Mr.Rao lay awake in bed. A quick glance at the tableclock - 645PM it read. He got out slowly, wondering how to kill time today. When you're 82, there aren't many things to look forward to. He looked around frantically for ideas. The house was eerily silent - the only sound from a distant leaking tap that made rhythmic drip-drip sounds.
The phone rang in the adjacent room. It resonated across the empty house. The big smile on his face suggested he was happy he found something to do. As he ambled towards the phone, he got tired and began sulking. What sort of an idiot disturbs you at this ungodly hour, he wondered.
"Hello, is Rudran there?" the faceless voice said.
"Rudran?", Rao cursed inaudibly. "No such person here. Wrong number". He banged the phone down.
He stood there wondering what he had planned to do when he got out of bed. The doorbell rang. Another slow walk begun. He looked through the peep-hole. A tie-wearing bag-carrying man stood outside.
"What do you want?" Rao bellowed.
"I've come to fix your tap."
"My taps don't need no fixing."
"But Sir, you were the one who called me over."
"No, of course not." Rao's voice faded as he said that. Maybe he really had called him, he couldn't recollect anything from the morning.
Realizing the opportunity, the man said "Sir, please go check your second bathroom. That's where you said there is a leaking tap. I won't come in if it's not leaking."
Rao closed the peephole and walked toward the dripping sound. The tap really was leaking. That man couldn't have known that unless I told him, he rationalized. Rao let the man in and pointed towards the bathroom.
The man went in with a few tools as Rao - too tired from all the walking - sat on the couch. The dripping sounds stopped a moment later.
The man stepped out and asked "Isn't it time for your medicine? Shall I get you some water?"
Rao was too tired to notice the inconsistency. He nodded and asked the man to get his tablets too. The man walked straight to the medicine cabinet, pulled out three tablets and handed it over. After two tablets, Rao asked the man his name. "I'm Rudran", he said as the third tablet went in. Rao's eyes widened with surprise and non-comprehension. Dizziness hit him very quickly and he closed his eyes.
The phone rang again and Rudran picked it up quickly. "Yeah yeah, of course it worked." Rudran said and listened. He continued "Moron, I told you not to call the landline - you could've messed it up. Anyway, I'll speak to you tomorrow. Bye". Rudran slid silently into one of the rooms and closed it behind him.
Next day morning, Mr.Rao woke up and headed straight to the noises from the bathroom. Rudran walked out from the bathroom with a spanner in his hand. Dripping sounds were back behind him.
Rao smiled and asked "Did the entry work alright yesterday?"
Rudran replied "Yes, this method always works. I'll try and come home before sunset today." and left.
As Rao waved him goodbye, Rudran said "I hate this after-sunset memory loss. I want to enter my house normally for once, papa."