Vikas was eight years old when his father passed away in a road accident. Born in a lower-middle-class family with no income, his mother ended up working at houses in a nearby colony as a cleaner. She worked hard and, Vikas continued studying at the English medium school. He was among the class toppers. Poverty did not defeat his aspirations or desire for a better life.

Vikas made the best of everything and, his mother was the world for him. They had no one else to look after. That is the price one pays after inter-caste marriage: either you are poisoned, beaten to death, or forgotten by the parents.

It was the last week of August when Monsoon was at its peak before departure. The non-stop rain lasted for over a week. Most had the luxury to stay at home but not Vikas’s mother. She had to go clean houses for those malkins(housewives). It resulted in mild fever and cough. As time progressed, it ended up being severe. With the limited knowledge and money Vikas had, the nearby drugstore near his home was the best he could afford. His mother’s condition kept falling before she took her last breath.

It was all the malkins(housewives) who helped him with the last rites. Time flew from day to week to month but, the loss of a mother continued: Vikas was an orphan and restored to weed and alcohol consumption.

One night at the chai shop, he met half a dozen sadhus, The ascetic members of our society. They were headed back to Mathura. It was the conversation or aura; Vikas packed his back and joined in their journey, leaving the worldly pleasures.

Vikas is mahant now at a matha in Mathura. It took him 12 years. He wanted to become a doctor and serve the poor, but the future had some other plans for him.