During our next visit, the vaidya tells Uma: ‘Today, I am going to introduce you to someone very interesting.’
‘Yeah?’ says Uma, glancing around the room, as if expecting another white-bearded healer to emerge from the door.
‘This person,’ continues Vaidya Sharma, ‘is a stranger to you, but someone you will soon come to know and love and understand.’
The words get Uma’s attention alright. And mine, too.
‘Vaidyaji,’ I begin, wondering if this intriguing character is someone I happen to know.
‘No,’ he answers my unasked question. ‘You don’t. But then, you don’t need to.’
Frankly, sometimes the old man can be a bit vexatious. With age, he seems to be developing a heightened taste for the dramatic. Oh well!
‘My dear child, stop biting your nails,’ he tells Uma. ‘I am not about to call out for a tall, dark, handsome male who will stop the beat inside your heart.’