There were many a times when I often use to sigh and say “Why Me of all people”. What did I do to deserve it? Why should I have to undergo suffering at the cost of others? Worse, why do I have to “suffer” when all I did was good/benefit/happiness or cause for others? Fate has played a very cruel twist in my life, not once, not twice but many a times. At 3, I was differently abled (hearing handicapped) due to vehicular accident. Around the same time, my parent’s marriage was on a rocky patch and within a year they were divorced. While in school I was teased and taunted due to my speech. Thou I was good in studies and fetched better marks, I had very few friends due to my hearing issues. Nobody liked to be with me. I was like an ugly duckling, with thick rimmed glass, a wired hearing aid in both my ears with an instrument in my shirt left pocket, ugly ruff of thick dry hair which the back benchers in class take pleasures in throwing tiny paper balls at it. If it stuck and remained on the target, they win one mark. By the end of the period, I would find lot of paperballs behind my hair which would often make me cry silently on my seat.
No one would come to comfort me. At home too, living with a stepmother was equally not good. I would prefer to be out of the house most of the time. Though I hated school, I love going as it was the only solace to be away from home devoid of love and “want” of freedom. At home I would be mostly “locked” in my room , given stale food and at times with insects in them. Though I came from the wealthy, influential background and had servants at home, it was my stepmother who ruled. I had seen servants leave their job either because they were fired or because they couldn’t stand the tempers of my alcoholic stepmother. Dad was helpless in this case. Either he was too busy to notice the going-ons at the house and how much I was enduring the suffering OR my stepmother shielded all this away from his sight. I have often protested how much I lived under fear of my stepmother and how badly I wanted to stay in a hostel which would often fall in deaf ears. But he could not do anything. My wild guess was that he did not want to lose his second wife. He didn’t want his second marriage to collapse again. So to hold on to her, he would often ignore me. But then he was a caring loving father. He gave me whatever I wanted in terms of things. He sent me to best schools and even hired a tutor for me to teach. But what I lacked was “love”. Love from my mom, love from my stepmom, love from my stepsiblings, love from my friends during my childhood days. I often would look forward to summer/winter vacation to come so that dad would take me to paternal home where I would have a whale of time being with my grandparents who showered all their love, care and affection on me. My grandmother would be surprised at my huge appetite. I use to gorge down on food and would overeat and leave not even a morsel of whatever has been cooked. I would do that coz I knew once the holiday ends, I would be back at the four walls of my room which is more like a prison to me with just old stale cornflakes (with tiny insects swarming in the milk) for breakfast--and for dinner, it was milk and bread. Lunch was a luxury where I would get to eat good food prepared by servants but would be given in a less quantity to me. I was too scared to ask my stepmom for more. On Sundays, when dad was at home, depending on the mood, he would cook up my favourite dishes, put the plate in my room and then leave. I never had a “family” time. I never had an experience of eating together like a family. And since the whole day I would be locked up in my room, I never had a freedom to roam around my house either.
I had a love marriage which too failed in the matter of 4 years. (Please refer to “Living with HIV” , the first post, for more). I fell in love 3 years after my divorce to a guy who made me feel so happy once again. He was my world, my everything. He made me feel beautiful, inside out. He made me feel complete. He made me dream. He gave me strength. He gave me the colours to add in my life. But my only mistake was to hide my status from him, which cost us the relationship. If I had told him earlier, I wouldn’t have been in love with him and we would have been just friends and hence I would have saved myself from rejection and hurt. I would have saved myself from pains and sufferings. I would have saved myself from the agonies that comes with being HIV+, where all negative things start controlling ur mind. In our two months of being in love, a circumstance made me disclose my status to him. He was aghast. He felt betrayed. He felt cheated. Then for the next 3 months he disappeared from my life only to reappear again, not as by boyfriend anymore but as a friend. As a good friend. And he did all that he could to prove his friendship. He took care of my medicines as I was not financially capable to do so. He took me to the best doctors. He made sure that I never go a day without a medicine. I lost a beautiful love that we shared, a love with a bright promising future of being together. But again I retained his friendship in form of compassion and generousity. This has been the most painful moment for me. Having a person you love but in a different form now, knowing that he will never be yours, knowing that he would eventually marry someone else where I had dreamt to be, well, if that is not a painful situation to face then what is?
I wish life had been easier. But then, if it had been easier, maybe then I would never have learnt to be stronger in my pains. My every hellish moment of my life was moulding my character, my personality and above all, my heart. Thru all these journeys of my life, I have realised many things (although copied, it makes a strong INSPIRATION) :
1) I have realised that LONELIER u feel, the lonelier the world makes you FEEL.
2) I have realised that words had HURT me more than the I have SUFFERED in life.
3) I have realised that BROADER the smile, DEEPER may be the wounds inside.
4) I have realised that no matter how many times I pray, I only get what I RIGHTFULLY DESERVE.
5) I have realised that when I am ECSTATIC about something, there are never enough PEOPLE to to SHARE it with.
6) I have realised that a FACE is not as important as it is made to be believed. HEART is.
7) I have realised that it is not always a COWARD who gives up a fight. Sometimes SMART people too.
8) I have realised that you can't JUDGE others unless you wear their SHOEs.
9) I have realised that one person’s MISERY is another person’s MERRIMENT.
10) I have realised that every REALTIONSHIP has an EXPIRY DATE.
11) I have realised that TEARS convey more that what WORDS can ever say
12) I have realised that SMILING ALL THE TIME can really hurt.
Thus life has taught me so many things. It had made me, moulded me, helped me. There are still lots to learn. But the better part???? I still believe that despite all this, despite the truamas, the sorrows, the grief, the pains, the sufferings, the hurt, the misery, the agony…..the BEST is yet to come!