Prakash divvied up the special tip encashment, netting thousands for the three waiters and Rao Anna and an equal portion for the slacker bum of a part time cook.
Five silver stars worth over 10,000 rupees each was a good pay day for them.
"An lonely old man" Prakash sighed pocketing his share and the collections for the day
He was feeling terrible for his daughter he was going to buy her something, there had never been a Rs.10,000 rupee tip, ever in his lifetime.
He wanted to fix the leg of Trisha's bed, or get her a new one, or buy new frigs for the restaurant, or buy one for the home?
He would fix her bed, or give this old ancestral one away and buy her a new modern one with a nice mattress
Give her the rest so she could buy herself something nice, he didnt understand her fashion at all
She wore colorful clothes but he had no idea where she bought them
He smiled locking up the steel safe with goddess Lakshmi's picture on it
"Lonely man will not hand daily tips like this Prakash" Rao Anna prodded him to think
"Well then he may not be lonely then, he might just have liked the one or two traditional
Konkani items we have on the back page of the menu" Prakash told him confidently
"Nah... I still dont think so" Rao Anna paused
"what are you trying to say? Prakash asked
"I think he was here for Trisha"
"You think Trisha married HIM?" Prakash was deeply hurt
"You have not met the boy she married... umm.. he was very handsome, tall, expensive clothes, nice hair. But he did not wear socks" Prakash said
"Is this man the father then?"
"Umm.. I dont know" Prakash looked confused
"It is bothering you too... Prakash, sit down" Rao Anna urged
Prakash sat reluctantly
"Face it... its hard... she has behaved recklessly, but some one in that family still likes her"
"the boy does not" Prakash choked up
"Yes they are very rich, and uncaring, but this man seems to like her"
"Lets call her and ask" Prakash tried to get up
Trisha walked out after locking everything up on the inside, it was the night after she had walked him to his car
"What are two best friends talking about?"
"Come sit" Prakash urged, patting the red vinyl seat by the front windows where diners waited for seats
"Lets go home, I am tired"
"Yes, you must be tired, you must have chopped 100 onions today" Rao anna patted her head
"Who is that old man?" Prakash asked softly
Trisha blushed gloriously
"Umm.. he is" she swallowed
Rao Anna noticed the self conscious look of pleasure flit across her face
"He is Ashwin's grandfather"
"I TOLD" Rao Anna was loud
She looked at both men accusingly
"You both are talking about me?"
"Only to unravel the mystery love" Rao Anna said
He patted his shirt pocket the folded 10 grand sat there
"I know there wont be a penny of this if it werent for you" he said
"It would have" she tried to be flippant
"Does he want you back?" Prakash asked stunned
She shook her head... "I dont know he is just coming everyday, not today... u know last 5 days?"
"He must want something" Rao Anna smiled
"Has the husband called?"
She shook her head, shrugged and shook her head "No...I dont know I... No... I dont know I dont use that number anymore" she said softly
"WHY?" Prakash was baffled
"Because I didnt want them to know"
"what happened there to make you so wary?" he was protective
"Aanu nothing, really, they were all nice... I didnt want to be connected to that place... or (him?)
"Your father says he looks like a prince" Rao Anna said
"Father always thinks anyone that dresses well is a prince" Trisha mocked
The trip got up and trudged home
"what is his name?" Prakash asked his daughter later that night dozing off on his easy chair
"Sharanbir Narang" she said softly picking up his empty milk glass from the floor, there was still some froth lining the
walls of the tumbler, popping slowly as she walked back to the back of the house where the kitchen was
"Husband?" he asked closing his eyes, his arms going over his head
"Ashwin" she said softly her heart thudding
She went inside washed the tumbler locked up, went into her room lay down