"The Identity is Kept Anonymous To respect The Privacy of The Individual"`
I am Akash (name changed) working as a Software Engineer in Hyderabad (place changed). I hail from a lower middle-class family and I have faced many painful moments in last 23 years. I remembered when my father did not have sufficient money to buy me good & costly dress on the festival. Unlike other kids, I was not provided toys to play. I never had a good meal in my lunch box like other friends. But I appreciate that My father made a lot of compromises in his life just to provide me a better education. My mother did not have a maid for household works. But there is something inside my heart, a wound which is hurting me every single day.
It was the year 2013 and my father suffered a vein leakage in his brain. We took him immediately to a private hospital in Delhi. He was admitted in ICU for 21 days and then in general ward for 2 months. We were all helpless as he was single earning person of my family. The average daily cost in the hospital was 45K INR for first 21 days and after then, it was around 12K INR. All his complete life savings were expended on his treatment. My mom even sold her ornaments for the purpose. We don’t have money to have accommodation in PG, Hotels or Guesthouse in Delhi. We spent the complete day & night sitting here and there in the hospital premises only. Every morning, my mom asked me to go out and eat something. She gave different excuses every day that she is not hungry. I was just 19 (2nd year engineering student) then but still mature enough to know the truth.
I walked 4.5 km every evening to go to a shop where Roti and Vegetable were provided at the cheapest rate in Delhi. That is the place where poorest of the poor used to have dinner (rickshaw pullers, Unskilled labors etc.).
There only I came to know that Cooked Vegetable are provided by weight too. I used to purchase 100 Grams of Chhola (8 INR), 4 Roti (6 INR) and asked them to provide onion pieces in free. Our complete day expenditure was 14 INR only and I never forget to take back that 1 INR from shopkeeper while paying 15 INR. I and my mom spent nearly 5 weeks in this situation only. When my father was discharged, We don’t have money even to book our ticket of Sleeper Class while returning. We could have taken the help from our families but my mother has a strict principle of not begging. I took my father & mother in a general coach of Indian Railway and we were traveling ticket-less. Those 26 hours of my life were the most painful part of my life. I was absolutely crying inside throughout the journey but controlling my tears anyhow. I can’t express those feelings in words.
After 3 years in 2016, I got my placement after engineering. Today, I have almost everything in life. My father is well now, my mother wears Sarees of 10K. I pay taxes every month more than the monthly income of my father. I live alone in a flat of 22k, I don’t travel even 100 meters on foot, I order delicious food every night from different restaurants (Paneer Chilly is constant). I purchase multiple dresses for my parents on single occasion. I have total of 41 flight journeys so far. I get everything I want, I am fulfilling all dreams & requirements of my mom & dad, We have now everything at my home.
I take them to tour on every 3–4 months, my parents too travelled once in flight and now travelling mostly by 2AC (because of Acrophobia). We rent costly hotels during any tour, used to have dinner in the most costly restaurant. We don’t have any limit of our expenditure. Whatever my mom wished is right before her the very next moment. But, there is something which haunts me every single day.
Whenever I go to any restaurant or even have a piece of bread before me anywhere, I start crying. It takes back me to those memories, those streets and that 14 INR dinner for 2. I live alone and I can’t resist my tears. That’s reason, I avoid eating in public or going to restaurants with friends or want any girlfriend in the same city. I can’t control my tears the moment I will enter in any restaurant. I always regret why I was born 3 years late. Why I have such memories in this stage. Why I met with such unforgettable experiences. Only thing I am wishing now that I would provide everything to my kids. They would have every toy in their playing room.