4. Customer Appreciation


In my previous story, Shakti decides to rethink her next move after a devastating, yet refreshing, loss of a client. She has a change of heart and rethinks the way that she treats her business and her intern. Bala has a great idea to bring in a wholesome client for Shakti: Draupadi, and in turn, Draupadi's addicted-to-gambling husband. Before Shakti can get to know the couple, Draupadi's husband, Yudhishthira, wreaks havoc on his life, his wife's life, and their entire kingdom. Will Shakti be able to fix what Yudhishthira tarnished, or will the stress of her PR business finally get to her?

In addition to Yudhishthira's storyline, to wrap our time up with Shakti, Bala, and Neerav, we will be visited by our past clients in subtle, or not-so-subtle ways. Here's a recap of what has happened at +image, in case you missed it!

+ Rama and Sita visited the PR firm and introduced us to Shakti, Neerav and Bala.

+ King Shantanu and Ganga visited because Ganga kept throwing the couple's babies out to the river. We were left with this story at a cliffhanger - right after Shakti came up with a plan to save the day.

+ Kansa Called Shakti to be put on a waiting list for an image repair consultation since he spent most of his life trying to kill Krishna. This story ended with his death, as Krishna finally ended his evil life.


Customer appreciation:

"Shakti gave me the day off," Neerav thought to himself as he walked into his home. "This is great news! Now I can catch up on my sleep..."


His phone rang.


"Bad news, intern!" Bala's voice was shaky and abrupt. "We've got a long day ahead of us. I know Shakti just let you off for the day, but I bet it would make a really great impression on her if you came back. I know you'll be needing a job soon...."

"I'm coming!" Neerav didn't hesitate. "What could have possibly gone wrong..." he wondered.


"Dear Shakti," King Shantanu wrote on a piece of paper.

"Okay, Bhishma," Shantanu said to his young son. "Tell me what you would like to say to Shakti for helping your mother and me."

"Thank you for helping Mom and Dad..." Bhishma started reciting his prepared thank-you speech. Shantanu was excited to finally be able to follow up with his PR consultant who gave him the opportunity to have such a healthy, strapping son. He hoped that she would have time to read his appreciation.

"Well, if she doesn't have the time, then surely that intern will at least relay the message..." he thought.


"I'm back!" Neerav said as he walked in through the front doors of the firm. "What can I do? How can I help?"

"Neerav!" Shakti shouted with appreciation. "I'm so glad you're here. I need you to help Bala with research. Yudhishthira has a gambling problem, and he just made a big mess. I need to know how to remedy such an addiction."

Neerav hurried into the library to assist Bala. Meanwhile, a shining golden envelope in Shakti's mailbox caught her eye. She opened it to find a check for a ridiculously large amount of money. It appeared to be from Krishna. A handwritten note attached to the check read: For your troubles with Kansa. I hope this will help your firm after losing such a large client. Best wishes.

Shakti felt her heart grow warmer and sighed a breath of relief. She knew she had work to do with Yudhishthira, but this felt like a good sign....

"Mind if I interrupt?" Bala powerfully strutted into Shakti's office.

"Not at all!" Shakti replied cheerfully.

"Wait-" Bala noticed Shakti's attitude. "What's gotten into you?"

"A very generous check from Krishna," Shakti said with relief. "The firm is going to make it through this."

"That's great news, because after what I'm about to tell you, you're going to want to start paying Neerav!" Bala told Shakti of a genius plan that the intern thought of in order to improve Draupadi's situation. Shakti was floored with excitement, so Bala called Draupadi immediately.

"Our intern's father is a lawyer," Bala said to Draupadi. "He will work pro bono* for you as long as we hire the intern on to staff, which we are definitely doing. You see... Yudhishthira couldn't have possibly gambled you away after he gambled himself away! You were not his to gamble away!"

"That's great for me..." Draupadi said. "But what about Yudhishthira? He's in trouble himself..."

"It all depends on the judge, the jury, and the trial, but if we can get an addiction specialist to testify on his behalf, then Yudhishthira will be sentenced to rehab which is perfect for his image!" Bala reassured her friend. "It will look really great that he's trying to better himself for his people."

Draupadi agreed and thanked Bala for all of their work. As Shakti shook Neerav's hand and congratulated him on his new hired position as Team Assistant, a man walked in and stood in the shadows.

"Good news travels fast," the man said.

"Rama?" Shakti squinted to make out who the visitor was.

"Yes, it's me." Rama walked into the light. "I've heard all about your recent struggles and now, very recent success with Yudhishthira. I came to congratulate you with an award of excellence. In addition, I'd like to proclaim a meaning for your name."

"An award of excellence and a meaning for my name..." Shakti thought. "This is one of the biggest honors a PR practitioner can receive." She shook her head in surprise at the honor.

"Shakti..." Rama looked at her. "From now on, your name will mean power. Congratulations on such a fantastic firm." Rama handed her a plaque and a generous check.

"Power..." she thought. "Well, people of India, what else can I do for you? Bring it on."

the end.

*pro bono - free of charge.


IMAGE: Bhishma, Ganga and Shantanu from Wikiwand.

Title: The Mahabharata, Director: Peter Brook, Scriptwriters:, Jean-Claude Carriere and Peter Brook, Year: 1989

Public Domain Mahabharata

Narayan’s Ramayana, Kindle Edition.