‘First Aid Box. Check. Knife. Check. Spectacle Case. Check.’
No, I, Dr.Manoj, was NOT on the rounds for a patient check-up.
I was actually preparing for the very first Valentine’s Day date in my life!
Ever since I had seen Priya, I was less of a doctor & more of a patient…
Seeing my lovestruck condition, my part-time house-help, Raju, had offered help.
We were watching the 1971 Hindi movie, Guddi, when the plan was made.
In the movie, the heroine, Guddi, is a huge fan of film-star Dharmendra & wants her life-partner to be like him. To prove that the eligible young man they have choosen for her, is no less than a Hero, disguised well-wishers enact the role of attackers. Oblivious to the plans, the movie’s hero proves that he is indeed brave & demonstrates his fight skills, thereby stealing Guddi heart!
Raju suggested that he would disguise himself and attack Priya, while I can enter the scene as her Knight-in-Shining-Armor & save the damsel-in-distress! Master-plan!
Though I was her next-door neighbour, I wondered if Priya even knew of my existence…
As I worked pretty late in the night, when the night air was still, I often heard Priya’s voice loud & clear enough, as though she were talking to me… I found myself feeling blessed & full of bliss! If Priya’s voice could do this from afar, just imagine what effect Priya herself would have on me!
I had overheard her telephonic discussion with her friend. As the theme of the Valentine’s Day bash organized by a popular FM radio Channel was Red, they would be wearing Red Sarees to the City Mall, where there would be many events!
On Valentine’s Day, I handed over the knife & spectacle case to Raju. It was a trick-knife that had no utility or sharp edge like a knife; its purpose was just to scare & the over-sized spectacles were for his disguise.
I waited for Priya to start for the Mall. It was evening 7 PM when she finally came dressed, looking resplendant in a red Chiffon Saree & pretty shiny jewellery. She looked like a new bride…
She started walking towards the Mall, that is about 15 minutes walk away from our homes.
I started following her to the Mall. Don’t know why I was carrying the First Aid Box though… maybe out of habit! Or maybe I needed something to cling on as my survival… Maybe I needed First Aid myself if Priya didn’t accept me soon…
We had just walked some distance when a man, who had his face covered, appeared out of nowhere in front of Priya. He flashed his knife and asked Priya her jewellery. When Priya refused, the man tried to forcibly snatch. I jumped in right there & swung my First Aid Box. But, not before the man had managed to hurt my right arm with his knife. From the deep gnash, I found my blood gushing out.
I realized that the knife was real & not the trick-knife…
This man was NOT Manoj.
Also, this man was wearing a different pair of spectacles than the one I had given to Manoj…
I used two of my signature self-defence moves that was enough for the scoundrel to run away.
“Are you okay, Dr.Manoj?” Priya asked me, while taking my hand in hers. “Oh! This is a deep-cut. It must be hurting…”
My name sounded so magical from her lips!
“Oh! She knows my name! And now she also has my hand in her’s!”
I rejoiced, forgetting the bloody mess my hand was in!
I joked, “Now don’t do anything like a Hindi movie heroine by tearing up a piece of your Saree to put on my wound! I have the First Aid Box here!”
Priya lost no time in gently applying the antiseptic and then a bandage on my wound as I stared intently at her pretty face that looked even more prettier from near.
I could do anything to make the moments of togetherness last…
When she had completed, she asked me, “Is there anything else you want?”
Without losing a moment I said, “Your hand for this lifetime & beyond… Will you be my Valentine forever?”
Priya had tears in her eyes as she nodded.
Time to feel blessed & full of bliss!