LalpurjaPrithvi had come from a humble background. His father was a primary school teacher in a government school and his mother was a housewife.
Prithvi’s benevolent nature has earned him respect from the people of his locality. He is always available for them and this is his true nature. His relation with his college friends was also very good, as he was always ready to help them in need. He was eloquent, soft spoken and above all, he was fiercely honest—-he was, in the real sense, the epitome of goodness.
If anyone was tired of making rounds of the Malpot Karyalaya (the Land Revenue Office), Ward Office or Yatayat Ko Karyalaya (Department of Transport), they would, as a last resort, come to take Prithvi’s assistance. And he would never disappoint them. He would take their matters into his own hands as his own and put all his efforts to get the work done—-such was his enthusiasm and working ethics.
One day when Prithvi came out of his class, he was greeted by a group of students. They requested Prithvi to fight the college election because they wanted a leader, one like Prithvi, who was the embodiment of all good characters.
However, Prithvi was reluctant. He showed no interest at all in politics and flatly refused to join politics.
Gaurav, Prithvi’s best friend, sat beside Prithvi and said, “This is the problem of our country. Those who deserve to join politics, they keep themselves aloof from politics. And those cockroaches who are criminals, greedy and lecherous join politics. These people have occupied most of the important places and are robbing the nation. Should we not replace these people notorious for profligacy, avarice and ascendancy?”
Prithvi was moved by Gaurav’s words. He immediately changed his mind and agreed to fight the college election. The students were elated by Prithvi’s decision.
Prithvi had come from a humble background. His father was a primary school teacher in a government school and his mother was a housewife. Tirtha Raj, Prithvi’s father, wanted his son to become a professor in a college.
However, Tirtha was not happy, as his son was giving more time to other activities rather than focusing on studies. His BA first year result had been published and he could only score 50 percent. Tirtha expressed his disappointment over the poor score in the examination.
“You are not taking college studies with due seriousness. We are not rich people. I want you to acquire higher education and become a professor in a college. This will bring a social status and financial independence in your future life,” advised Tirtha.
Prithvi assured his father he would do better in the next exam. His father looked content with the reply of his son.
But after some time, misfortune had befallen on Prithvi’s home. All of a sudden, his father fell seriously ill. He was taken to different hospitals, but the exact cause of sickness could not be known.
When more money was required for the treatment, Tirtha took voluntary retirement from his school and the money was used for his treatment. As time passed by, all the money was spent, but there was no conspicuous improvement in Tirtha’s health.
Doctors in Kathmandu advised Prithvi to take his father to India. Doctors prepared a detailed medical report along with a recommendation letter and gave it to Prithvi.
Prithvi discussed with his mother and both agreed to take a loan from the bank. When they approached a bank for the loan, the bank refused to give it to them. A home loan could be given to build a home not to spend on treatment they said.
They tried other possible ways to get a loan, but to no avail. At the end, they had no choice but to sell their only property—-their ancestral home, which was registered on Samikchhya’s name.
Prithvi and his mother prepared to convince Tirtha to sell the house—so that his life could be saved. They approached Tirtha.
“Baba, doctors have advised us to take you to Delhi for further treatment. They said that in Delhi you can have better treatment. But the problem is that we don’t have any more money to go to Delhi. We tried to take out a loan from the bank. But they refused. Now the only option we have is to sell the home,” said Prithvi nervously while his mother stood nearby.
Tirtha took no time to vent his rage. “I will never allow you to sell the home for my treatment. This is the only property that I have from my ancestors. I would be very happy to die in my own home rather than to live in a rental apartment for a hundred years.”
After saying this, Tirtha went to his room and shut the door.
One can see much pain in Samikchhya’s eyes. But she wanted to save her husband’s life at any cost.
“The only way to arrange money is by selling the house”, said Prithvi and continued. “We will tell him that we finally convinced the bank and got the loan”, advised Prithvi to his mother.
Their house was sold at a lower price because Prithvi could not wait for a better amount. Prithvi and Samikchhya took Tirtha to Delhi for treatment. After thorough checkups and several tests, the doctors unanimously decided to conduct an operation.
An operation was conducted and by the grace of god, it was a success. After about one month, Tirtha was discharged from the hospital. The next day they boarded a Nepali flag carrier flight to Kathmandu.
Tirtha was recovering. After a long time, sparks of happiness could be seen on Samikchhya’s face. Her husband was getting better with every passing day.
Three months had been completed. The man who had purchased the house informed Prithvi to vacate the house. As per their verbal agreement, the new house owner had given them three months’ time to vacate the house.
“Let me find an apartment before we shift”, said Prithvi. “Now we cannot hide the reality from Baba. We should tell him that actually we have sold the house.”
“Before we inform your Baba, first you find a comfortable apartment. But remember it should not be nearby this house. I don’t want your father seeing this house everyday,” advised Samikchhya.
Prithvi found a nice apartment with all necessary facilities available. And the apartment was quite away from their house as well. Prithvi took his mother to show the apartment and she liked the house at first sight.
It was difficult for Prithvi to tell his father the truth of selling his home. But truth must be told. They could not elongate the secret for any more days.
After having dinner, Tirtha went to his room to sleep.
“This is the right time to talk with Baba,” said Prithvi to his mother. Both of them entered the room and sat beside Tirtha.
“Baba, I have to tell you something,” said Prithvi and looked at his mother, who nodded her head in affirmation. Prithvi continued.
“Baba, I’m here to tell you the truth. Actually we did not have any money to take you to Delhi for the treatment. We had moved from pillar to post in an effort to manage money, but no avail. Even the bank had refused us to give a loan. In this situation we had no option but to sell the home,” Prithvi paused to see his father’s reaction, who looked shocked and bewildered.
Prithvi continued, “I discussed with Aama and finally we decided to sell the home without your knowledge. If we had informed you, then you would have never allowed us to sell the home. And for us your life is more precious than the home. I assure you we can definitely purchase even a better house in future.”
“We have this week to live in this house. Next week we will shift to a new apartment. It is not very far from this place,” added Samikchhya.
Tirtha was shell-shocked. His throat parched and had no words to speak. It was like a vicious attack on a helpless victim. Tears had welled up in his eyes. He turned his face to the wall without saying a word.
Prithvi said to his mother not to disturb him. “Now he is upset. It is not good to talk to him now. We will try to convince him tomorrow,” said Prithvi to his mother. His mother agreed.
Next day in the early morning, Samikchhya prepared ginger tea for her husband and she went to his room where Tirtha was still sleeping. She gave a call to her husband to get up and take his ginger tea. But there was no response from him.
“I know you are still angry with me. You may be thinking that I should have stopped Prithvi from selling the home. But for us your life is more important than this home. We can buy a house like this in future but not your life,” said Samikchhya apologetically.
Tirtha still did not reply to his wife. Samikchhya held her husband’s shoulder to turn him to her side. But Tirtha’s whole body was as cold as ice.
Tirtha had already been dead. He had a massive heart attack sometime in the middle of the night. The agony of losing his home was perhaps unbearable for Tirtha.
During the cremation, when the priest was reciting the holy mantras, he noticed that Tirtha’s right fist was tightly closed. He asked Prithvi to open it, as per Hindu rituals a body cannot be exhumed with a clenched fist. Prithvi had to struggle to open the fist. When he opened it, there was a crumpled piece of paper. It was folded several times.
Prithvi looked at his mother and began to unfold the paper. When he opened up the paper, it was a copy of the lalpurja of his home.