store...I don't know more than that, didi...'
The betel leaf shop owner said.
Sarala was completely broken.
She thought how could she tell all these to her husband.
She never thought that bunch of money would lead to all those unwarranted troubles, completely unforeseen as they came.
She thought of going to the police station but she had no evidence with her, as that order memo she couldn't find.
Moreover, after that postponement of business with that client Karthik's business also was not going well...