Satish Verma entered his house with his newlywed wife, Chandrika. His parents let them in after completing all the rituals. He was looking forward to celebrating his first night with her. She looked gorgeous in her red saree. Her cheeks flushed pink with excitement. She entered their room with a glass of milk. Satish waited for her. He couldn't control his emotions. She handed over the glass to him. She bent down to touch his feet. He lifted her up and hugged her. He was about to kiss her when someone knocked at their door. His mother Sharda burst into tears.
She said "Your father needs to be hospitalized. He has complained of severe chest pain. I think it might be a heart attack." Satish left the glass on the table and rushed to call an ambulance. He comforted his mother and asked Chandrika to be with her. The ambulance arrived shortly. The paramedics administered first aid on his father. They carried him on a stretcher and took him to the LifeLine hospital.
The doctor assured them that Satish's father was safe. He said that it was a minor heart attack. He prescribed some medicines and prepared a diet chart for him.
Satish's father Umakant came home after a week. Chandrika left no stone unturned in looking after her father-in-law. She became the favorite daughter in law of the family. Sharda doted upon her while Satish was proud of his wife. Satish had two elder brothers, Nitin and Ramesh. Their wives Sadhna and Manasi despised Satish and his wife. The brothers had no love for him or their parents. They had started searching for the individual apartments.
Satish returned home after a hectic schedule in the office. Chandrika offered him tea and biscuits. He asked her to sit beside him.
He asked her," Aren't you upset with me?" She shot back," For what?" He replied," I completely ignored you after our marriage. We didn't go anywhere for our honeymoon. We didn't even consummate our marriage. You have been a wonderful wife and a great daughter-in-law. You looked after my parents without grumbling. I wonder how you still manage to smile. Any other woman in your place would have filed for a divorce." Chandrika smiled and answered," I have no complaints because I have no craving for sex. True love never demands anything."
Chandrika went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. Sadhna and Manasi had already started preparing various delicacies. Chandrika was stunned to see these two lazy women cooking. They did not bother to enter the kitchen after her arrival. Chandrika was an excellent cook. Even her detractors couldn't find fault with her cooking.
She never got an opportunity to spend time alone with Satish. Though she was upset, she never expressed her feelings.
A couple of days later Satish came home earlier than usual. He saw her preparing tea in the kitchen. He tiptoed behind her and slid his hand over her waist. She felt a tingling sensation all over her body. He planted a kiss on her neck. She turned around and finally their lips met. They parted after five minutes.
Chandrika teased him," What's the matter, dear Romeo? Why are you so romantic today?"
Satish responded," Please close your eyes and stretch your hands." She obeyed him. He asked her to open her eyes. She was delighted to find two flight tickets. He added with a twinkle in his eyes, " Pack your bags, sweetheart. We are going for our honeymoon to Mussoorie." She was thrilled and hugged him.
Sharda had fractured her legs when they were about to leave. Chandrika and Sathish canceled their journey. They did not express their disappointment. Satish thought of the movie Piya Ka Ghar. They were going through the same situation.
Finally, Lady Luck smiled upon them after six months. His brothers and their wives had gone to attend a family function. His parents left for their pilgrimage to Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Satish and Chandrika were eagerly waiting for this moment. Satish completed his office work and left for home. He bought a box of sweets and flowers for his wife. Fate had something else in store for him. He met with an accident. A car hit him while he was crossing the road. The driver stopped immediately and got out of the car. He checked Satish's pulse and drove him to the nearest hospital. He had Satish's driver license and ID card. He called his colleague Uday and informed about the accident. Uday rushed to the hospital with a few friends. The doctors wheeled him into the operation theater. Uday called Chandrika and conveyed the bad news. She arrived within fifteen minutes. She was in tears as she stepped into the hospital.
Uday consoled her and said," Satish will be alright. Please don't worry." The doctor announced that Satish was in need of A Positive blood. Uday had the same blood group. He donated blood to Satish.
By God's grace Satish recovered from the mishap. His entire family was shocked to learn about his near escape from death. Sharda spewed venom on Chandrika. She said," This girl is unlucky for us. My husband had a heart attack on the day she entered this house. I fractured my leg. Now Satish almost lost his life. She should leave the house immediately."
All of them nodded in agreement except Satish. He scolded them for being superstitious and supported Chandrika. She was grateful to Satish. His parents remained silent. They avoided interacting with Chandrika. Sadhna started preparing food for the family. Chandrika was forbidden to enter the kitchen. She could not come to terms with their sudden hatred for her. Satish felt sorry for her. He was the pillar of strength for her.
Days turned into weeks. Satish's mother made sure that the couple never got intimate. Meanwhile, Ramesh's wife Sadhna gave birth to a baby boy. The entire family rejoiced except for Satish and Chandrika. They had celebrated their first marriage anniversary.
Their happiness was short-lived. A fortnight later, Satish returned home with a high fever.
Chandrika took him to a doctor. The doctor diagnosed it as viral fever. He prescribed some medicines and advised complete bed rest.
Satish applied for two days sick leave from his office. Satish's mother didn't stop cursing Chandrika for his ill health.
Satish's health started deteriorating. He had frequent bouts of fever and swollen gland. Ramesh and his wife moved out to their new home with their child. Nitin was also searching for a new house. Chandrika realized that something was wrong with Satish.
She took him to a private hospital. The doctor conducted some tests on him. Satish's medical reports confirmed that he had AIDS. The doctor broke this news to the couple in distress. Satish almost fainted when he heard that he had AIDS. Chandrika supported him and offered words of encouragement.
