“Njan late aayi,kshamikyu.” I am late, I know. I am sorry… but I was given one work after the other, and that kept me busy now till sunset. Never mind, I have 2 or 3 hours till I have to go back. I will tell you as much as I can. Now let me continue…
When I woke up again, all I could see was white. White walls, white sheets, white tables… even the nice lady sitting next to me was dressed in a white frock. I was confused, and I asked her why a big person like her is wearing a frock. She laughed and told me she was a nurse, at the big hospital where I was. She told me that when that mean uncle at the hotel had pushed me, I had hit an electric pole and lost consciousness. Luckily, I hadn’t got a cut or anything but another rich uncle who had seen what happened bought me here, to get a checkup. I smiled back at her, and she went to tell the doctor I had woken up.
I looked around for a clock, and found one above the door. It was noon, and a calendar near the clock told me I had been unconscious for nearly three hours. Suddenly, I realized that it was my birthday. I thought it was a bad way to spend the first morning of my birthday in a hospital, and waited patiently for the nurse to come back. Soon she came back, with the doctor and another old man. I wondered if he was the rich uncle the nurse had mentioned. He sat on the edge of my bed, while the doctor checked me, with his earphones. I later found out, amidst gales of laughter from the doctor, the nurse and the old man, that the instrument was a stethoscope and not an earphone. It was most embarrassing for me that day.
After the doctor told that I was fine and could go back home, the old man asked me about myself. I told him my name was Vamana and I came from Vamanapuri. I told him how I had got lost from my village and the angry conductor and what happened at the hotel. He told me, that it was not safe for me to go back on my own, and that he would take me back. I wanted to protest, because I felt I could go back on my own without a problem, but I didn’t because he was the only person in the city who I had found to be so kindhearted. I went with him to his car, and he told me I could sleep on the back seat, if I wanted. I was still tired so I did that.
When I woke up, the car was standing in front of a palace. I got out, and looked at the three floor building that was in front of me. I had never seen such a home. Outside was a beautiful garden, so green and well maintained. A man was watering the plants and smiled as he saw me. The old man took my hand and led me inside. The marble on the floor was so white and clean, I could see my face in it. Really… there were 4 bedrooms, on the two upper floors. The old man took me to the kitchen, and asked the cook to give me something to eat. I was so interested in the house and its surroundings that I had completely forgotten that I hadn’t eaten anything since the previous night. I took the cooked rice and fish curry that the cook gave me and ate hungrily. After the old man had his lunch, he went out. I talked with the cook, and found out that the man stayed in this huge house all alone… he was a writer who made a lot of money with his books and his daughters were both doctors… when she showed me a picture, I realized that the doctor who checked me was his daughter. The other one was in some place called Austaraalia she said.
When the old man came back, he gave me a packet. I opened it to find some very nice dresses and a packet of chocolates. I looked at him, with tears in my eyes, and thanked him for his kindness. He asked me to sit there while he went to take a bath. After that, he told me he would take me back to Vamanapuri.
It was ten minutes later, that I heard a scream, “Aiyooo…”
On hearing it, the cook and the driver dashed out. It appeared that the old man had fallen in the bathroom. Slipped on a bar of soap, they told. I was sad. His daughter came and checked him. She told that he had twisted his ankle and would need to rest it for at least two weeks.
“Vamana, namboothirikyu sukham ilyaatre. Ninne vilikyunu. Chellu.”, it was the guest house manager.
He tells me the priest is not feeling well. I have to go look after him. After all, he looked after me, when I was sick. I’ll come tomorrow again and tell you more. Or maybe you can come to the banyan tree. Its so much cooler there. I’ll introduce you to Ena too. See you tomorrow, friend.