The next day, a health camp was organized in the school which was an annual affair and an embarrassing time for most people. The kids emerged red faced minutes after stepping inside the makeshift tent, thanks to the full body check up they were subjected to. The people conducting it were bored and disgruntled government doctors and Ashima was forever annoyed by their initial expression of horror ultimately melting into pity when she stepped in.
This time, for a change, the doctor was a cheery, middle aged doctor who examined Ashima minus the unwanted expressions- like a professional. Her forehead creased as if she was mentally calculating something, fished out her mobile and stepped out of the tent. She came back, bringing in a breeze of fresh air and looked much more animated. Dr. Sarika looked into Ashima's eyes and in a motherly voice asked, "Would you like to be more beautiful?"
Ashima looked out of the window in a contemplative manner, the steaming cup of tea misting the glass. She opened the small piece of paper, worn at the folds and read it for the thousandth time, the smile never abandoning her face.
To the girl with tight braids who never knew how lovely she was; who, ten years ago, never believed the doctor that her cleft lip could be fixed and who was kind-hearted and forgiving enough to love and marry the doctor's good-for-nothing son. Shimu, cleft-lipped or not, you are my very own personal sun and every morning I look forward to wake up basking in your sunny love and care.Happy one year of togetherness- happy anniversary Shimu.~ Your went-out for-jogging-but-would-be-back-soon husband,Aarav