Hours before Uddhav Thackeray returns to hospital, his younger cousin Raj visited him at home. The politicians, once inseparable, were estranged for six years till earlier this week, when Uddhav was admitted to hospital with chest pains.
On Friday, he will go through an angioplasty. Sources say Raj will be at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital to attend to him.
On Monday, Raj was on the road when he heard his cousin had been taken to hospital. He immediately headed there. That same evening, he drove Uddhav home in his silver Mercedes. At Matoshree, the home of Uddhav's father and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, Raj spent half an hour talking with his uncle. In 2006, Raj quit the Sena to form his own party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
All this week, reporters have been asking Raj about a political reconciliation between the two branches of the family. "It's our personal matter, and you too should note and respect that," he replied, but said that he will "definitely" remain in touch with Uddhav about his health.
Raj and Uddhav have over the last few years taken potshots at each other in public, with both leaders trying to consolidate the Marathi vote in their favour. Raj's MNS has been growing in stature - in the recent civic elections in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, it did better than expected.
Party workers in the Shiv Sena believe that by presenting a united front along with the BJP, the Thackerays could offer a serious challenge to the incumbent government of the Congress and its partner, Sharad Pawar's NCP. In 2014, Maharashtra will pick its next government along with the general election.