Saturday, May 8, 2010

When I feel proud of myself - Part II

As an afterword to my previous post, I would like to tell you that this was only my part of the story. From being a very bright smart happy child I turned into a poor kid who would yell at people around me and throw a fit time and again. My family was forewarned of such actions which was a result of the heavy medication that I was taking. Some instance are not forgivable. I fail to remember even one of these instances and till date cannot believe them. But I must say my family had to have mustered some courage to accept these temper tantrums without breaking down. I could not have asked for a better family. It is by way of such instances that I learnt what true attitude is.

My family could easily have given up and quietly accepted what came our way. But the way they kept building my confidence is just amazing.

A few months before this incident while watching Sudha Chandran's ( performance on t.v. my sister told me that she is dancing so well despite her one leg not being real. I immediately remarked, 'My goodness, how can anyone even live without one leg.' Funny to think of it now. I have realized one can do so.... and very well too.

After my accident, as part of trying to get my spirits high, mom arranged a meeting with Sudha Chandran. It did help a lot, though I probably didn't understand it then. I was slowly beginning to come to terms with it.

I was one of the most physically active children of my class. Sports was my first priority. Now, having missed an entire term of class at school and yet managing to give my exams and doing fairly well, I had to finally go back to school. I can't tell you amused my friends were for I would come on crutches and wear a full-length uniform skirt. Though initially I felt it very odd as I was never used to such girlie stuff, I did enjoy the attention I was getting.

One of my friend's came up to me and asked, 'Why did you run on the road alone? This is why you have to use these sticks now.' I explained to her what really happened and that the 'sticks' were called crutches.
Another friend asked me how long it would take for my leg to grow back. I felt very profound in declaring that such a thing was only a misconception and took pride in knowing and explaining how actually the human body functions.
During recess my friends would run around the class as usual but I was no more their leader. Before anyone feels sorry for me, let me tell you that I don't remember feeling bad about it. But I did feel awful once. My best friend Ramya, my sister and I would go to the car park and play every evening. After my accident we would go down, sit and talk, watch other kids play, take in the fresh air and return. Once when I saw Ramya standing along with the other kids, I started crying and accused her of leaving my side only because I couldn't run or play anymore. Yes, I said it. I know it wasn't fair but I did. Then aunty (her mom) spoke to me about it and only then it dawned on me that she had never hurt me so. She would stop herself from playing with them each day only to be with me. So that I didn't feel bad. She was mature beyond her age. She was indeed a pillar of my strength.

When it was time for our school picnic, as everytime, I took the initiative and started making plans on who would do what in my biiiiiiiiig gang. Later a friend called me aside and said that the rest of the girls didn't want me to go in their gang. I didn't get the point. She told me that if she wanted to come with me they'd said that she could leave the group and do so too. And obviously there was no use of that as I wouldn't play with her. I don't know what I felt. Hatred, anger, sadness, disgust? 
Then a classmate of mine, who had joined during the term that I had missed, came up to me and asked if she could come with me. I couldn't understand why. She said she'd heard so much about me from all my classmates before I came and when she saw me she wanted to be friends with me. 'A true friend is one who stands by you during your bad times.' I learnt this the hard way. This one action shows so much character for she very well knew that the 'gang' wouldn't take her in anymore. But thats her. Sheeba. My dearest pal.

Though I was managing with my prosthesis by now at times I'd find it difficult to accept that I wouldn't dance anymore, wouldn't run anymore. For a long time I used to get this dream that I'm running and when I'd wake up I'd want to feel the same way but the only way that would happen is when I dreamt of it again. May be that is what I had wanted the most then.

I wanted to learn roller skating as by then it was a fad amongst friends. But physically it was rather impossible. Yet, my dad got me the most amazing roller skates. He, mom and michech would take me around in the park. I would literally be hanging on them but as a kid it felt as though I was skating. We would go out every weekend. For picnics, long drives, movies and wherever possible. My dad. Boy, he would never take no for an answer. He's the most amazing dad. He would make me walk all the way to Meena Bazaar (one and a half kilometres from home.) every weekend and would buy me ice cream from a shop there. I would bear the heat and drag myself in the hope of having ice cream. But little did I realize that usually people using my kind of prosthesis rarely walk so much; today when I have to walk two kilometres and do it with ease, I can only thank dad for his persistence.

My mom used to clean the would on my hand by herself. It was so loatheful to look at I couldn't bear the sight myself. And at night I would get false pain (that is when some part of your body has been cut off and the nerve ending still gives an itching feeling in the part of the body that isn't there and yet you feel its presence.) and mom and I would sit in the hall and talk or watch television together until I fell asleep. She was working full time too which she says is thanks to me. I kept insisting that she should get back to working and that I would be fine. My granny came to Dubai and it was like the best time when she was around. She made life so much more wonderful and was a total morale booster.

Michechi. Well, she had to tag me along to any friends' birthday parties that she went for. As a teenager I can imagine how she would've felt. Till date I find it weird. But my folks had a different funda. I shouldn't feel bad 'cause I don't get invited to too many parties myself. I still don't agree though. Other than this too. I was always getting attention. She was to feel responsible for me. Yet I have NEVER heard her complain about it. Not once.

My Chech and amma and pappa and all my cousins and friends who have never treated me any different. They would only help in whatever way they could. Even today, they understand and do everything in their might to make life comfortable for me but never once felt sorry for me or sympathized with my situation. THAT is exactly what one would want.


  1. Pain can make a person bitter or better. Great to see that you have gone through such a life shattering experience and come out as a winner, and a better person. However I would like to add a small word of caution if I may. Whenever you meet people who are going through a crisis in life (medical, financial, personal etc etc) you may tend to think "this is nothing compared to what I went through" and may not adequately empathise with the person or her situation.

    What I mean to say is that not everybody may have your courage or determination to overcome a personal crisis. And you would frequently run into such people as you scale greater heights in life. God Bless You.

  2. Luv u my dear friend n sister.......... way to go! God bless u