So AuntyM and uncle R took me to the hospital and that’s where my reconnecting started.The hospital is where I went for the first 9 years of my life.This was the company hospital and if I am not wrong,the only hospital in LKE.As we drove into the hospital premises,i remembered walking there,holding my mom’s hand…seeing the doctor on one end of a semicircle and then walking upto the other end to the compounder’s room to get the medicine and meethi goli(peppermint).I don’t even remember there being any medical stores.Now,ofcourse the doctor’s office is right next to the compounder’s room.and next to it is the emergency ward.Which is where I was rushed too.
A bed was waiting for me..I got some oxygen,some heavy dose of nebuliser followed by a shot..and an hour later I was good to go!But Aadi got soo scared seeing me on the bed,like that..she kept touching me..asking me if I was OK,refusing to go outside.
And surprise ,surprise-the nurse turned out to be my class-mate’s brother.
Once the doctor said,OK,we left..but not to go home,but to show Aadi around.Aunty M agreed,on the condition that I will not get out of the car.I pomised and off we went to see- the house I grew up in,the colony,the gymkhana,the old school..everything. And I felt,everything looked so different.Our old house,which was sooooo big in my memories,suddenly looked soo small and the distance from our house to gymkhana which felt like a trek,now felt like a short walk!I think,everything is relative!
We went back home and word had spread that dad is in town..and old acquaintances had come visiting.Everyone was offered tea and invited to stay for dinner,which they declined,inviting us to their place instead.After everyone left,sis and I set up a small table on the terrace and had a lovely dinner,under the moonlit sky…Aaah bliss.
Next day,we went to visit the family temple and returned home with local treats.Then,we went out to the shops and said hello to the shopkeepers that we knew.One of them,had the only stationery shop,when we were kids.He was so touched that we remembered him.He called his neighbours,new shopkeepers to tell them,how we remembered him..I was almost in tears,looking at his excitement.
As we were walking back,thin man in late 50’s stopped me and said,”Namaste..Kaise ho?Mujhe toh pehchana nahi hoga?”[Hell.how are you?Surely,you don’t recognise me] I said,no..and he said,”Baby,I used to stitch your school uniforms..I am Bombay Tailor!” OMG!! I felt so happy,that he stopped me on the way.He saw Aadi and his eyes teared up..saying ki you were a baby when we first saw you and now you have a little girl..
This and so many other small gestures,made me soo happy and I was glad,that we made that trip.
One particular incident that touched me most was- There is an old lady,who runs a tea-stall,next to our house.Part of the house has been converted and rented out to a bank.So,she does alright business.A cup of tea is still Re.1,there. She had seen my dad and uncles as little boys.She was so happy to see us and when we touched her feet,she was in 7th heaven.The day that we were leaving,she came and gave us shagun(blessings in the form of money)- Rs.11 each for sis and me and Rs.10 for Aadi.I still have Aadi’s Rs.10 with me.Mine was in my sister’s purse,so its not with me.But I was so touched that she had it in her heart to give..when they can barely make ends meet. Everytime I think of her,my eyes well up.
P.S.-if you are still reading,thank you.I tried to edit and make it shorter..but this is the best that I could do!