(Thanks Pandu for editing this 🙂 )
I got a call from my cousin stating that my father needs to go through a check-up. I asked him to plan it on a weekend, if that was possible. While discussing with another friend that I will be going to Aurangabad on the weekend, he asked me about why I am going and I told him the reason. He happened to have visited that hospital before. Also, he told me about the hospital rules that even in the ward only 1 person can accompany the patient and said that if your cousin is a doctor, then let him be there. He suddenly asked, “What you will do when you are not even allowed to stay with your father?” I didn’t utter a word and left to visit him there.
During the journey, all I could think was the situation just a few years back when he used to travel all the way form Maharashtra to Rajasthan just to accompany me to IIT-JEE and AIEEE exams. He was asked by his friends that what exactly he does when he accompanies me. He used to say, “I don’t know, I just go there with him. Other parents keep telling their kids what to do. I don’t know those things so I just try to be there with him. I wait for him to come back after the exam, outside the exam hall ”
I reached Aurangabad and went to my friend’s home, lived just a kilometer away. I was aware of the fact that I have reached earlier than my parents. I got a call in some time that my parents have reached the hospital. I asked them to enter the hospital and told them that I will meet them in a few minutes. I took more than few minutes and thought that maybe they would have entered the ward. I didn’t call them and was trying to figure out a place for me to sit. Again I got a call from my mother asking about my location. With her help, I reached where they were and was surprised to see even my father was waiting at that gate. He was a bit tensed, but looking at me had a moment of relief.
The doctor kept us waiting for more than 6 hours. My dad was asked not to drink even a drop of water, so he was without food or water from morning itself. Even in that hospital building, the sun was showing its effect. The air around us was hot, maybe the context added some temperature to it and the sun was not the only one to be blamed. But my dad was calm and at peace when we were there with him. There was this tiredness and nervousness on his face and so was on ours, but we were still able to smile. As only one person was allowed in the ward, I asked my mom to be there. I knew she would be more tense, if she was out of the ward. I was the one who was sitting in the reception area, which reminded me of how my father used to wait for my exams to get over. Just like he used to be tensed for my results, this time i was for his results.
Finally, the test was carried out. He was bit unconscious because of the anaesthesia. I was looking at him. The only think that was moving around was a machine making beep sounds. I was in a standstill position. I didn’t realized I had a smile mixed with tears in my eyes. I only acknowledged it when one of my friends texted me. While replying to her a tear dropped on the mobile screen. This reminded me how he used to have tears in his eyes after my results. I used to ask him, “Why are you crying?” He used to say, “You will know it some day”. Maybe he meant that I will know once I will have a kid but never knew I will know it in some other way when the roles will reverse and I will become the caretaker.