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The Sweet Personality of a Bengali Cook
Subratha Khatua is a 55-year-old cook from West Bengal. He supports his family by cooking for the local occasions at people’s houses. Subratha has two sons. One of them lives away from the family and the other lives with him at home and works at a close-by Thread Mill. Subratha is the main source of income to the family.
As Subratha was cooking one day, he started feeling tired and he found it hard to keep up with the physical movements while cooking. He was getting worried about it, but also kept quiet as he didn’t want to bother anyone else. His son, Buddhadev, noticed that his father was sitting down very frequently while cooking. He had never seen him act that way.
Sohe decided to take him to the local doctor and after they consulted the doctor, they were in shock as they found out Subratha was suffering from a Rheumatic Heart Disease. This required an Aortic Valve Change. This was to be done immediately so that the condition wouldn’t get worse. They had heard about J ayadeva Hospital in Bengaluru from their Village folk and so, their journey started.
With heavy hearts, Subratha and Buddhadev left their village. When they reached Bengaluru, they consulted the doctors at J ayadeva Hospital, but the doctors were not willing to go through with the surgery as it involved a great risk. During their long wait for a positive sign from someone, they were informed about an NGO called Needy Heart Foundation. They immediately contacted them and were directed to Dr. Joseph Xavier at Fortis Hospital.
For two weeks, he’s been under close radar and has been put through various tests to prepare him for the surgery. All this while, they had to pay for the medicines without any subsidy and they were just able to pay off the expenses for the medical requirements. Now the fee for the surgery was to be paid. Through the help of NHF, and crowd funding from Mr.Abel and Dr.J oseph, the fund was raised and paid, and all that was remaining was for the surgery to take place successfully.
While talking to them, I asked Buddhadev about what was on his mind during the process, he said, “All I want is for everything to go through well and return back to our home and have a meal cooked by my father.” There was such innocence in both their eyes. Subratha did not speak much, but he still had a smile on his face. Hoping to cook another meal for someone.