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Thursday, 2 April 2020

Feeling Better

Read the previous part here
The moment a flummoxed Vinay entered the house Sulabha realized something was amiss. His face had turned crimson and he was sweating profusely. He slumped into the chair kept near the shoe rack and stretched his legs.

'Vinay what happened? Are you fine?' She said as she gently held him by his shoulder. Sensing that his skin was warm, she placed the rear side of her hand near his throat. 'You are having fever. This morning mist is not good for health.' She said as she opened his shoe laces and escorted him to the bedroom. Vinay meekly followed her directions. He was at loss of words. His mind was still baffled. Was she really there, or was it his mind making up the things.

Sulabha went to the kitchen and brought some coffee and biscuits for him. Vinay dipped the biscuit into the coffee, but that face was still dangling in front of his eyes.
'What happened? Where are you lost?' Sulabha asked him.

He wanted to tell her about the woman in white that he had encountered. But he knew Sulabha never believed in such stuff. He knew she would make a joke out of it, the way she did of his interest in vastu and astrology. Hence, he some how controlled his desire to share that piece of information with Sulabha.

'Take this dose of paracetamol. I will call up Nisha and ask for her advice.' Sulabha said. Nisha was her sister who lived in Pune. She was a doctor and ran a clinic of her own. Vinay popped up the pill. Sulabha took the empty cup walked a little distance and then came back. 'I will keep this most prized possession of yours in the cupboard.' She said as she picked up the camera.

'Shit! Shit! Shit! I should have clicked her picture.' Vinay mentally said. He had the camera with him when he had encountered the mysterious woman. Yet, it did not occur to him that he should have clicked her picture.

Sulabha noticed that Vinay was staring point blank at the camera. She smiled and said, 'Don't worry. I am not going to rob it. I am just placing it safely. Sometimes I feel you love your gadgets more than me.'
Vinay didn't reply. He was lost in his own thoughts. Breaking his reverie Sulabha said, 'Come on Babu moshai, I am talking to you.'
'Gadgets come for a price and you are priceless.' Vinay replied. He had not made it up. The words simply spontaneously erupted from his mouth.

'Oye Hoye! I never knew that rise in body temperature had a corresponding effect on the romantic quotient of the person. Anyways, I am happy with the compliment, but now what you require the most is rest.' She said with her eyebrows raised. She gently covered him with the chequered quilt and said, 'I am going. If you require anything just summon me.' Saying this Sulabha disappeared out of the room. Vinay closed his eyes and relaxed. No matter how much he tried, he couldn't sleep. His head was buzzing with questions. Who was that woman? What was she doing in our house? What was it that she wanted to convey? Did she really exist or it was an illusion? Questions and only questions. The answers were no where in sight. He developed a mild headache. He took out the balm from the corner table and applied it on his forehead. The smell of menthol and the singeing sensation of the balm made him slip into his comfort zone. He had this habit of applying balm copiously on his forehead every night when he was about to sleep, which Sulabha didn't approve of. 'But I can't sleep without it.' Vinay would say. The balm had its soporic effect upon Vinay and he soon fell asleep.

When he woke up, it took him some time to compose himself. For a moment he was baffled as to where he was. Soon he came to his senses. He threw aside the blanket and walked out of the room. Sulabha was in the kitchen garden. She had tended it with great love and affection and mother earth was responding to her love. The lemon grass had grown tall. The ginger shoots were coming up. The curry leaves plant had gained vigour and the chilly plant was blossoming with flowers.

'When did you come? How are you feeling now?' Sulabha asked with concern.
'What time is it?' Vinay asked.
'Its five in the evening. Thought of waking you up for lunch. But you were deep asleep. So thought let it be. Will serve you lunch as and when you wake up. We no longer have any deadlines or office times to adhere to.'
'Can I get some tea?' Vinay said.
'Sure.' Sulabha said. She brought the pair of scissors from the kitchen and cut a stalk of the lemon grass.

She put the pan on the stove and continued. 'You must be fatigued Vinay. This relocation thing is not easy.' She took the thermometer from the drawer and checked his temperature. 'No fever. Do you want to go to doctor?' She asked.
'No. I am feeling fine now.'
'What did Nisha say?'
'She asked to give you ample fluids and rest. She said, let us wait up to tomorrow. We will see what is to be done if the fever doesn't subside by tomorrow.'
'I am feeling better now. No need of any further medication.'
'Good,' she said and placed the tea cups into the tray.
'Let us go into the porch.' He said.
Both of them sat on the wicker chairs placed in the porch and saw the setting sun.
'Sulabha, have made a right decision of purchasing this house.'
'What makes you ask that?'
'Nothing, a thought just cropped up in mind. We have lived all our life in concrete jungles and today we are in the real jungle.'
'Exactly, that is what I am saying. It is not in everyone's luck to retire early and live a life in the lap of nature, to breath unpolluted air and drink clean water. We are the luckiest persons on the earth and we have made the right choice.' She said and held him in a tight embrace. Unknown to them someone was watching them. 
Read the next part here
Read my short read My Spiritual Journey

1 comment:

  1. The smooth transition of the story kept me intrigued and the last line, makes me want to read the next part at the earliest.