Aditi Gupta at a relative’s house after writing her HS Hindi paper. (Bishwarup Dutta)
For a fleeting moment on the eve of the most important exam of her life so far, Aditi Gupta doubted her resolve to sit for the test.
Then it dawned on her that her late parents would blame themselves for her predicament.
“My parents went through enough pain when alive, I cannot make them go through it again in death,” the 18-year-old braveheart, orphaned in a fire accident at home on February 27, told Metro.
Aditi wrote her Higher Secondary Hindi exam at Gyan Bharati Vidyapith on Nimtala Ghat Street on Wednesday. “When I got the question paper, I remembered my parents. I fought back my tears and sought their blessings,” she recounted.
Aditi and elder brother Yash lost their parents to burn injuries three days apart. A leaking LPG pipe is thought to have triggered the fire in the Girish Park house.
Some of Aditi’s books were damaged in the incident and she had to buy and borrow replacements with just a few days to go for the exam. Her teachers helped out with some last-minute notes.
When they were alive, Kavita and Ved Prakash Gupta would always prod Aditi to study. “Now is the real test. Mummy and Papa are not around to push me but I know I have to study,” she said.
Her mother’s advice to her a couple of hours before the fatal fire still rings in her ears. Kavita had asked her daughter to “go upstairs and study”, reminding her that an MBA degree was her life’s mission.
When the fire broke out in the first-floor kitchen of the Girish Park home, Aditi was in a second-floor room.
Even her books now remind the 18-year-old of her parents. “My economics text had soot imprints. Looking at it, I remembered I had been studying lying in bed when Papa called for help. I had thrown that book aside to use a quilt to douse the flames.”
Around four days after the incident, Aditi had returned home from a relative’s house to get her books but couldn’t stay there for long. The smell of smoke was still in the air as she walked up the stairs. “I could not find all my textbooks, including the one on English prose. I could not stand the smell, so I returned in a hurry,” Aditi recounted.
Brother Yash salutes his sister’s courage but worries money will be a hurdle in her MBA dream. “Our uncles spent over Rs 2.5 lakh on our parents’ treatment. My father couldn’t save much and I don’t know whether I should look after his business now or study,” said Yash, a second-year student at Anandamohan College.
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