“Lung Cancer”, declared the doctor hesitantly. Somaiyya only smiled in response.
At 45, life has never been easy. He could never go to school because his parents preferred one more earning hand to an educated son. He was the youngest in the family with eight older sisters. His parents’ and grandparents’ greed for a son made them happy when he was born.
But, they were also in misery. It was told that of you have five daughters, even a king would become a beggar. His parents had eight of them and they were poor farmers.
By the time his sisters were married off, he had enough loans to repay for a lifetime. He decided against marriage. He knew that he could never offer her comforts and he didn’t think that he had the right to knowingly hurt someone else’s life. His parents died eventually. They were guilty and unhappy.
Somaiyya worked hard in the farms, carried sacks and did almost everything to repay the loans. His only luxury was the cheap bidi and tobacco.
With every passing years, he lost weights. Eventually, he started coughing regularly. However, Somaiyya didn’t care. His sisters thought that he was working very hard.
But, that sunny afternoon, while carrying a heavy sand sag, he started coughing up blood. Then, he fainted.
The contractor rushed him to the hospital. On examination, it was concluded that he had lung cancer.
“Lung Cancer”, declared the doctor hesitantly. Somaiyya only smiled in response. He was glad that he would be free from the torturous life he led. He declared his unwillingness to accept any aid or treatment.
He sold off his land and the little hut. With the money received, he repaid the loans. He told his sisters that he going for a pilgrimage. They cried and refused to let him go. But, he walked away from all of them.
He felt free for the first time; free from misery, responsibilities and even life.
He lit his favorite bidi, and let the roads take him to the final destination – death!