When the 10yearold Ajay first learns of the accident

When the 10yearold Ajay first learns of the accident, he nonchalantly speculates that if Birju were dead he would get to be the only son. Medicine and science do little for Birju. He is blind and will not walk or talk again. Years pass and Birju’s condition remains unchanged. He lies in a bed at home, stiff and breathless. Ajay prays for countless hours with his parents for his brother’s recovery and feels guilty as he sneaks in a prayer to do well on his math test. His father becomes alcoholic. His mother is busy by her efforts to”wake” Birju. His parents begin to fight viciously. They begin to forget Ajay and his need for nurture. One cheerless Christmas Day, Ajay erupts, sobbing to his parents that he too deserves something, for enduring the condition at least some pizza. “I am so sad,” Ajay confesses to his father one evening.”You’re sad?”his father responds; I want to hang myself everyday.”Ajay continues his life through this wreckage. He gets top grades at school.


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