A father’s sacrificesAfter his wife’s death, Tirtha refused to remarry and decided to raise his young children on his own.
Tirtha's happiness knew no bounds when his wife, Kusum, gave birth to a daughter. Two of their previous children were sons, and Tirtha had hoped and prayed for a daughter. When he held his daughter in his arms for the first time, he felt immense joy and he thanked God for blessing him with a daughter. Upon seeing Tirtha so happy, Kusum started crying with joy.
“You have given me so much happiness that I don't think I can pay you back in this life. But I think that way, we will reunite in the next life so I can repay you for all the joy you have given me,” said Tirtha as he hugged his wife passionately.
However, Tirtha's happiness was short-lived as tragedy struck his family not long after the birth of his daughter. When his daughter was merely six months old, Kusum fell sick. She came down with a high fever and was admitted to a nearby hospital. A few days later, her health worsened, and she slipped into a coma. Despite the doctors' best efforts, Kusum's life couldn't be saved. She breathed her last when she was still in a coma.
Tirtha was devastated by the sudden death of his beloved wife. He had never thought that such a misfortune would strike his family. He was left alone with his three kids. Since his kids were still very young, many friends and relatives advised him to remarry so that the children would get a mother's love. However, Tirtha refused to remarry and decided to raise his children on his own.
Time flew by, and Tirtha raised his three children with so much love and ensured that they never felt the absence of their mother.
When his eldest son, Binod, completed a degree in pharmacy, Tirtha opened a pharmacy shop for him. When Binod's business took off, he got married and started living on his own
But unlike Binod, Ramesh, Tirtha's second son, decided to discontinue his education after high school. Instead, he decided to join his father's cloth business.
Problems began compounding in the family when Shreya, Tirtha's only daughter, got admission in a private medical college in Kathmandu. Her college fees were expensive, but Tirtha informed her not to worry and that he would arrange the money soon. He was committed to seeing his beloved daughter become a doctor. For her education, Tirtha sold two of his land plots. Shreya didn't disappoint her father and managed to ace every semester exams.
In the final year of her studies, Shreya had to make one final payment of Rs two million. For Tirtha, the only possible way to manage such a huge amount of money was by selling the only plot he owned. When Ramesh learned that his father was planning to sell the family’s only plot of land, he was very disappointed. But he didn't object to his father's decision.
Despite Tirtha's best efforts, he failed to find a potential buyer. Two days before the fee payment deadline, Tirtha found a buyer, and he struck a deal for Rs 2.5 million. The next day, he handed Ramesh the money and asked him to deposit it in his sister's bank account.
When Ramesh didn't return from the bank until late afternoon, Tirtha started getting worried. Making matters worse was the fact that Ramesh's phone was switched off. This worried Tirtha immensely. He started thinking about all the unfortunate things that could have happened to Ramesh and cursed himself for sending his son alone to deposit such a huge amount of money.
That day, Tirtha closed his shop early and went home to see if Ramesh had come home. As he neared his house, his heart began to race. When Tirtha saw his house's main door locked from the outside, his heart sank. When he opened the door, he found a crumpled piece of paper on the table.
It read: "Dear Dad, please forgive me. I'm taking this money as my own share of the property. Because if I don't take it now, then there will not be anything left for me in future. I'm sorry, Dad."
The letter shocked Tirtha. He had never imagined that Ramesh would do something like that. However, he was also happy that his son was alright and that he was not robbed or harmed. He tried calling Ramesh's phone once again, and this time he answered.
"Don't be silly, son," said Tirtha. "You are not old enough to live your life alone. You are just a kid. Life is long. Do you think Rs 2 million will be enough for you? You will soon run out of cash, and what will you do then? Don't be stupid. Deposit the money in your sister's account and come back home. Your sister desperately needs that money. After all, this is about her future." Before Tirtha could say more, Ramesh disconnected the call. When Tirtha called again, Ramesh had switched off his phone again.
With only a day left for him to deposit the fees to his daughter's account, Tirtha started panicking. All he had with him was Rs 500,000 and he was still Rs 1.5 million short. With no option left, he decided to ask his family and relatives to loan him money.
The first person he went to was his eldest son Binod. But Binod refused to help his father.
Tirtha then went to his friends and relatives.
Having run a cloth business for many years, Tirtha was known for his honesty and for always settling his dues on time. A few businessmen came together and loaned him the money and at 11 am the next day, Tirtha went to deposit the money in his daughter's account. As he neared the bank, he got a call from Shreya.
"Thank you, Baba. I just received the money, and I already transferred the money to my college's bank account. Thank you very much. I will talk to you later. Love you, Baba," she said and hung up the phone.
This puzzled Tirtha. All that Tirtha could think of was Ramesh and what he could be doing. Tirtha called Ramesh once again, but his phone was still switched off.
"Perhaps my daughter thought I would not be able to manage the money, and she might have lied to me. Has she decided to give up her medical study? Ramesh has fled with the money, and I have not deposited the money yet," said Tirtha to himself. Lost in his thoughts, Tirtha did not realise that he had already reached his home. As soon as he opened the door, he saw a piece of paper on the table.
It was a bank deposit slip of Rs 2 million. Tirtha was still studying the deposit slip when his phone rang.
"Bab, I'm sorry for causing you so much pain," said Ramesh.
"It is ok, my son. But where are you?" asked an anxious Tirtha.
"I'm at the shop, and I'm quite busy attending to our customers. I'll see you later at home," Ramesh said before disconnecting the phone.
A puzzled Tirtha dashed to his shop. When he saw Ramesh busy attending to customers, Tirtha's eyes welled up.