“Of course, I have an appointment. What do you think?” I let out my resentment loud and clear over Facetime with my only daughter.
“I am a doctor,” I continued. “I know ignoring it can have repercussions. My Orthopedic has suggested a surgeon; I am seeing her tomorrow.” Hoping that I had held her down, I turned off Facetime and got busy cooking an alternate version of a dish my late wife used to cook for me.
The next morning my appointment with Dr. Parekh turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
“I didn’t know you were the surgeon I was being advised to see,” I tried restraining my enthusiasm.
“Are you disappointed?” she smirked; her heavy Marathi accent as vivid in my ears as it was 37 years ago
“I am having doubts if I’d be treated right,” I joked; to be met by her eyebrows quarreling with each other.
“You haven’t changed a bit,” she shook her head.
“Well,” I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or an accusation but I took it in my stride and shrugged it off, nevertheless.
I handed her my reports. She scrutinized them through her large grey-rimmed glasses. Her soft wavy hair, now grey, fell over her temple to frame her face. I was tempted to tuck them behind her ear, exactly how I’d have done before we drifted.
“Surgery is imminent. Glad that you are getting the knee replaced now than any later.” She looked up from the reports. “We can have the arrangements made for that and aftercare in the hospital. Do you have help at home to take care?” She continued in her stern voice and then rounded it up with her dimpled smile.
Oh, that winsome smile that broke a thousand hearts when she chose me as her beau.
“I… I think I can manage that.” I flashed the biggest smile I could.
“You are a doctor yourself. How could you let this happen to your health, anyway?” Was she tripping me?
“I am a dental surgeon. I am on my feet a lot!”
“You could have kept a check on your weight.” She almost winked.
“My love for food surpasses all.” I chuckled as she joined me.
“I guess there is something even more that you love!” Mischief enveloped in her voice.
“Of course! Who’s even better than me?”
Her eye roll proved that she was still at loggerheads with my ideologies.
“So, you finally did get married to Paresh Parekh?” I moved the spotlight back on her.
“Hmm, almost 28 years now. He’s the VP here.” She threw that casually. I bobbed my head in acknowledgment.
“Okay then”, I got up from my seat, “I guess we’ll finalise the date for the surgery next week and I’ll see you again.”
“Yes. Sure.” She rose from her chair. From across the table, I could feel the warmth coming my way. What was stopping her from asking me…anything?
“Homeward bound, now?”
“Actually, I am off to watch a movie. Care to join?” my eyes twinkled at the prospect.
“A movie sounds harmless.” She tore her glasses off to reveal the kohl-lined eyes.
I guess there was always a reason for me to love myself even more.
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