An athlete, captain of the cricket team as well as a doctor, Sharad was Mr. perfect! He was my Medical College senior. Coming from different castes was a major social barrier to love in the 80s. In 1983, we got married against the wishes of our families. Love thrives they say, but it requires patience & efforts they don’t tell. It took 12 long years to make my father talks to his son-in-law. Professionally, we first both started with government jobs, I had to leave the job due to in-department issues. Few years & 2 children later, life made us re-evaluate our plans. Later, I rejoined the job & at 48 ,he consolidated only to his practice .
In the meanwhile, Sharad developed obesity that also affected his knees & also I developed diabetes. As doctors, we sometimes forget to take care of own health as well. Sharad was very disheartened as his health came in the way of him playing sports. It was time to carry out the wedding pledge of being for each other in sickness & health. He went through a series of surgeries, physiotherapy rehabilitation for a couple of months. It was both physical as well as emotional challenge for us but finally we came out of it stronger & he got back to his game.
One evening while it was raining,I slipped over the ground & fell down on my shoulder. The pain was unbearable. This time he took me to his physiotherapy centre. It wasn’t feasible for me to go home from work and then come back for physiotherapy every day. At the same time, being a diabetic I've to consume food at regular intervals to maintain insulin. Sharad pitched in. Everyday, he gets 2 cups of tea & biscuits & waits for me in the parking of the physiotherapy centre. I reach there directly from my dispensary , we have our tea together in our car & share our day. Then I proceed for my physiotherapy & he heads back to his clinic. It is not the grand gestures, but being there for each other for the smallest things everyday that keeps our love strong. Falling in love is the easy part, staying in love with the same person every single day for 4 decades requires effort. And we can proudly say that we are in our 60s & still in love, aren’t we?
- Meena Mahakalkar