An Unexpected Tribute

An Unexpected Tribute

The news of Demonetisation came as a bolt from the blue for Sarita. Adding to her predicament, the caterers cancelled their booking. Her only daughter’s wedding was in two weeks. The groom, a Florida based professor, would be in India for only two weeks for the wedding. 

“What shall we do now?” Said a visibly panicked Sarita. Amit, her husband, a carefree person, tried to pacify her, “Don’t worry, we will definitely find a way out”.

Sarita knew she will have to make the alternate arrangements herself. As a disciplined ex-school Principal she had always taken care of everything at school as well as at home with equal responsibility.

The next morning she opened the classified column of the newspaper and highlighted all the catering services which seemed worthwhile.

After getting rejected by six services she went on to dial the 7th number, with diminishing hopes. 

“Hello! Is this Golden Spoon caterers?”

“Yes Ma’am. Who am I speaking to?” Asked a polite voice on the other side.

“I am Mrs Sarita Mehta. I want to book your services for my daughter’s wedding scheduled on 20th November.”

The voice on the other side replied after a moment’s pause, “Ma’am…… actually we are short of staffs today to look into our bookings, as you know everyone is busy collecting demonetised notes. It would be good if you come personally to our office. We can have a conversation.”

Sarita readily agreed to meet at the given time which was two days later. 

Their car halted in front of a double-storeyed bungalow. The security guard invited Amit and her inside with unusual hospitality. They were requested to wait for a few minutes in the plush office at the front portion of the ground floor. A tall and slim man, in his thirties appeared from his cabin and welcomed them inside.

Sarita frowned and travelled down the memory lane, trying to recollect this familiar face.

“Please be comfortable. It was me on the phone that day. My name is Abhijeet Bhatia. I have checked my bookings and I think we can accommodate yours on that day.”

On hearing his name a thousand questions stormed Sarita’s mind. They returned home after discussing all the terms of booking, which were mostly in her favour.

The wedding day arrived and almost everything went smoothly. Abhijeet looked into everything personally.

“I’m so grateful to you. And I want to apologize for that day….”

“You remember me ma’am?” Abhijeet interrupted Sarita.

“How can I forget the most notorious student of my school? I still remember the day, when your parents begged in front of me. I was too rigid with my rules….” Sarita confessed.

“Please don’t be sorry ma’am. If it was not for my rustication after two successive failures in 11th standard I wouldn’t have realized my dream. Whatever I’ve achieved today it’s because of the discipline taught by you.”

Sarita’s eyes moistened in respect. “Grades doesn’t make a human being after all!” She realized.


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