“Rukmini has made it a habit to remain absent without informing “, Meera was muttering under her breath as she hastily washed the utensils. The maid had not turned up so the morning schedule became hectic. She served Appa coffee at the regular time. Now she was racing against time to get lunch ready.
Her eighty year old father was particular about meal time. The old grandfather clock was his most prized possession.
As the clock struck twelve, Meera was just finishing cooking. The gong like sound of the pendulum hit her ear drums.
“Oh no, Appa is going to be annoyed, I am late today”.
As she entered her father’s room with his lunch plate,
“Appa, I have prepared your favourite Avial today “, she said in a playful manner. Appa was not in his chair. Meera knocked on the washroom door, but it was open and she did not see her father there.
“Appa, food is getting cold”
But there was no response.
Meera’s heart missed a beat.
Six months before……
“Meera, are you busy, you forgot to give me coffee “
“Appa, just now I picked up your empty cup”
“You are doing too much work Meera; you are beginning to forget things”.
The next day Rama Attai came visiting.
“Sita, where have you been, coming after a long time “, Appa said in his jovial tone.
“Anna, I came just two days back. By the way who is Sita?”
“The college has invited me for a guest lecture, I must prepare for it”.
Meera became worried as such instances became regular. As an alert sounded in her mind, her doctor friend suggested that medical advice should be taken.
There was a long investigation process.
Meera was asked about Appa’s general health, medicines prescribed and use of over the counter medications, specific problems like diabetes or heart related illnesses, recent changes in Appa’s behavior.
Then there was psychological testing, pathological testing and brain scan.
“Your father shows symptoms of Alzheimer’s “
Meera was also alerted about symptoms like loss of memory, inability to perform daily tasks, violent behavior and tendency to wander…
“You better keep an identity card with name, address, close relative’s name and contact numbers in his shirt pocket. It will help in case of any emergency”, the doctor advised.
“Appa, where are you?”
“Uncle, has Appa come to your house”
“Have you seen an old person wearing a mundu and white shirt?”
“Appa has not eaten food, where is he”
“It is my fault; I did not serve lunch on time”
A missing person complaint was lodged with the police.
The grandfather clock struck twelve at midnight.
Meera put a blanket over Appa as pearls of tears appeared in her eyes.
A social organization had helped to locate Appa near the college where he once taught.
Appa – Father
Avial – A mixed vegetable dish
Attai – Aunt
Mundu – A white garment
Photo From: Unsplash
This is an entry for the event #twelve #Five00-10 at ArtoonsInn Writers Room.
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