Thursday, 10 April 2014
A to Z Series Post # 9 - India Sojourn.....
“ Be with your Dadima as long as she needs you. All the best for her surgery,” was what Mahita told me when I informed her about my trip.
I was going to miss being with her. Will she miss me ? I comforted myself that she would, though I knew she wasn’t the mushy kind of a person.
Dadima was more than happy to see us both. I was her favourite grandson, and my presence seemed to strengthen her.
Kamini, being a nurse herself ,assisted with Dadima’s treatment and caretaking perfectly.
Whatever our differences were, we took care not to let them reflect on our behaviour.
Dadima’s surgery went off fine, but she needed to be hospitalized for a week after that. Physiotherapy was also recommended, so Kamini took over the responsibility of being with her day and night, nursing her, feeding her, administering medicines on time, and helping her cope with the difficulties associated with the surgery. All our relatives returned to their places, because they thought Kamini was enough to take care of Dadima.
I would reach the hospital in the mornings, and Kamini would go home to freshen up and for a quick nap, and to cook. She would come to the hospital in the evening, to relieve me.
Except for the very essential matters, and for those things connected to Dadima, we hardly spoke anything to each other. I thought a lot about Mahita, her doe eyes, and my feelings for her. I felt I was missing her so much. I’d spoken to my office after the surgery, and got my leave extended by 20 days, so that I could spend more time with Dadima.
Perhaps, I could confess to Dadima , that I wasn’t happy in my married life. Even though I’d asked Kamini to keep it to herself, somehow I felt stifled.
On the other hand, Kamini was always happy, cheerful, and no one would gather anything was wrong between us.
Or so I thought.
One day, I was sitting next to Dadima, reading a book.
“ Vinu Beta, I want to know something,” I looked up from the book to see Dadima awake.
“ Oh, you woke up ? Why didn’t you call me earlier ? Tell me, you want something ? Shall I call the doctor?”, I asked.
“ No, no need . I just woke up. You were busy reading na,” she said, and tried to get up. I held her arms and made her sit up, propping a pillow behind her.
“ Boliye, what were you saying ? ”, I asked.
“ I was wondering, Beta. You don’t seem happy at all. I don’t feel you’re happy with life in general. I’ve never seen you smile much with Kamini this time. Kya hua ? Aren’t you happy?”, she asked.
I took a minute to answer her.
“ Why , Dadima ? Who told you I’m not happy ? Did she tell you that?”.
“ Look here , Beta, no one has to tell me anything. I’ve lived a long life, experienced much. I can see dissatisfaction on your face. I feel I can see some sort of sadness in her eyes as well. Don’t try to hide it, tell me , is there any problem?,” she looked intently at me.
“ No Dadima. Nothing like that. You might’ve just felt it, that’s all. We’re fine,” I tried to wriggle out of the question.
Dadima knew well enough that if I wanted to say something, I would say. She didn’t press me any further, but said, “ If there’s no problem, I’m happy, Beta. But if there’s something unhappy, let me remind you, things are not always what they seem to be. You’ll never know what has blessed you, Sochna…..yaad rakhna.”
I nodded my head, and she asked me to play some music for her.
Twenty days were over too soon, and when I bid Goodbye to Dadima, she kissed me on my forehead as usual. Her eyes were unusually moist.
Kamini didn’t return with me. She had another 40 days of leave, and Dadima was happy to have her for company.
Dadima’s voice echoed in my ears, as I boarded my return flight.
Things are not always what they seem to be. You’ll never know what has blessed you.
May be, Dadima. But I know I’m blessed with a friend called Mahita, I thought.
Who, I hoped, would soon accept my love .
To be contd....