In front of the Pashupatinath Temple, there are many stalls of flowers and other worship materials. Susma is a stall holder. A girl of medium height, fair complexion, and long hair seems odd among the other old ladies. The girl used to be very busy with her regular costumers before the earthquake. Since the earthquake, her business has fallen to pieces.
Six months previously, Susma attended college and enjoyed life with her friends. She was a very happy girl. She rarely used to come to the shop, which was run by her mother. But an incident changed her life. While running the shop, her mother fainted and went to the doctor. The doctor reported that both her kidneys had stopped functioning. Her mother lied on the bed in need of proper care.
“The doctors said that she needs an immediate kidney transplant, but how can we manage the expenses?” Susma asked me between sobs. The responsibility of her younger brother, sister and ill mother have come upon Susma’s thin shoulders.
“Father used to drink a lot and got into frequent fights, but last year he went to Malaysia,” said Susma. “Mother used to earn money, but now she is lying on bed. There is no option—I have to leave my studies.”
Susma is the only one hope for the family. She was already in a difficult situation, but the earthquake has put extra stress on Susma. The number of people who visit the flower shop decreased after earthquake, and she doesn’t know how to manage the daily household expenses and the costly treatment of her mother. Standing in front of Lord Shiva’s temple in her flower stall, she prays to god to show her a way out of this drastic situation.
- Sarita Pandey