Rukmini was crossing the Main road in Gandhi bazar, Bengaluru, dodging cars, auto-rickshaws, bicycles and mopeds when she saw a vehicle coming at a snail’s pace over the right side of the road. The driver slammed the brakes but before it came to a grudging halt, the old Fiat’s right bumper brushed against Rukmini’s legs gently. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #Fiction #DrRaghavendraRao #Literature
A well-dressed young man of about 30 years, got out of the car. “Sorry madam. I hope I didn’t hurt you. If so, I can drive you to a nearby hospital.”
“The way you drive? Forget it. Thanks anyway, you must be a NRI from States. Otherwise, why will you drive on the right side?”
“Yes, madam. I’m from USA. I’m not used to this crazy driving here. I apologized. What else can I do?”
Rukmini crossed the road and entered Vidhyardhi Bhavan restaurant, sat at a corner table and ordered a butter dosa and coffee with chicory. Rukmini looked through the window but the dilapidated Fiat was still there. Other vehicle drivers and people who were watching the tamasha honked and shouted at him to move the car. Ignoring, the young man bent down and picked up something from the dusty road and came walking into the restaurant. He looked around, spotted Rukmini and sat across her table.
“I’m Krishna Murthy. They call me Dr. Murthy. You dropped your watch.” He gave it to her.
“Thanks. I’m Rukmini, B.E. They’re shouting obscenities outside. Please go, move the car.”
“Yes. Miss Rukmini, a simple request. If you’re free, please come for tea tomorrow evening. I’ll send the car for you with an experienced chauffer. Here is my address and cell number. Give me yours.”
Just then a traffic constable appeared at the entrance of the restaurant and hollered. “Who is the wise guy who parked the Tin car right in middle of the road? We’ll tow away this junk.”
Murthy ran out.
After the tea episode at his parents’ home, Murthy met Rukmini several times, and their love sprouted in movie theaters and Kamdhenu Restaurant, without a constable. It blossomed in Kabban Park and came to fruition in Hilton in the form of a wedding ceremony.
For a week, Murthy was in heaven, then he went back to his medical practice in Culver City. After six months, Rukmini joined her husband and soon got a job as a sound engineer at an electronics company. Krishna welcomed her with a huge rose bouquet on the occasion.
Dr. Murthy had his medical office on Venice Blvd. His secretary, Sathya Priya was a pretty blonde, with a winning smile. Her given name was Rose, but when she joined the Sri Hari Krishna Group, her guru renamed her Sathya Priya, meaning lover of truth. If anyone asked her why this name, she smiled and quoted Shakespeare, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…”
After a few days, Krishna introduced Rukmini to Sathya Priya. She escorted Rukmini around the office. There was a waiting room, a reception area, three examination rooms and a conference room, all spotlessly clean. All the rooms had Thomas Kinkade’s paintings in elegant frames.
“Who did all the beautification?”
“I did. Dr. Murthy leaves the checkbook with me and I buy whatever I like for the office. I pay the office expenses with his checks. He trusts me.”
Rukmini didn’t like what she heard. A secretary shouldn’t have that much of freedom. “Thank God, I have come at the nick of time to fix things,” Rukmini thought.
Two days later, Krishna came home late in the evening from the office.
“Tired? Let me warm up your dinner. Made your favorite rice pilaf and raita.”
“Don’t bother, you go ahead. A woman gave me a headache at the office.”
“Let me rub some Amritanjan to your forehead.”
“Please leave me alone.”
Rukmini ruminated about her wedding. It materialized fast before she knew Krishna well. She wondered what was happening at the office. She didn’t like Sathya Priya because she was too close to Krishna. What secrets was he hiding? Rukmini determined to find out.
Rukmini bought a tiny microphone and a transmitter from Radio Shack. She hid the device inside a Kondapalli dancing doll from India and placed it on Priya’s table.
The next evening, she parked her car in her husband’s office parking lot. The doll started transmitting.
“It’s getting late. Let us do it,” Krishna said.
“Yes,” said Priya.
“What are they planning?” Rukmini was worried. She heard sounds of some furniture being moved.
“Sathya, how many times I should apologize? I agree, I did a mistake.”
“You gave the flower to Rukmini, not for me. Why should I trust you anymore?”
“How did she know about the flower?” Rukmini thought.
“I promise, Sathya, we’ll fly on Garuda to Swarga and bring back the exotic Parijatha flowering plant just for you.”
“Oh, my God,” thought Rukmini. “So, they plan to fly on Garuda Airlines to an exotic place. I’ll stop this nonsense.”
She sprinted into the office, upset and hissing like a wounded cobra. The secretary’s chair was empty, which confirmed Rukmini’s suspicions of her husband’s adultery. She heard voices in the conference room, kicked the door open and entered.
Two teens sat in a corner sipping coke. In the middle, stood Sathya Priya with a few papers in her hand. Krishna stood near her holding a printed book.
Rukmini didn’t expect this scene. “Krishna, what’s going on here?”
“Honey, we’re rehearsing ‘Parijatha Apaharanam’ drama for the upcoming Diwali Celebration. This is about how God Krishna accompanied by his wife Sathya Bhama, brought the divine Parijatha plant to earth.”
Rukmini was speechless. After the rehearsal was over, while coming out, she grabbed the Kondapalli dancing doll, broke it and threw the pieces in the garbage.
“Honey, why did you do that?”
“Because she is a trouble maker.” Rukmini smiled. “Krishna, I love you. When you go to Swarga, bring me also a Parijatha plant. Okay?”