Nursing Coffee

It was night and I’d been out on the huge hospital campus to secure an appointment with my doctor for the next day. Why that late?  There is a 24 hour counter and its empty at night. And I was staying at my cousins’ who are doctors, living on campus. As I returned to where I was staying on the Christian Medical College Campus, the urge to sip some tea caught me and refused to leave.

Sipping on my way out of the kiosk, I got on to the  pavement and saw something dear and beautiful. A nurse, standing next to a man, who was seated on a bike and having a cup of coffee. And this is what I imagined.

The nurse in her white saree stood there. Beside her whispering something serious was her husband ( I’m imagining) sitting on a bike, sipping a cup of coffee. She was about to leave to the ward for the night shift. But she didn’t seem to want to go. Perhaps, she’d leave when he finished his coffee. What was lovely? She must have bought that coffee for him.

Between them, when they arrived:

Nurse: NJaan oru koffee vangich tharatte ( Shall I buy you a coffee?)

Husband: Ninakku pokande mole? ( Shouldn’t you be going, dear?)

Nurse: Kudichitt njaan pokkolaam ( I’ll leave once you’ve finished your coffee.)

And then she must have gone and bought a cup of coffee worth 8 Rupees, with her own money – the money she earned working those night shifts. 

And they stood, happily on the road, near the pavement, her facing him and him facing the road, clutching on to the coffee she bought him.

He had come to drop her.  He comes everyday. She buys him  a coffee and ensures he’s alright, secretly thanking him for dropping her to the hospital every night.

As I passed them, the hem of her saree fluttered in the breeze, which suddenly came from nowhere.

 

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