She asked the doctor," How is it possible, doctor? He never had sexual intercourse even with me." He replied, " Sexual transmission is not the only source of infection. Blood transfusion and reusing a disposable syringe are also responsible for it."
She suddenly remembered that Uday had given him blood to save his life.
She said," Don't worry, honey. We will go for the treatment. You will be alright." The doctor recommended a specialist for the treatment.
They thanked the doctor and came home. His parents were waiting for them. Nitin had just returned from the office. Sharda questioned Satish, " What did the doctor tell you? What kind of disease are you suffering from?"
Satish was in a dilemma. He didn't know what to say. He decided to tell the truth. He uttered a single word," AIDS." Rest of the family were shocked. His mother lashed out at him for being careless in his bedroom encounters. Satish had not expected this from his mother. She was supposed to console him and shower her love. His father gave him a scornful look. Nitin's hatred was visible in his face. Nitin and his parents walked out of the house with Manasi. Satish broke down completely. Chandrika hugged him and said," Please let them go. They are not worthy of your love."
Satish was lucky to have a kind and faithful wife.
The news of his disease spread like wildfire. Manasi had warned all their neighbors about Satish and his wife. All their relatives ostracized them. Their neighbors maintained a safe distance from them. Their grocer offered to have their goods delivered at their doorstep. He requested Chandrika not to visit the store in person. Satish and Chandrika did not care for the world. They had each other's company.
Unfortunately, Satish's boss came to know about his ailment. He fired him the very next day. Satish was dejected. He could not face Chandrika. He had to do something for her. He could not watch her suffering in pain and humiliation. He did not tell her about losing his job. They dined in a posh restaurant and went to a movie. They slept till 9.00 AM on the following day.
He told her that he was not feeling well. He said," I have applied for a week's leave. My boss has already approved it." Chandrika was glad that his boss was so considerate.
She prepared tea and breakfast for him. He asked her to go to The Public Library and fetch him some books. He closed the door after her and locked it from inside. He tore a piece of paper from his diary and wrote a letter. He read it and neatly folded it. He found her dupatta and tied the noose around his neck. He hanged himself. His body was swinging in the air. Chandrika came after an hour with books for him and some vegetables. She kept on pressing the doorbell. There was no response. A policeman happened to visit his relative in the adjacent building. He saw her plight and came to her rescue. He broke open the door to find Satish's limp body. Chandrika screamed and fainted. The policeman called for an ambulance. He noticed a suicide note lying on the table. He opened it and read.
I am sorry for taking this drastic step. You may not see me alive when you come back. Please forgive me. My family and my boss have rejected me. I am an outcast with no value in my life. Everybody treats me like a doormat. You have been very patient with me. I am grateful for your moral support. You deserve someone much better than me. I am fed up with the sarcastic comments of people. I don't want to prove my worth to anyone. You will receive the insurance money shortly. Use it wisely and be financially independent. I wish you all the success in your endeavors. I have no objection to your remarriage. Please do me a favor. Create AIDS awareness campaigns and educate people. Tell them our story. Raise your voice to erase the social stigma connected to the disease. I don't want another Satish Verma to die like me.
Wish you all the best.
Inspector Ravi Khanna sprinkled water on her. She slowly opened her eyes. He showed her the letter. She cried her heart out. This cruel world had snatched her beloved husband away. The Inspector pacified her while the ambulance arrived to take Satish. She called his brothers and parents to inform them about the tragedy. She was surprised and angered by their attitude. They refused to see his dead body and cremate him. She decided to light his funeral pyre. She defied traditional Hindu culture. She bid him farewell with tears. She carried his ashes in an urn. She vowed to immerse it in The Ganga after realizing his dream.
Chandrika received Rupees two lakhs as the insurance money. She used it to start her catering business. She undertook orders for marriages and parties. Her delicacies became very popular. She hired rape survivors and victims of domestic violence for help. Her business continued to flourish over the years. She opened a restaurant which was highly successful. She never compromised on food quality. She expanded her business. She exported homemade pickles jams and spices.
She remembered Satish's last wish. She conducted an AIDS awareness campaign.
Chandrika had contacts with well-known personalities. She invited film stars to participate in the campaign for AIDS awareness. They accepted her request and addressed the public in rallies. She interacted with people suffering from AIDS. She taught them to be self-reliant and gave them jobs.
She became a prominent businesswoman. She opened many restaurants in India and abroad. She also sponsored the education of underprivileged children.
She started The Satish Verma Charitable Trust. The local news channel covered this event. Satish's parents and brothers watched this show. They cursed themselves for ill-treating Satish and his wife. Nobody believed them when they bragged about Satish being their brother. They tried to contact her, but she did not respond.
Chandrika went to Haridwar and immersed Satish's ashes after five years. She had fulfilled her vow. She missed him very much. She performed all the rituals and stepped out of the Ghat. She found a baby boy abandoned near a garbage bin. She took him in her arms and cradled him. She carried him with her to the hotel. She checked for any missing baby complaint with the police station.
She was relieved to know that no one had filed any complaint. She decided to adopt him. She named him Satish. She was overwhelmed with emotions. Her Satish came back to her as her son. She had everything in her life. She thanked God for being kind to her.
One year passed peacefully. The cute little toddler celebrated his first birthday in style. Many celebrities graced the occasion. His mother cut the cake and fed him. He gave her a peck on the cheek and said, " Maa." She was so delighted that she had tears of joy in her eyes.