In 2003 he developed a tumor on his right hand and was operated on it. It turned out to be malignant. He received radiation therapy and was completely cured of it. Doctors didn’t think it was related to his tobacco habit. He resumed his normal life of taking daily walks, reading and sensible eating.
The next year Nana and Viju moved to Pune, a state more affordable and less hectic than Bombay. It was a wise move for their retired life. Urmila and her family had also moved to Pune. So it was better to be close to her. Pankaj, after working for a number of years at Air India had moved to the southern city of Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. He had taken a new job at the Infosys Company. He was proud of earning a salary much beyond his expectations and by not listening to Nana in his career moves.
“I suggest so many things to Nana, now that we are both retired and at home all day,” Viju used to say. “He just wants to be independent and be on his own. I said let’s go for a walk together. He says NO. He just wants to read his books. Finally I said I am going to do what I want to do. Let him do whatever.”
Viju used her teaching experience to offer private tuitions to young children. She started taking lessons in playing Harmonium and singing and became quite adept at it.
In 2011 Nana was diagnosed with lymphoma. He required occasional blood transfusion to increase his blood count.
“Ah, it’s nothing. Something has to happen when one gets old,” he would say with a shrug.
He abandoned his tobacco habit and his speech improved significantly.