The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sacrifice gift of sight

For some, it’s a festival of lights. For others, endless darkness.

Diwali on Friday left a two-room apartment in Beleghata engulfed in darkness. The young couple in the flat had decided never again to light a candle.

At the other end of the city, in Behala, a one-storeyed house was flooded with diyas. And the family never thought their son would come out of the darkness to see the lights again.

The couple’s sacrifice has gifted sight to a blind youth. Shantanu Biswas and wife Dali lost their only son Bismoy, 4, last August. The child drowned in Subhash Sarobar during a swimming lesson, allegedly because of the trainer’s negligence. The couple decided on the banks of the waterbody to donate Bismoy’s eyes.

“We wanted to see a part of our son alive. When we look at this youth, we see our child in him,” said Shantanu, elaborating on what led him to take such a decision.

“The eye-donation organisation did not tell us whom they gave Bismoy’s eye to. They said it was against the rules. But we wanted to locate the youth at any cost, because we wanted to see a bit of our son. After a long search, we found the boy at a seminar. He is Ananta Biswas, of Sarsuna, in Behala. When we told him about our son’s eye thet was donated to him, Ananta hugged me and expressed his gratitude,” recalled Shantanu.

The young couple went to Ananta’s house on Dashami. “We spent hours together. When he was looking at us, we felt Bismoy was gazing at us,” wept Dali.

Their two-room flat is replete with Bismoy’s memories. Toys, dolls and other playthings are arranged in perfect array. The walls are covered with Bismoy’s photographs.

“I stay alone at home. I spend most of the time in the drawing-room. When I look around the room, I see my son everywhere,” said Dali.

The couple admitted that since their son’s death, every festival had become a nightmare. “Bismoy would enjoy himself at every festival. Now, we are alone,” mourned Shantanu.

“It’s Diwali and we will not be able to stay here tonight. A few hours later, my neighbours will light up candles and their children will burst crackers. It will be hard to accept that Bismoy is nowhere,” the father lamented.

Shantanu decided to leave his apartment with Dali before his neighbours start their festivities. “I will drop Dali at her parents’ place. Then, I will go to my office in Keshtopur and immerse myself in work. We will return late in the night, when the neighbours are asleep,” he said.

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