• Pallavi Rao

Kyunki Har Ek Ang Zaroori Hota Hai!

This blog post shall have no pictures, no stats, no quotes. The reason is simple. I can’t see the internet right now.

“Mamma, which is the most important organ of our body?”, asked our son, studying with fascination the human body and its various super intelligent system.

Aah…the timing of the question! Man! It must have come to me with a reason.

It came to me just two and half days ago.

On a day, when my vision deteriorated drastically.

Yes, you read it right.

Technology Zindabad.

As I type this blog post in Arial Narrow, font size 48 in my word document, I can’t but thank technology and this digital age.

So, most of you , who have been following my blog know that this Myasthenia Gravis, sucks the bloody life out of you. It tests your patience, your perseverance, your grit, your strength and power (pun very much intended).

It also brings with it a wonderful, cheap as in less costly than most, a medicine called steroids. Wysolone. Omnacotaryl. Whatever, be the name, it brings in relief and as a side effect, leaves you with many things to deal with. Read, hair fall, change of texture of hair, egg shaped face, extra fat and water retention that bulges uglily (Uglily?? Well, I just coined that word damn it!) over your shoulder, neck and also settles 5 gallons of water at your ankles and feet, making them look like an elephants.

No, I am not complaining. I am putting facts on the table.

And then it brings forth the onset of diabetes, bloating, tremors in hands and feet and tapping all over. And you thought  tremors only have epicentres in Rudraprayag, huh?

Not to forget, cataract. So steroids = diabetes = cataract.

At the age of 45, I have a premature cataract. It’s been there now for almost 4 months, but I managed work on the laptop, my facebooking, blogging, whatsapping reasonably well.

But, then it worsened. Now I can only read the headlines. Fine print? They resemble mustard seeds sprawled across the paper.

Now, you would say cataract?  Not such a big deal. Everyone has it. The surgery is super simple and easy and fast.

Yes it is.

But my love, when you can’t see clearly, when you feel you are watching the world through a permanent frosted glass, when you can’t make out what the kid has drawn on a sheet of paper that he is waving at you at an arm's distance, when you can’t decipher if the emoji you typed was a smiley or a laughter, man you are in deep you know what.

It shakes your very base. Especially when you can vaguely make out unread notifications on FB mobile and can’t read a single one of them.  That is when you dial the ophthalmologist for your appointment.

I could see my eyesight worsen. Again pun intended.

The book I was reading? The chapters seemed to be there, the words seemed to fade.

It has been two days.

The first day, I freaked. I was trembling like an aspen leaf. Yeah…the strong, stubborn miracle me (Bull !@#$$) was shivering.

I called office to say I am taking the day off ( I am working from home presently). I meditated almost the entire day. I slept for a major chunk of the day, as if it would help me tide over this nerve racking emotion.

Day 2: I freaked even more. I had some urgent heavy duty document to be compiled and sent and I was unable to read mails, see the names of the folders I have so meticulously named and set over the years.

I increased the font size on the laptop, and on my phone.

I used technology. I put my phone on mirror imaging and saw the WhatsApp messages on the TV screen as also the emails. Yes, everything took more than double the time. I realized I would need to take help from a friend because the red magnifying glass was not really practical. Requested amma to read out mails for me. Deepa was made a call to. Khosla always ready to help.

And then, you have this voice from within that says, this too shall pass, increase the font size a little more. No one is watching. And eventually you end up doing the work without assistance and feel mighty proud of it, albeit with strained eyes.

So, why the hell am I sharing my two days angst with you?

Sharing it because, it has been such a learning. I work to provide audio support and entertainment to our visually impaired and blind friends. I empathize with them. I knew what went through each day.

Or so I thought. I had no idea, this is how it feels to be visually impaired. I have the advantage that it is only a cataract. A surgery shall make it alright.

Here I am, dreading each day and hour and minute, when I am unable to see with clarity. I am depending on family, friends, and son for every small thing.

I can now only vaguely imagine what a life it must be when you can see nothing. Nothing at all.

