'Well, I was here at 1 p.m. for my appointment! You've kept me waiting for 45 minutes already! It's the doctor who should adjust...'
'Three more patients before you.' He murmured.
I was feeling hungry and suggested to Vijay that we go and grab a bite at the nearby Haldiram's. We felt a lot better about life once we had some Papadi Chaat and Chole Bhature in our tummies, not to mention the Badam Milk and Rasmalai ( My no-sugar experiment is going really well these days). As we pushed our plates away, my husband said thoughtfully -
'I bet the Doc hasn't eaten.'
'Yeah, I'll bet he hasn't.' I agreed. it was 2.30 p.m. already and judging by the commotion outside his room, it was unlikely he'd had a bite.
'Poor fellow. He's probably not eaten since morning.'
'Yes.' I wondered where this was going.
'Shall we take something for him?'
I stared at him. 'What, like Chole Bhature? No!'
'Why not!' Vijay cried. 'He'll like it.'
'Vijay, please. No! We can't take a smelly parcel into a doctor's clinic. That's just...'
He looked a bit deflated. 'Maybe Lassi? He might like Lassi.'
'I don't think so, Vijay. It's a bit weird. Anyway, let's get going now, shall we? It's time for your appointment.'
I ducked into the loo for a couple of minutes and when I came out, I noticed Vijay was carrying something besides his MRI report.
'What's that for?'
'That Nimbooz?' I demanded. 'You already had a nimbu-pani with lunch.'
'Oh.' He said carelessly. 'That's for the Doc.'
But the husband's jaw was set. So I gave up.
We were signalled in by the hassled assistant and the Doctor today looked rather hassled. It was only the second time we were meeting him but it was clearly a bad day for him, even though he greeted us with enthusiasm.
Vijay put the Nimbooz on the table. 'This is for you, Doc. We thought you might not have had lunch?'
'What? No, no, not for me.' He indicated a packet to his left that lay unopened. 'No time, I have to rush for an operation.'
Despite two interruptions from his assistants and a call from the Operating Theatre which he answered with a 'Coming, just coming.', he managed to give us the instructions to do with Vijay's knee report.
'...so make sure you do the physio exercises diligently and I'm sure you won't need a procedure.' He finished.
'Thanks doc.' We said, feeling sorry for him. We stood up and then he told Vijay, signalling the Nimbooz 'Don't forget this!'
'Oh, no, Doc, it's really for you.' Vijay pressed.
He paused for just a moment and then shrugged his shoulders. 'Well, actually - I think I might just need it.' With that, he picked up the bottle and stood up.
We went out of his room and in a couple of minutes, he overtook us, hurrying down the hall towards the OT.
I watched as he opened up the Nimbooz and glugged from it without breaking his stride. And then he disappeared around the corner. Vijay saw him too but said nothing.
Later that evening, several hours later, Vijay received a text message from the doctor with 'Thanks for the Nimbooz. I really did need it and it put a smile on my face.' Vijay read it out to me with a smile.
And I stood corrected.
It doesn't matter whether something you do is weird or unusual as it long as you mean well. In other words:
It's never out of place to be nice.