by Vimala Ramu
It is a well known anomaly that opposites always attract. Our neighbour, a patient, soft spoken, helpful gentleman was a good friend of my husband. Why only a friend? He was friend, philosopher and guide all rolled into one. They, being engineers in different branches namely civil and electrical, complemented each other well. His wife, an extremely out going (or was it out- standing?!) type could talk to any one on the road for hours together, collect all their family news while acquainting them with her own family’s news and her extended families’ too.
When my husband had to undergo colonotomy, they were deeply concerned. So much so, the gentleman with a common friend took an auto-rickshaw to visit the patient in the hospital.
As I was at home, I could see them getting into the vehicle right in front of my house. But, I did not know where they were bound. I happened to be at home because my husband had just been brought home after his discharge. So, these two gentlemen, without even casting a casual look at our house, went all the way to the hospital just to be told that their friend had already been discharged. So, after two tedious trips to and fro through the peak hour traffic, they returned to be greeted by my husband right in front of their house!
About 8 years later, after an erratic ECG, my husband had to be rushed to the hospital directly from the family doctor’s clinic for an emergency heart operation. Thus we had no time to inform the neighbours. Seeing an open garage and a wide open gate and with nobody at home (we had planned to return home after the visit to the doctor as we were unaware of the seriousness of the situation), our neighbours were highly alarmed and deeply concerned.
Once they came to know about Ramu’s bypass surgery after a couple of days, our neighbour decided to visit the patient with another friend of ours. They did not want to repeat the earlier mistake. So, they tried to contact me on my ‘mobile’. Not getting any response, they however decided to go to the hospital. As soon as they reached there (negotiating through a traffic which had worsened 64 times during the 8 years), they were told that Mr.Ramu had just then been discharged and he was already on the way home.
Twice bitten……, they came all the way back to see Ramu heartily greeting them from our verandah!