9 months ago :
We were at Mumbai's hotspot nightclub Rock Bottoms. Me and my close friend. Puffing on my "nth" cigerette that I have lost count of, I stared at her blankly while she screamed in exasperation, "Jo, I don't object to your smoking but are you even aware of HOW MUCH are you smoking? And look at you! You look so drained, tired, worn out, not the pretty Jo that I once know who defied her age. Now you look even more older than your age!" While she was hollering on and on, it had little effect on me. Taking my third peg of Bacardi White Rum, stubbing the cigg I told her, "Come, let's rock the night away!!!!"
Back to PRESENT :
My morning begins with the chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Bead by bead, count by count, round by round my chantings grow deeper, powerful, more intensified. I was quite lost, transported to the other world, oblivious to my present surroundings. 16 rounds of 108 chants (japs) which takes 2 hours to finish is not an easy thing to meditate on, fixing self's mind on Lord Krishna, trying hard not to divert it away from the centered being.
Spirituality is a strong thing. It cleanses you inside out. Whatever the result of your past deeds paves way for your future destiny. In simple English "Whatever the result of your action, you have have the exact or the opposite reaction.". In more simpler terms "As you sow, so shall you reap".
I have come to terms with my HIV. I have committed a grave crime by killing my unborn baby and thus I was punished for it. Having sex for pleasure, and then top of all, killing a foetus just coz u didnt use any contraceptive measures or precautions is a HEINOUS CRIME. We people have become so insensitive nowadays that we take things in life for granted. Love, Money, Sex : These three greed of life makes us so blind and fallen so low that we dont realise how much we are sinned until there is a time when God who loves you decides to put sense in your head by punishing. In fact, God does NOT want to punish you. There were other ways to get message thru. But did I listen or pay heed? No. In India, abortion is illegal unless a mother has some health complication. That I knew about it. Did I listen? No. Unwanted pregnancy can be prevented by condoms or other preventive measures. Did I observe it? No.
Not only my ex-husband, but I too am EQUALLY blamed for the abortion. He didn't want to start a family yet, as he was not prepared for it. But at the same time, he hates wearing condoms. Thus I could have taken the initiative by buying women's contraceptives easily available at the chemist. The only thing that stopped me were the fear of the side-effects of oral pills and vaginal contraceptive were such that it forms too much of a lubricant that it leaves my husband unsatisfied. Whatever the case, I agree that am EQUALLY to be blamed.
Therefore, my point here is: That I knew all this, but I didn't pay heed to it, neither I listened, nor I followed, so God thought that enough was enough. Therefore He took the matter in His own hands so as to save me from falling into a deeper hell-hole. So He struck. While undergoing my FOURTH forced abortion, I was being screened and the result came out "positive". (those who dont know my story, please refer to my FIRST blog "Living with HIV"). My world was shattered, my loved ones taken away from me, my family/relatives abandoned me. I thought of killing myself. Committing suicide. Went into emotional depression. Smoked heavily, drank as much as I could tolerate to be in senses, worked hard so as to party harder. I wanted to live whatever was left of my life. Without regrets. BUT God was kind. Even thou He had given the strict punishment, He was disciplining me. After all, He is God. He knew me inside-out. Ever so merciful.
I consider the disease as my blessing in disguise. For everything that has happened to me, happened for a reason. Now when I sit back and look behind, I realised that I have come a long long way. And am really thankful for small things and count my blessings one by one. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't eat non-veg, not even an egg, I refrain from any kind of intoxicants like even tea, coffee, colas and chocolates. Yes, that is labelled as intoxicant because it contains "caffeine". So out of boundary for me. And by not having these help keep my cravings in check, keep my body healthy by eating the right kind of food. Onion, Garlic, is avoidable as it generates heat. Less oil. Less spice. Less sugar. Everything in control.
Thus, I have realised the PURPOSE of my life. Instead of wasting my precious time away on partying, drinking, mixing with wrong kind of people I bettered my life with association from devotees, showing love and compassion to the needy/helpless, devoting my time for people like me, people living with HIV/AIDS, people who are really worth my time. Thus began my campaign for HIV/AIDS, to erase its Stigma and Discrimination, HIV Activism, and bringing people close to understanding God and their purpose of life, by telling them my story the way I see it and understand it.
Had it not been for the virus in my body, I would have been rotting elsewhere, smoking, my smell stenched with nicotine, and no one would have been there to claim my body except scavengers!!!
Here, I enclose with a picture of my God who showed me my way and bought my life back in track.
Krishna is His name and on his hand is the flute. He can be seen in any ISKCON temples worldwide.