Lankeshi suddenly flipped up the walking stick in her hand so that the blunt metal handle was in the direction of Ranika’s face, and leaning forward she gently placed the cold metal against Ranika’s chin, using the stick as a prop to turn Ranika’s face from side to side. While his wife examined Ranika, Rudra stood next to her in support and mumbled, “You’re a bit of rough from the all the games in the sun, girl. I don’t think our son is the one for you.”
As Dhananjay tightened his arms around Ranika and pulled her close, gently rubbing her hands, she started to feel better. She sunk into the warmth of her father’s embrace, appreciative of the simple gesture.