February 1, 2017
He smiled at the young couple, who knocked at the door and went back to reading the paper.
“Hello Uncle,” said Divya as she sprung in.
He smiled, kept the paper back on the table and sat looking at the visitors.
“How are you uncle?” asked the beaming girl, extending her hand towards him.
He smiled, without reciprocating.
“Daddy asked me to tell you that he’ll be at the club tomorrow evening.”
“He tells me that you’ve not been going to the club?” she asked taking her seat.
He smiled. His wife walked in hearing the conversation. “Oh, Divya. I guessed it should be you. Hello, Karthik. I’m so happy, you’ll took time to visit us elderly people…”
“How could I leave without taking your blessings aunty. I was telling Karthik how many days you’ve packed my school lunch after I kicked up a ruckus at home in the mornings…” and turns to her husband and says, “Aunty is an awesome cook and uncle, omg! such an entertainer. I made it a point to come here before my exams. Spend 5 minutes with uncle and I would be de-stressed…” Divya excitedly shared her best moments with the old couple to Karthik.
“This is Divya,” aunty told her husband.
“We had gone for her wedding last week,” she tried reminding her husband.
“She’s Shetty’s daughter. In sector 6.”
“Yes. I know. I know. How is Shetty?” uncle asked.
“He’s fine uncle. He said he’ll meet you at the club tomorrow.”
“I’ve stopped going to the club now. So, who are you gentleman?”
“That’s Shetty’s son-in-law. Divya’s husband.” Aunty pitched in.
“Oh. I see.” He smiled.
“Divya is my youngest daughter, Karthik. After my sons went to university, it was she who filled their space. Both of you should visit your parents whenever time permits,” she advised the youngsters.
“Sure aunty,” Karthik assured.
“What will you’ll take? Coffee, tea…”
“Nothing aunty. We just came to take your blessings. Our flight is at 6pm. We need to rush.” Divya explained and got up.
She touched her feet and went towards uncle to pay her obeisance. As she bent down to touch his feet, uncle turned to his wife.
“Shetty’s daughter, Divya. She’s going to her in-laws today. She’s come do the high-five with you.”
Divya straightened and took his hands in hers. “I’ll miss your high-five uncle.”
Aunty sat beside him. “Listen, this is Divya. Shetty’s daughter. You would wait for her every morning to give her a high-five before she got into her school bus…”
“Yes. Yes. How can I forget. Shetty’s lovely daughter. God Bless you.”
“Bye uncle. I’ll come in December now.”
“Okay. You came with this gentleman?”
“Yes, uncle…” Divya began explaining when aunty cut her short. “Go, dear. It’s getting late. God bless you both.”
She hugged Karthik and told him, “Don’t feel bad son. Uncle was not like this at all…”
“Pls aunty. You don’t have to explain. I understand. I saw my dad wither away. But I must say, aunty, you are doing a great job. You have such patience. That is what they need. Our patience.”
As they were about to leave, Divya saw uncle join aunty at the gate. She got out, walked towards him, lifted his right hand and joined hers to his palm. “I can’t set out on my life’s biggest examination without your high-five uncle!”