It was a clear Sunday dawn when the sound travelled across the labyrinth lanes of Kushaal Puri. Kushaal Puri was an unauthorized settlement of proletarian class from Orissa in Bhopal. Shiv Shambhu Das was screaming his elder daughter’s name as he was in severe need of medical attention. He was a drunkard and the only earning member of the family of four till 3 days ago. But now he was on bed rest as the alcohol which he used to drink, had drunk all the bile juice which is secreted in lever. In simple words, “his lever was completely destroyed by the drink”.
Within a month, the two teenage daughters- Saavitri and Kusum had to drop their schools so as to take their father’s care. Shambhu’s wife had to take responsibility of earning money and for that she started working as a maid. Days passed and the expenses on medicine kept on increasing with a rapid rate whereas Shambhu’s condition kept on deteriorating. One day he died all of a sudden when he fell from the stair-case.
Time stood still and the in-grief wife- Ramaa, had to take monetary help from her neighbour for her husband’s final proceedings. Few days passed, the tears were wiped off but the eyes were drooping still and the heart was still weeping.
Now the whole responsibility of family was on widow’s shoulders. Saavitri in order to help her mother started working in a near-by tailor’s shop and took a firm decision to let Kusum continue with her studies.
But…before conditions could turn normal again, Kusum met with a road accident on her way back home from school. The ruthless neighbour asked to repay her money with interest, meanwhile Kusum was taken to a nearby Govt. hospital where she was declared dead.
Sorrows struck the family again…
Doctors after examining the dead body and analyzing the family’s condition suggested Ramaa to donate Kusum’s body to medical college for which she will be paid by the Govt. Mother broke into tears and the answer was a ‘NO’ straight away.
Ruthless neighbour asked again, doctors kept on suggesting for the same and the answer was a sorrowful ‘YES’ this time. Kusum’s soul was departed and the body was donated. All except the two ladies were happy i.e. neighbour, doctors and the medical students who got a new body to dissect.
Ramaa with her only daughter left reached their home with swollen eyes, heavy heart and broken dreams to see Kusum as an engineer.
Looking at the penurious condition of the family, Saavitri stood up all of a sudden and ran through the lanes of Kushaal Puri to reach the doctor and asked with a heavy voice, “Sir, can I get back the clothes which my sister is wearing..??”