Read this when there is minimum brain fog and your muscles are allowing you to smile.
I remember you as the chubby cherub in the hills, the no-physical activity kid who used to live in some parallel reality of books and colors. I remember you as the sickly child who would always catch some infection or the other, who needed the extra care that she duly received and more from her doting dad.
He used to call me brittle bones almost prophetically, because one fine morning as you tried getting up from your bed for your Social Science pre-board exam and couldn’t you just knew your bones have revolted.
The tuberculosis misdiagnosis and much medical turmoil later when you were diagnosed with Osteoid Oesteoma at 15, it changed you forever. The surgery made you take your final exams with crutches and your journey with the Sufi/Zen you claim to be now had begun.
You developed this curious vision to look at “invisible” miseries of the body and the mind and that also led to the beginning of your liaison with the dark beast called depression. But you tigress! You looked life in the eye and were defiant as hell even back then. You didn’t let the hurdles stop you from being up and about and go through the entire mandatory rituals of growing up- theater, arts, fashion, heart breaks and more.
It wasn’t easy because I know the illnesses would strike back with a vengeance. You would hate the missed opportunities to socialise, travel and professionally grow, but thankfully never became bitter about the achievements of your “healthy” friends.
You used your pain as the sword and the armor and most importantly as your voice to reach out, whether via the radio, the stage or written words. You grew an almost sixth sense to empathize with undetected wounds of the soul and that brought you more and more poetry from the recesses of your own mind and those of the others.
Dear lady, your longest affair so far has been with stories, whether you listened to them, found them or narrated them or never let them go. They paid back beautifully in kind when you became a parent and had an endless stock of stories for the young co-learner.
Then another word rather truth made the grand appearance in your plot- Fibromyalgia. Another loan had to be paid back to the cosmos in installments of pain, discomfort, brain fog in addition to the physical absence of your late father and the demands of single parenthood.
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The sword has its dents by now and the armor had deep chinks, but some battles demand not giving up and showing up each day without fail till you finally hang your boots. But you know what your scars make you more beautiful and this deep understanding of pain and grief make you more endearing and valuable.
So wear that warrior attitude dear woman and whether they know it or not live like you always have- one of a kind!
Your Alter Ego