July 1, 2008Posted by on
I mentioned in my last post about the cold I am suffering from for the last one week. It is the worst cold that has hit me in years. So I went to a nearby hospital to see a doctor. After I bought the prescribed medicines from the chemist, I went to the hospital cafeteria to grab a bite.
I sat down breathing my phlegm in and munching my toasted veg. sandwich next to an elderly man with thick glasses, black frame in an old check shirt who was sketching on a small piece of paper with a black ball pen. I could see that the octogenarian (most probably) was copying the picture of scenery that was published in a local newspaper. His hand was firm and the sketch was nearing completion. “That’s beautiful”, I thought and kept looking at his work as he carried on giving finishing touches to it. He suddenly turned to his right to lift an old, tattered “Bata” polyethene bag and pulled out a file full of similar newspaper cuttings of pictures, drawing and sketches from it. Then he started to give the sketch some shades by his old set of sketch pens bundled together by a rubber band. “A hobby…”, I wondered. The work was really coming out to be good.
“How do you think it looks?”, he asked me in a frail but confident voice, confidence in the beauty of his sketch. “Good…very good”, I exclaimed. It made him happy and smile.
“What brings you to this hospital?”
“Very bad cold, kaka”
“Where are you from?”
“IT guy in Pune?”
“I had my by-pass surgery done here, came for check up, Dr. Chitnis, very good doctor…had nothing to do at home…so came here and started sketching over a cup of tea.”, the man said it nearly in a breath and the look of exhaustion was evident on his face.
“My son”, he said proudly, “is also an engineer…London”. “He took care of my treatment…still does”. The man said it in a voice so that everyone in the cafeteria could hear. “After all who in this mad world is considerate enough to take care of their ageing parents?” He was one proud father.
I nodded and kept listening to him speaking about his job with the Pune Municipal Corporation and retiring with a meager pension. “I am satisfied”, he said. “The way I brought my children up…got my children educated and married, I’m a content man.”
I got up and took his leave thinking about a lot of things.