Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Like a lot of you, i have spent a fairly 'normal life' ie., growing up, a decent education, lot of friends, kick starting a career and being successful at it - the usual humdrum. The occasional good looking client, night out with friends, office politics, email battle with colleagues, long coffees with girl friends, a great husband, a loving family - all in all a fantastic life!

I had it all going for a 32 year old!

Then a day comes.. with a switch of a button - change.

I came back from a holiday from Cambodia(yes, that was a tick on my bucket list), completed a stressful and decently successful client visit(for those in the BPO/ITES field, you know what this means) , knew that i was pregnant, knew that i would get promoted - all poised to only BIGGER things in life, well i had no idea how BIG a card life dealt me.

It started out with a fever, and then to multi organ failure, to a coma, to a tango with death(not going into details, as this is stuff i could make a movie on and earn copyrights!) and finally surviving it with a two year stint recovering, however losing all my limbs in the battle(if you are shocked, that was exactly what i was aiming for). I was affected by a rare bacteria Ricketssial with morts(a doctor told me that the only time he heard of this bacteria is in his exam paper!! trust me to find a bacteria so rare) which usually results in death, and along with my pregnancy related complications, it resulted in thrombosis(clotting of blood vessels)of extremities.

The two year stint involved meeting all kind of doctors, trying every medicine, prayers and offerings to all gods in the world, until we accepted amputation was the only way forward with life.

These years though difficult and painful(mentally and physically), opened my eyes to a very different world. I was upset, hurt, angry at everyone who could walk or even itch and the constant battle of WHY ME! In time, and with wonderful constant support of friends(I love you guys!) and my family i have now reached a state of liking who i am(with or without limbs).

However while i dealt with my inner demons, the world just stared at me for being disabled! A world at times, that would not make eye contact as they look away as you catch them staring, a world that feels they have the right to know what happened and follow it up by how sad or upset they are or how god could be so unkind...your so young(like if i were older that would be ok?!!) - a world that constantly make you feel different, though i feel i am the same, limbless but my soul, my intelligence, sense of humour, my idiosyncrasies - all me!

I walked into a lift recently, with a child and her father. The girl looked at me, and bless her, children have the best reactions, pointed out at me and said "Papa, see her hand". I smiled. The father, pulled the daughter away and had his hand practically over her mouth and trying so hard to distract her, and trying so hard to ignore the situation.

While i understood his predicament - it got me thinking.

We need a world where our children are taught thats its ok to be different. All the parent needed to do, was tell the child, yes she is different, would you like to say hello. The child then begins to accept people who are differently abled physically or mentally are just 'different' - human and real - no less!