Ginger Tea7 mins 222 7 mins 222
Mr. Madhav, a nearly 70-year-old retired banker, and a widower returned home early evening with his favorite vegetables and ginger to be cooked for dinner and for his evening tea. The situation at home was again agitated due to the growing tension between his son Kalyan and daughter in law Sony. The underlying situation he knew was major because of Kalyan's workaholic nature and disinterest in partaking household activities and of Sony's temperament. Understanding the situation, upon entering the house, he promptly went to the kitchen and placed the vegetables in the fridge, only realizing his favorite curry and ginger tea is for some other time and the dinner rested at the mercy of the couple's reconciliation or swiggy.
Nevertheless, without uttering a word to either of them, he sat in front of the television, realizing from the side view of his eyes that both his son and daughter-in-law awaited his interference. He had gotten used to this case within a short span of time and realized remaining agnostic to the situation is the best solution for peace.
Sony while not abusive to the old man, said acrimoniously - " Papa, you seem to have gotten used to your lonely life with no friends or companionship, yet you seem to enjoy the drama that we both have and not help it. Who else do you think you have apart from us?"
Mr. Madhav, to change the tone and situation replied assuredly - " After your mother-in-law passed away, my world has been my children, you and Kalyan are an integral part of me, why would I take happiness out of your fights?" To change the tensed setting Mr. Madhav added further with a tone of zest- " Maybe, we should have ginger tea along with your favorite pethas"
Upon hearing this Sony infuriated - " You and your tea, why don't you have it with someone else" and rushed into her room. Kalyan too got up giving his father an irked look.
Mr. Madhav woke up early the next day to walk around the park. While he was brisk walking, he passed by another old gentleman, who was trying to gather his breath and was struggling. He promptly walked up to him realizing it may be an asthma condition and offered him water and also helped him sit and fetch his inhaler. It took some time for the old gentleman to become normal while Mr. Madhav sat beside him watching him closely. When he felt normal, he thanked Mr. Madhav multiple times and introduced himself as Mr. Ram who had come into the society only a few weeks back and was living with his daughter, who was an income tax officer. He, himself was an ex-income tax officer. The two had a long conversation over their usual lives, their origins and finally upon sharing their mobile numbers and apartment details took leave, only planning to meet the next morning, the same time at the park.
The rest of the day passed by for Mr. Madhav uneventfully, but the rendezvous with Mr. Ram gave him unusual contentment.
The next morning, both Mr. Ram and Mr. Madhav met at the park, did some usual brisk walk and breathing exercises which Mr. Ram taught Mr. Madhav. They ended their work out with a cup of ginger tea from a nearby stall. Mr. Ram being a jovial person asked Mr. Madhav if he would like to meet his other new-found friends of the society and outside. Mr. Madhav agreed with a lot of joy. Later in the evening, after doing the usual grocery shopping, Mr. Madhav met the rest of Mr. Ram's friend.
The meetups with Mr. Ram and others started happening on a regular basis and each of them grew to know each other and their problems.
A few months passed by and Mr. Madhav became a core member of the informal group, everyone liked his quiet yet helpful nature. While the situation at home remained the same and his favorite ginger tea demands at home reduced because he had with his friends which he mostly sponsored and rest everyone contributed to bhajias and snacks.
This change in behaviour was noticed by Sony but she felt relieved on one lesser task.
Days passed and in one of the usual mornings, Mr. Madhav didn't turn up for the walk which Mr. Ram found unusual but passed the thought thinking he had other chores or would have got up late. Then again he didn't turn up for the evening get together as well. Everyone thought of waiting on it for a day. The next day Mr. Ram called upon Mr. Madhav's mobile number but with no response and eventually, 3 days passed with no news.
Finally Mr Ram decided that he would walk up to his apartment late evening which he did. The door was answered by Kalyan - " Yes Sir.."
Mr. Ram - " I am here to see, Mr. Madhav, who is... " Kalyan interrupted - " I don't think he has anyone coming to see him, he's busy" Without much of a pause, Kalyan shut the door.
This perplexed and disturbed Mr Ram even more and then he decided to do something the next morning.
In the morning at 7 am, the next day, there was a long doorbell. Kalyan was fast asleep being a night owl hence Sony with much annoyance woke up and slowly went up to the door.
When she opened, she was amazed for a while - " Yes..! What has happened uncle?" At the doorstep, there was Mr. Ram and with him were all the other friends, 10 of them.
Mr. Ram - " We are here to see out FRIEND who has not been answering our calls nor have we seen him in the society, we are here to see him , Beta. Will, you do not call us in?"
Sony - " Yyyess yyyess uncles, please come in, please come in.. Please sit.. Actually papa has not been keeping well and he is in his bedroom now."
Mr. Ram - " We would like to see him now, can you show us the way?"
Sony - "Yes yes uncle, this way.." Sony stood by the door both in curiosity and amazement.
Mr. Madhav looked feeble with high fever, although he couldn't get up on his own, he still smiled and greeted everyone.
Mr. Ram - " Why didn't you call me or anyone of us? "
Mr. Madhav - "I waited on my son and daughter in law to take me if it got worse, how can i trouble you"
Mr. Ram - "But looks like this hasn't happened, Mr. Siddharth's son is a doctor and he would be coming here right away."
Mr. Madhav - " No no Mr. Ram, I'll be going today to the clinic, please do not ..."
Mr. Ram - " What do you say, Mr Siddharth, can your son come now? "
Mr. Siddharth - " Yes of course, without delay "
With all this happening Kalyan had woken and was frozen to seeing everyone in the house doing what he had to do. Sony stood speechless.
Mr Madhav was given appropriate medicines and injection to control the fever.
Everyone stayed for some time until Mr. Madhav could sit up on his bed and looked better.
Mr. Ram to Sony and Kalyan - "So beta, we are leaving for now, but we would come back to see him again, he's our very dear friend and we wish to have him healthy and fine, please take care of him "
Both Sony and Kalyan were dumbfounded and only nodded their heads in affirmation.
3 days passed by and Mr. Ram and Mr. Siddharth decided to pay a visit to Mr. Madhav's house, the door being answered by Sony with a smile with a smiling Kalyan overlooking.
Mr. Ram - "So Mr. Madhav, how are you feeling now, you look better"
Mr. Madhav - " Yes yes, I feel much better now, thanks to you and god for having such good friends around"
Sony - "Uncle, we never knew, papa had such a good social circle and so many helping friends, indeed he must be quite an influence"
Mr. Ram and Mr. Siddharth in affirmation - " Of course, he is, he is only modest not to mention it to you "
Sony smiles - " I make really good ginger tea which papa likes a lot, I insist that you have it with us today, along with homemade nimkis"
Mr. Ram laughing - "Oh yes please, Mr. Madhav and I bonded over a cup of chai, he definitely likes his tea "
Mr. Madhav and Mr. Ram looked at each other and smiled while sipping their hot ginger tea.