Doctor's Delight - Valentine Princess (Continued)
by Manohar Naidu
(Virginia, USA )
Back to page 1 of the story
"Doctor’s Delight" was prominently visible with glowing neon signage and nicely decorated with series lights all over. I entered right on time and saw Amit waiting for me in the lobby. After greeting, he ushered me to table No.13. There were 15 tables with numbered flag.Some were known and some unknown faces were visible in their best attire. Some were already seated in their respective tables and few were standing around. Starter service was already taking round. It appeared, we were the last to enter and took seat on table 13 .Hi… Hallo pleasantries were exchanged from tables only.
There arrived with signature pleasant smile on face, the couple Mr and Mrs Murthy greeting with folded hands to everybody. Mrs. Murthy was very gracefully dressed in her red Kanjivaram saree with matching jewellery. White Jasmine flowers were neatly pinned on her long hair. She was looking gorgeous. Mr.Murthy was putting on traditional attire - silk dhoti and kurta with stole.
After requesting everyone to take seat, he said “ I am very poor in oration. Nevertheless, on behalf of my Valentine Geetha and me, and on behalf of whole management staff of DOCTOR”S DELIGHT, my dear doctors, I welcome you all. I always have very much love and affection for doctors.”
He paused a little and then continued. “I am from Andhra Pradesh but now settled in this city. When I was about 4 years old, my parents - construction workers died under construction building collapse, and I was left orphaned. I was given shelter by one noble doctor and his family. Whatever I am today, is only because of him. Unfortunately, they are not alive. I have twin sons and their wives, all are doctors and settled in States. We always felt that doctors are God sent ANGELS on earth to relieve pain and suffering of sick and needy. They do great selfless service to humanity beyond any religion, caste and creed, young and old, rich and poor alike.” He paused again. “Some wise man has rightly said and we also believe that ‘The fragrance of flower moves in the direction of the wind, but act of goodness of a person spreads in all directions’.
Today we are feeling that we are enjoying the occasion amongst 30 of our own children.”
At once, a thunderous applause was given by one and all with standing ovation.
Mr.Murthy and Mrs. Murthy appeared to be overwhelmed with emotions. They indicated by hand that we should take our seat. He made further announcement. "Madam Geetha will
take out draw of 15 numbered chits. First five will qualify for final round in reverse order. The first 10 not called, shall be out. Winner shall be “VALENTINE PRINCESS” with fabulous gift pack. All shall get silver coin of 50 grams as token of the event. Have your dinner at your table and the lot will be taken out after 20 minutes. Thank you and Good Luck.” He concluded taking his chair.
Food was served by smart waiters in uniform with soft music. Intone murmur about likely princess of the event was taking round amongst the gathering with great excitement.. A big decorated cake with inscription “Valentine Princess” was put on table along with 15 gift coins and a gift box.
Mrs Leela Murthy came on mike with folded chits in the transparent glass jar.She started taking out chits for first five lucky table numbers.
One single duck….. No.2
Not so sweet ……...No.15
Unlucky for some….No 13
Downing Street…….No. 10
Hockey Stick……….No. 7
Remaining 10 numbers were out of the lot .
Excitement was mounting. I crossed my fingers clutching Amit’s shoulder closely. Mrs Murthy continued elimination calls with 5 chits taken out and folded back into jar.
Not so sweet No. 15…. out
Hockey Stick No. 7…...out
All alone ……..No. 2…..out and
Downing Street No. 10….out ……. No.13 is the winner.
And there was big applause.
“Dr. Pooja, the winner -The Valentine Princess’”
I had closed my eyes and ears when No. 2 was eliminated. When opened, the whole gathering went ecstatic, congratulating and looking at me. Amit shook my head with happiness. I was requested to come over to the platform. I greeted Murthy couple with the bouquet I had with me. Madam unpacked the gift pack, Wow !! A beautiful maroon Benarasi saree was put across my shoulder and all others were distributed with silver coins one by one. I was asked to cut the cake and pieces were sent to each table.
Dr. Amit on behalf of all invitees wished Mr. and Mrs Murthy a very long and prosperous life and thanked for the excellent hospitality and honour bestowed to doctors on this occasion and assured continued patronage with restaurant and to them.
Dr. Amit escorted me up to my car, whispered “Good night,” followed with a gentle kiss on my cheek, smiled and said “My dear, its “Doctor's Delight Valentine Princess’, closed the car door softly and left. This shall be most memorable day of my life which I shall not forget even if I am affected by Senile Dementia or Alzheimer. The End