“I must say, you haven’t forgotten the recipe for the best tea!” Sudha said.
“And I hope I never forget that!” Dr. Lal said with a laugh as he stood up, clearing the dishes.
They both laughed out loud together. The couple has been doing these laughter sessions quite often. Dr. Lal wanted to make sure that Sudha doesn’t get into depression due to her ill-health and thinking about their children. Sudha also wanted to keep her husband happy because he had lost his life savings- their children.
“Don’t stretch yourself to make a scrumptious dinner. Just make curry-rice.” Sudha said.
“I know you are jealous of my culinary skills.” Dr. Lal winked at her and said,” I know dear, just don’t worry.”
He switched on the TV for her favourite show “Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashmah” and went to the kitchen. Sudha loved watching the serial, even the repeat telecast of the old episodes.
Dr. Lal turned on his favourite songs on Carvaan and sang along. He started preparing for the dinner- Fish Curry and Dum Biryani. The smell of pungent spices filled in the house. He glanced at the wall clock. It was about time for Sudha’s medicines. So, he quickly prepared khichdi for lunch and went inside the room.
“And I thought that you forgot about the lunch because of a feisty supper!” Sudha said.
“Here, have this”, Dr. Lal said, handing over the lunch. “I am almost done with the not so feisty supper. Will just have some rest after this.” He joined Sudha in watching the comedy serial.
“What’s the name of the new neighbour?” Sudha asked.
“Raman. Nice young man.” Dr. Lal replied.
“Is he alone here? Is he married?” Sudha was inquisitive.
“No idea. You ask yourself when you meet him in the evening. Now, have these medicines and rest. I will just tidy up the kitchen and come.” Dr. Lal said and went away.
Sudha had dozed off by the time he came back. He went to draw the curtains together and started locating the remote control to switch off the TV. It was on the dressing table, in front of their family picture. Sudha had displayed all the photos of their children across the house. Every now and then, one could have a glimpse of the family, their children.
“It’s all in the photos only.” He said to himself. He didn’t like the idea of exhibiting the pictures of their children, but due to Sudha’s emotional blackmailing, he had to give in.
Later in the evening, Raman arrived with some packets of flowers and vegetable seeds, wrapped beautifully in a golden tissue fabric with a red satin bow.
“I thought it’s better to gift you this, rather than flowers. I am sure your garden will love them.” Raman greeted Dr. Lal.
“That’s a wonderful thought Raman, I am touched. Thanks! Come in.” Dr. Lal went inside to get Sudha on the wheelchair.
“Dr. Saab told me about you and your Geriatric Care research. I am amazed. In the world full of engineers and scientists, where technology is turned and twisted every now and then, you chose Geriatric Care Study. Why?” Sudha asked surprisingly.
Dr. Lal brought a glass of water for Raman. He took a long sip and replied, “Aunty, I chose this because of my grandma. It’s a long story.” Raman hesitated.
“We are in no hurry. Dr. Saab and I will love to hear.” Sudha said.