For A Cause

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This happened when I was studying in 12th standard. My friend Sumi haven’t came to school for the past 1 month. Next month we were having our term examination. I tried to contact her but she was not responding. I asked our class teacher , does she knows why she was not coming to school. She replied that she knows the real reason but she won’t tell anyone the real reason. I became worried by hearing this. On the next week I decided to go to her house. Her house was about 50km from my house and she used to live in hostel during the school days. I asked the permission of my mother to visit her house. She agreed. On the next week I took a bus to her house. The bus which reach only till the junction, from their we need to walk or call an autorickshaw to reach her house. I decided to walk. It was almost 11:15am at that time. Finally I reached her house. I knew her house very well as I had went their earlier. It is a small house, with 2 rooms and with a common bathroom. Her father had passed away when she was very young in an accident. Her mother works as a temporary staff in a government offices. Their were no sign of life in that house. But I decided to open the gate. Suddenly man call me from the back and inquired “Who are you and what you want”. I replied that I am a friend of Sumi and I had arrived here to she her. He left without saying anything.

 

I had noticed that her cute little puppy was not here. I guess , i got mistaken by getting into another house. Even though, I decided to ring the calling bell. After few moments, someone opened the door. It was her mother. She inquired, who am I . I replied that my name is Vani and I am a friend of Sumi. Suddenly, she recognised me and invited me into the house with a gentle smile. I took my seat in the sofa. Her mother brings me a glass of juice to drink. I then inquired about Sumi, why she is not coming to school and not responding to my calls. Her face suddenly fall into sad and started to cry. I asked her “Aunty , What’s the problem”. She told me all the story. Sumi is suffering a tumor in the head, the only possibility is to get a surgery and remove it. I became shocked by hearing this. I asked her , “Where is Sumi ?”. She said to follow her and guided me to her room. I was shocked to see Sumi, she became very weak, became thin , hair kept as uncombed. By seeing me she started to cry. I ran towards her and hugged her. By that time her mother left the room in crying.

 

I started to talk with her. I asked why don’t you answer my call. She replied that she was very sad to tell me about her disease. After many talks , I asked her about her puppy. She replied that ,”We were in the hospital for many days and it was difficult for them to look after the puppy , so we sold him”. ” Doctor told my mother that the surgery should be done in this week , but my mother don’t have the money for the surgery” and she started to cry even more. I tried to relief her. She had a nice hair till her shoulder. It is now unmaintained. I asked ” Look at your hair , what a mess it is , I will comb your hair, come..”. She replied “For What ? It is going in some moments”. “What ?” I asked. At that time calling bell rang. “The answer of this question has arrived”. I became confused. I went to the door. Her mother opened the door and invited a man holding something in a plastic cover into the house. And he said to her mother that ” Please be quick , I need to go to another house”. I told this to Sumi. She replied ” It is no one other than a barber , my mother had invited him to shave my head for the surgery”. Again it was a shocking news for me. At that time , her mother asked me to take a chair and lie it outside the house. I did what she had asked me to do. At that time , the barber was inserting a new blade into his razor.

 

Her mother and Sumi also went out of the house and Sumi sat of the chair which I had placed. The barber applied some water to her head and started shaving her hair. I can’t tolerate that moment so I walked the back of the house and stood their till the headshave is completed. After headshave the barber has went and Sumi call me. When I looked her , she was fully bald. I had no comments to say to her. At that time, her mother invited me to have the lunch. I refused which full respect. But she continuously forced me but I refused. I said a lie that I have to go to my house as soon as possible as our family is going to my grandparent’s house. I somehow managed to get out of their. I purposely refused the lunch invitation as they were poor , affording me could make more burden to them , that too in this worse situation. I took bus towards my home and reached their by 2:45pm. When I reached the house, my mother asked me about her. I said all the things to her without missing anything and I started to cry again. My mother console me by hugging me and promised me that we will help her in the surgery. I became happy by hearing this. I took my savings box, it almost had 20000rs (INR) which I was saving for several years to fulfill my dream of visiting an foreign country. But I decided to use this savings to save my friend. I gave this money to my mother and said please use this for her surgery. She became very emotional by seeing my attitude for my friend.

My mother and father went to her house and talked about taking all the cost of her surgery. Her mother firstly refused but due to continuous forcing by my parents she had to accept. The operation date had fixed for Wednesday.

 

My mother always donated her hair for the Cancer patients. Most for the time, she used to cut as boycut and donate her remaining hair for the organisation. Mostly in every 5 years she used to completely shave her hair and donate to them. Earlier, she had booked an appointment for a hair donation on this Tuesday. The organisation member will come to our house and cut the hair. I knew that uncle very well as I am seeing him since my birth. His name is Shiva. He came to our house for the haircut of my mother. He boycut my mother’s hair and was set to leave our house with the chopped hair. Immediately I asked him to stop and I asked to shave my head. Everyone was shocked by hearing this. My mother said ” Hey ! What are you telling ? Are you going to chop your long hair ? “. Yes !!, I said. Finally she allowed me to shave ( she knew that I was shaving my head to support my friend so she knew that their is no way to distract me from this decision ). Shiva asked me to sit in the same chair which my mother had sat. I had a very thick long hair , few inches below the hip. I used to braid my hair as single chain , due to its thickness it looks like a bumb. Shiva untied my braids. Then he section my hair into two and put rubber band in two sides. He said “It is for the first time that I am shaving this much of hair , most the girls having this much hair used to donate only maximum 11 inches but you are donating full”. He then started to shave my head. She started with the left side. Firstly he tried to shave in dry texture , but due to high thickness I was feeling a little pain while shaving, so he decided to wet and then shave. Finally he completed the full left section. Now I am half bald. He gave me that portion of the hair in my hands and he switched to the right part. Finally he finished the second part also. Now I am completely bald. He gave me the second section of hair and took a photo of me. He went with the hair.

 

On the next day , we decided to go to the hospital for Sumi’s surgery. I wore a cap in my head and we went their. It was already the time for surgery. I saw the doctor’s again clean shaving her head. She was lied in a stretcher and was carried to the Operation room. I hold her hand and showed a gentle smile. Her face suddenly changed in doubt of something. I knew that she was about to ask about my hair. She was admitted at the operation room and when the door was about to close and removed the cap and showed thumbs up to her. Then The Door was closed.

 

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