Mr. Rao Goes “Trekking”

It was just another lazy Saturday afternoon and I got off my bed after a siesta, wondering how to kill time. Then it suddenly struck me that I had promised Mr. Rao to take him to the hospital for his routine monthly check up. I assumed it to be a really simple task which would get over in a jiffy but it proved otherwise. The hospital was a few hundred meters from his home and he wished to walk. We were walking at snail’s pace which became an amusing sight for the passersby. With each passing nanosecond my anger was rising exponentially. Alas I had no way of venting it. En route he noticed a board stuck to the gate of a house which read “Beware of dogs” . Mr. Rao retorted humorously “Does it mean that the people inside are dogs??” Being a retired District magistrate he was good with his words and told me that English language could sometimes be very “Mischievous” .There were two entrances to the hospital and he chose the back entrance without knowing that some construction work was going on. There was a small patch of path with stones which was inclined and it required me to use all my strength to help him overcome the “Mountain”. His face gleamed with delight after he made it through as if he had conquered the Everest.

Once inside the hospital he courteously greeted the nurses with a hope that he would get to see the doc at the earliest .We had to wait for half an hour and it seemed endless as he was enquiring nonstop about my future plans and my cousins, etc. I had made up my mind never to take him for a check up again. The doctor checked him and prescribed his monthly dose of tablets. We returned home after crossing all the hurdles on the road .Mr. Rao thanked me profusely for my generosity

Back home I realized that one day all of us would have to get old and rely on someone else. With nuclear families being the order of the day, the oldies are bearing the brunt of this culture where each day seems like a challenge. When the sight diminishes and hearing reduces it is definitely thorny to cross a busy road. I felt ashamed of being so indifferent and impatient towards my very own ‘grandpa’ and that too an octogenarian. From then on I made it a point to visit my grandparents every week and run errands if required. It feels awesome to see them smile , to know about my dad’s childhood stories from them and many more.

I hope all those grandchildren out there would at least talk with their grandparents occasionally as that is all they ever seek – a bit of care and concern!!

D Venkat

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