Sunday, May 10, 2009

Interesting Conversation

I was in the Sauna today, eyes closed feeling my sweat dripped down my nose. Suddenly I got distracted by two lovely ladies talking and I started enjoying their conversation.

Hey... after long time I saw you in the gym! How have you been after your knee operation?' says the younger one.
'Oh, the knee? I have that next in line. I just got my hip replaced'. Says the other. Well, I could not stop from opening my eyes.

In India I heard stories of grandmothers hurting their hips in very very old age like 75+ and after that they are bed ridden. But here I see one such grandmother... hip replaced? And she is in the gym? in a swimming costume? in the sauna?

One of the ladies was in her fifties may be and the other older, well you should guess her age. Wait till I tell the story.

Younger Lady - 'But I thought you told me about your knee?'
Older Lady - 'Yes I did. But my doctor said I need to fix my hip first' and she raises her hands making a funny face with an expression of - what can I say?
I noticed a mark near her hip, a deep long scar from her operation I knew.

Older Lady - '6 months back I had booked my flight to Germany and was to travel in couple of days. That evening I tried standing up and just could not stand. My daughter came down and took me to emergency. I was there for 1 week. The doctor was very good.'
She points to me seeing how curiously I was listening to her.

Older Lady -
'Are you an Indian? My doctor was an Indian too. She even helped me get my money back from Lufthansa. How could I travel in two days? She helped produce proofs that it was impossible for me to travel to Germany. Normally the airlines keep part of the money but they gave me everything. Everything! Tickets are very expensive you know, 800-850. Got whole amount. Right now I told the doctor, I need a break.'

Younger Lady - 'Break? From what?'

Older Lady - 'From hospitals, operations, therapies! Recently my son looked at flight tickets and they were approx 400. Half the price!' and she smiles with amazement. 'You know, whatever bad happens, has a good side to it too'

And she slowly put both her feet on the bench. From her movement it seemed that she was not very flexible. They talked about her knee for sometime. From their conversations, I could figure out that they were gym buddies; you know how you meet same people every time you go to gym and they become your friends? Wonder how I don't have any yet?

Younger Lady - 'Why don't you use a cane?'
Older Lady - 'My sister died two years back and she had two canes. My niece said that I use one and other she would keep.'

Younger Lady - 'Why didn't you take it? Are you looking to have boyfriends?' And both started laughing out load.
Older Lady - 'No! I don't need boyfriends.' She turned to me; she knew she had a new audience now and said, 'I don't have time for them.' And we all laughed.

Younger Lady - 'You will make your knee worse if you don't use it'.

Older Lady - 'You got it right on that one. The cane is in Germany. I will get it when I go next.'
Younger Lady - 'You can buy here itself.'
Older Lady - 'Then I need to buy two. One for outside and one at home. How can I use the same at home? Who will wash them every time?'

Younger Lady - 'You get those twist and turn types where you simply turn in such a way that you can use same one for home without washing.'
Older Lady - 'You got it right on that one.'

This whole conversation may sound just like any other but I was pretty amazed by the old lady who just had an operation few months back and was back to the gym. Her going to the gym itself was little shocking to me. A cultural shock more than anything. At one instance she told her age as 78. Are you kidding me?

Can I even imagine one of my 78 year old relative in her place? As you turn 60-65, people put their hands up and retire. Not just from professional work, but from everything else too. Their knees hurt, their back hurt, they can't climb stairs no longer, they can't cook no longer unless absolutely essential. They don't like to socialize; they believe their so called time for fun is up! And it is not just the old; the young feel the same too. We need maids to do the chores, we hate walking to a store, we just want to sit in front of the TV, eat, talk and relax after work. As I sat there admiring her courage and the way she took care of herself, I hoped secretly that if I live till 78, I be as active as her.

Older Lady - 'You know I traveled to Germany every year. Even two times a year sometimes. All by myself and soon I am going to plan my next visit.'
Younger Lady - 'You should ask your children to accompany you this time tough. You know, it is not the same.'
Older Lady - 'You got it right on this one. My son said, "Mother, I will take you to Germany, you cannot go alone". '

Soon, I saw her lie down on the bench enjoying the Sauna bath. I was afraid she may fall down and may hurt her hip again. May be this is our basic Indian mentality? We are cautious about everything. Sometimes over cautious.

I left for a swim and what do I see? In some time, I see the same old lady doing some aerobic exercises in the pool lane next to mine. She even started swimming for short distances; even did a couple of backstrokes.

She got it right this time! Hats off to the youngster in the old one.

No comments: