Urban, Sophisticated. Sequel to NRI:Now, Returned to India

Synopsis – Urban, Sophisticated

Amol joins an upmarket retail store chain following a chance meeting. He and M reluctantly move to Gurgaon, where Amol starts his new job as a merchandiser for the kidswear section. For two quarters in a row, Amol’s forecasts go horribly wrong: girls’ clothes are completely sold out in the cities, whereas the stores in smaller towns run out of clothing for boys. Amol has one last chance to get things right. One day, he makes a discovery that not only provides the solution to his problem, but also changes his life forever. Around the same time, M announces that their first child is on its way. While Amol is working really hard to prove himself at work, he and M wonder: are they Urban, Sophisticated?

Excerpt

” I looked up on Facebook last night- quite a few of our friends have had kids recently,” I said to M the next morning. As always, she wasn’t interested in what I had to say.

I persisted,”Curiously enough, most of them have had baby girls.”

“Whatever,” M replied. Her moodswings were getting more and more difficult to handle. “If it helps your case, let me tell you that the maid is on leave for the next week. Her sister delivered a son. She was very happy,” M replied nonchalantly. I put my phone away and paid attention to
what she had to say.

“As far as your theory is concerned, look at the statistics – there are more boys than girls in India. In fact, other than Gurgaon, the state of Haryana has the worst sex ratio in India. We were talking about this at work yesterday. One report said that in some parts, there are only 800 women for every 1000 men. This could be the story in the rest of the country in the years to come.Rural India will have millions of single men.”

“Interesting. On the other hand, India is urbanizing, with more than half the population expected to live in cities,” I remarked.

“Yes, Smita even commented that the cities will have more more girls than boys.”

“Can you repeat that?” I said while taking the last sip from the coffee cup. I had to leave for work, but our conversation was beginning to interest me.

“As usual, you don’t listen to what I have to say. Never mind, I need to get ready, have a job to go to,” M replied angrily.

*
During the lunch break, I recalled her words …”the cities will have more girls than boys.” On a piece of paper, I started noting down names of my friends and family members who had young children. the list soon reached 50 people. 30 of these lived in the cities, while 20 of them belonged to the smaller towns. Out of the 72 children that these 50 couples had, 45 were girls.

“This is interesting,” I thought to myself, “let me ask folks at work what they think.”

I asked Meet, the young intern, to ask everyone in the office to name 5 persons in their network who had children in the past two years, alongwith where they lived, and the gender of the child. Meet was confused, but he did get me the information I was looking for in a couple of hours. I spent the rest of the afternoon poring over the data, and did not realize when the clock struck 6 PM. It was time to go home.

“I need to tell this to M,” I said to myself, and hoped that the traffic will not be too bad. I had only ten minutes to reach her office and pick her up.