Singh family, is considered a true blue blood in this town. Earlier times, they used to own a lot of land and had a haveli. Locals would address them as Raja saheb. In olden days, Royal family would throw party at their pleasure palace outside the town during important festivals like holi, diwali and new year. All these government servants like DIG police, district collector, subdivisional magistrate and politicians would show up and take a bow before the Raja.
Times have changed as has fortune. Today, these sarkari babus still come when invited, sometime uninvited, but they land up at their home. Traditions have to be maintained. Today, she is hosting a party in the honour of new Director of Police Operations O P Khurana.
This Director, if people are to be believed is a stickler for rules. Though she has seen so many like him Money talks in the end. “Good relation with these people is important,” thought Mrs. Singh, “so much work needs be done to make this town livable.”
“Sir, you have an invite at the place of local zamindar,” personal secretary of Director O P Khurana informed him, “there will be other people like district collector, district magistrate, local member of legislative assembly.”
“Why are they inviting me,” said Khurana, visibly uncomfortable, “what do they want in return?”
“This is a practice, sir,” answered his assistant, “whenever someone important is transferred in this district, they are felicitated by royal family of Ranipura; just to keep the wheel moving.”
Khurana has been transferred after being promoted as Director of Police operations in the district. A man who remained a recluse for so long, social get together are a matter of great discomfort. He was not sure what to expect and how to behave.
“Ramu, all set?”
Mrs. Singh, dressed in an expensive saree, bedecked with jewellery, sorounded by an expensive fragrance, appeared in the living room. She is used to her afternoon siesta. Today, she had to cut her nap short to get ready for her guests. She cannot entertain important people looking like a maid!
“Yes madam ji! coffee on the table; stocked cooler. Bar in the living room. Cook working on hot snacks.”
The big wall clock sounded six in the evening. After pawning most valuables, this wall clock is the last remaining symbol of bygone times. Raja saheb had got it designed by a Swiss Engineer. Those were the days,
“Madam, may I have a break?” Ramu asked, “I have not eaten since morning.”
Mrs. Singh was brought back to the present from her travel down the memory trail, “Now? Guests are about to arrive! One day cannot eat late? Such a shirker!”
This post is written as part of #BlogchatterA2Z Blogging Challenge.
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