Ravi Valluri

Drama Tragedy


Ravi Valluri

Drama Tragedy

White Coat - The Holy Grail

White Coat - The Holy Grail

5 mins

Shalini hailed from a bijou town. She was a prepossessing girl, deeply endowed with astonishing singing and dancing skills. And she dreamt to be a terpsichorean par excellence. At a tender age she grabbed eyeballs and was the cynosure of all the Kutcheries for her remarkable performances.

Her father Dr Vaman Murthy was the Mayor of the town and a respected gentleman. Vaman Murthy was married to a charming and rich lady named Annapurna Devi from Tannuku. The parents doted over their daughter Shalini.

The couple was blessed with two other children. The first was a girl named Mahalakshmi Devi. Vasu a striping youngster followed Mahalakshmi Devi.

All three children were educated in an estimable school in Rajahmundry. The Mayor; Dr Vaman Murthy was singular in his mission that Vasu took to sciences and blossom into a doctor and serve the society.

The doctor turned Mayor was well known for his renowned medical skills. Once both East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh were gripped by a devastating plague, the amiable doctor travelled extensively across the two districts unmindful of his personal safety to save precious lives.

He was also credited for developing a vaccine within a very short period which acted as a magic potion to save the denizens of the two districts.

Dr Vaman Murthy was feted by the governments of Andhra Pradesh and the central  government for discovering a cure for the plague. " Dr Garu has Mandrake like magic which has proved to be a succour for millions of lives," read the citation when he was decorated with a prestigious medal.

However, human life is brimful of vicissitudes and full of peaks and valleys. It is never hunky dory all the time and life is full of various shades and colours.

 Dr Vaman Murthy was a twice-born and followed all the Brahmanical traditions to the core. He did his Sandhya Vandanam twice a day, recited Gayatri Mantra , 1000 times a day, maintained fast on every Ekadashi, performed Rudra Puja while his wife maintained all the fasts with rigour and performed Pujas on Navatri and Shiva Ratri.

Both husband and wife unfailingly followed these practices and earned widespread acclaim. The couple was extremely pious and religious. Meanwhile,  Dr Vamana Murthy got Vasu admitted at his alma mater in Madras ( now Chennai) in the prestigious Madras Medical College.

However Vasu's heart was never in medicine. He wanted interested in studying philosophy and history. He spared scarce time to pursue medical education. Very soon he became rebellious and took to alcohol and drugs.

The stripling youngster cursed his father and was known to keep the company of students and friends of loose morals and uncharitable character.

Vasu's reputation was gravely tarnished which severely impacted the image of his God fearing family and father.

Mahalakshmi Devi's life too took a dramatic turn when her parents became devotees of a spiritual master named Swami Nityananda. The Swami was known to produce sacred ash from thin air, portentous watches from nowhere, walk on fire especially during Navaratri and Shivaratri Pujas.

But essentially he was tantric, with some of his Chakras developed and turned out to be a mountebank. 

 Mahalakshmi Devi was ensnared by the hypnotic eyes of the Swami and fell to his guile. In the name of serving the Lord, she fell to the trickster. The Swami impregnated the eldest daughter of the Mayor. Mahalakshmi Devi could not face the wrath of parents or the world and snuffed out her life.

Meanwhile, Vasu with excessive dosage of alcohol and drugs  became a mental wreck, through his habits and vices. He met with several accidents and ironically was admitted for treatment to the very same medical college where he was enrolled to pursue his education. Such was the travesty of Murthy family.

Vamana Murthy and Annapurna Devi who were once iconic and talismanic personalities of the bijou town of Rajamundhry in East Godavari district became pariahs.

The high priest of the town was today scorned upon on account of the misdemeanours of his eldest two children. The only girl who remained unscathed was Shalini.

The patriarch of the family decided that Shalini should not stay in the town as he felt people had cast a baleful eye on the family. So the couple handed the prepossessing girl to Annapurna Devi’s brother and on a tempestuous night travelled by a boat on the Godavari River and jumped into the violent river.

Next morning their bloated bodies of the amiable doctor and the former Mayor and his wife were found near the ghats of Godavari River.

Vasu who had developed cirrhosis of liver went into coma the previous night, never to gain consciousness. He too joined his parents and elder sister in the empyrean.

The only surviving member of the family was absolutely distraught.

She along with her uncle performed the last rites of her parents and brother.

Shalini was a robust girl and was not encompassed by these tenebrous events of her life.

She gave up the only passion of her life - that is dancing and singing and went on to study medicine from Madras Medical  College to emerge as a successful doctor.

There were four deaths in her family which included that of competent doctor and a fledgeling one.

But that did not deter her from donning the doctor's coat and the stethoscope and become a leading doctor to save several thousands of lives. She never married, but just served the society smilingly. The White Coat became the Holy Grail of her life.

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