In college, Swapan fell in love with Ms. Bijoya Mukherjee. She came from a wealthy and educated family settled in Calcutta over past several generations. In addition, in India’s ever-flowing caste-system, the Mukherjee-family belonged to the highest caste of Brahmins. However, the love between Bijoya and Swapan blossomed throughout their college years. On graduation, Swapan would land a job in financing in a major bank. He proposed to Bijoya “Marry me.” She said “Yes.”
Growing up, Bijoya, a millennial was a free-thinker and independent. But she also knew her parents’ generation still remained stuck in old conservatism of a “Babu-class” from colonial-era, especially when it came to mingling of castes in matrimonial arrangements. She expected some resistance breaking the news to the family. But when she did, all hell broke loose. The elder extended family members couldn’t believe “How could she bring such a shame to their respectable family”? Her father Mr. Shambhunath Mukherjee kept murmuring “How did I raise such a daughter?”
Two days later, in the evening, Mr. Mukherjee was driving back home from his business in the middle of a torrential monsoon rain, still preoccupied with the thought of his daughter’s regrettable decision. He missed a red traffic light and collided forcefully with a truck, moving across. His car flipped throwing him out. Soon the family members received a call from the ER of a local hospital, informing them the seriousness of the accident. The family rushed to the hospital and waited patiently outside the ER, the surgery already began.
Soon, a few surgeons came out of the ER and informed the family that Mr. Mukherjee had experienced severe blood loss, thus needed to be infused immediately. To doctors’ surprise, he belonged to the rarest class of “AB-negative”-type and the hospital didn’t have any in reserve due to its scarcity. All the gathering family-members lined-up to donate, but none of their type would match. The last person in queue was Swapan who rushed to the hospital, getting a call from Bijoya.
Next, the entire family observed the doctors were drawing the blood from Swapan’s left arm, while Bijoya was holding his right arm gently.