The Lion of our colony was a DEAR at heart.
Our colony is perceptibly small and we are all, at least on nodding acquaintance with each other. Mr.Senthil our neighbour is young, energetic and a really large hearted person, jumping forward to set right any trouble in our neighborhood. He is also an adventure loving man going on treks and joining organisations that help save the environment.
We called him the Singam or the Lion of our colony.
Recently I met his wife Amritha, at a get-together and the story she narrated to us, proved that the Lion of our colony was actually a romantic at heart.
In her own words:
A few years ago, when my daughter was about 5 years old, Senthil said that we should go to Pondy to celebrate my birthday. I agreed and we packed up a day earlier and left home in the evening as Pondy was just a few hours drive away.
But he seemed to be driving through a different road, almost taking the circuitous route. When I questioned him, he said that the highway we usually drive down was under repair.
After some time I dozed off and on awakening, I realized that we had crossed Vellore which was way beyond Pondy. When questioned, Senthil said that he had decided to go to Mysore as there was some trouble going on in Pondy at that moment and they were closing down tourist spots.
I was actually happy about the change of plans as my mother lived in Mysore and I would be celebrating my birthday with her after a long time.
We drove through the night and reached my mom’s house at one am the next day. I thought we were going to give my mom a nice surprise.
But it was I, who got a very big surprise.
The house was all aglow, lit with many lights and when the front door opened, I saw that the hall was filled with BALLOONS.
My mother and my sister who worked in Chennai but had come to Mysore at the bidding of my husband, were waiting for me with a big cake and lots of lighted candles, singing the birthday song.
What a wonderful turn of events. I can never forget that moment.
My kid daughter laughing in glee, my mother’s eyes moist with tears, my sister urging me to blow the candles and make a wish and my husband excited beyond words that he had managed to pull this off.
My husband had surreptitiously made these arrangements with my mom and sister and did not breathe a word of it to me. Even my daughter, hardly five years old was in the know and had managed to keep the secret all through the drive. The naughty one!!
The day’s surprises did not end there.
That evening Senthil said that we were going as a family to Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel for dinner. Though excited about dining at the opulent hotel, I was not prepared for what awaited me there.
My dear husband had prepared another majestic surprise for me.
As soon as our car reached the hotel’s portals, trumpets sounded in a royal salute to announce my arrival. Clashing of cymbals and bells accompanied my every step forward like the royal welcome accorded only to dignitaries visiting the palace.
At the entrance pretty maidens greeted me with the traditional Aarati and adorned my forehead with Kumkum. Rose petals were showered on me from above as I glided inside blushing like a bride.
We were carried upwards in the Royal lift, usually used only by kings and queens . We were taken to the first floor balcony to a seating area lit with candles. There, imposing men in turbans and palace uniform, waited on us and served us some delicious gourmet delights. From the balcony we had a panoramic view of Mysore Palace’s breath-taking beauty, aglow with the night’s lights.
I had the most wonderful birthday dinner ever.
I later found out that my husband had selected this expensive arrangement from the hotel’s Birthday Celebration Package and had paid an astronomical sum for it.
I was treated like a Royal Queen at dinner, by the hotel staff.
But more than all the fanfare of the day, looking at my excited and happy husband, silhouetted against the dancing candle lights, my heart was filled with contentment.
I got this assurance deep inside me, that I would always remain the QUEEN OF HIS HEART.
For a life time…and for EVER.
Story By Amritha. Written By Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo.
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