That brings me back to my son’s question.

Which is the most important part of our body?

Today, I might promptly say, the eyes!!!! If you can’t see this beautiful beautiful world, what is this life worth?

However, if he had asked me the same question let us say, last year this time, it would have been the feet. The time when one foot of mine had become sluggish. They were so weak that I kept losing balance, and falling everywhere in the house, and on the road, and ended up with multiple stitches on both my knees. If it were not for my dearest friend Laboni that day, I would have been sitting on that pavement bleeding.

But when I slur, I feel nothing can be worse than not being able to speak. No, I am not  even going towards the fact that once I was a jock and voice person and now I have difficulty in speaking, so much that people take it to be a fake Spanish accent. Ha!

But, can you even faintly imagine what it is like in the day to day existence ? When you think you are chatting away fine but the expression on your dear husband’s face makes you realize he is patiently trying to decipher what you are saying by reading your lips! Or the exasperation when, you call the chemist to place your order for the muscle strengthening medicine and he can’t make jack !@#$ of the order. “Madam, kya bol rahin hain aap?”

Of course, so that the 11 year old kid doesn’t have a lasting impression all his life of a tutlati, slurring mom, we make a game of it all, but it hurts. It pains. To see your helplessness and the exasperation of your child and near and dear ones.

And then, the time when the lungs decided to give up work. When that breath, decided it shall take its time to come in and go out. That is when, I felt, no boss, this is it. Lungs are the most important. Respiratory system has to be in perfect shape. No breath. No life. Simple.

Similarly, a chronic back ache, or a horrible toothache or for that matter a harmless but painful baal-tod, makes you remember your mother’s mother. No?

And that instant, it is the worst pain in the world. You wish not even your worst enemy should go through such anguish.

The time when my hand muscles gave way. I could not pick a thing. Not a pen, not a pencil, not the spoon, not even a tee shirt lying on the bed and said, good Lord, to be dependent on someone for even washing your hair or changing clothes! This is the worst.

Only when you go through such crisis do you realize the importance of that particular faculty or organ or part of your precious body.  Think over your life. I am sure you have had similar experiences.

Now, what answer do you have for our son’s question?

Which part of the body is the most important?

Some would say the brain. After all, that is where all the khichidi is made. Good bad, whatever be the type. That is where all the wiring is. That is the most important part.

Then what about the gut would argue my dearest guide, ace nutritionist and now friend Luke Coutinho? All ailments, issues, inflammations, all diseases have their origin in a leaky, flaky gut.

The question came to me for a reason. That I share with you what I feel today.

Not that it is a Divya Guru Gyan. Not that it is something different or new that I mention, but I am talking about it because, I guess, it needs to be reiterated. Time and again. Repeated. Time and again.

The body is a machine. It has to be maintained so. It is a temple. It has to be worshipped so.





Today, yes…as I type in font 48 and spends half the time keeping my face close to the laptop screen to look for the forever missing cursor (where on the damn control panel is the cursor size enhancing key by the way?!), I give a special mention to those wonderful people who have touched my life and made me learn a few lessons. Prashant Ranjan Verma, George, darling Madhubala. Even as I get a trifle emotional here, I also gain strength from the fact that for me this is a passing phase. And a learning.

I am aware that a simple cataract surgery for a Myasthenic is far more complicated and a 3 to 4 day affair at the hospital unlike a 15 minute one for others, I still am in gratitude that, yes, this too shall pass.

While on the topic of cataract, did you know that you could sponsor the cataract surgery for people who can’t afford it? I know that you can do so at Venu Eye Institute, Sheikh Sarai.

Did you also know that you could help someone gain their sight back at a cost less than a meal that you spent on. Yes, less than what you spent on that home delivered pizza! A mere Rs. 1500 and a sight for someone!!! The lady to get in touch with is the enterprising Dr. Tanuja. Yes, you could give her my reference.

And one last time.

Qs: Which is the most important part of the body?

Ans: Har ek ang zaroori hota hai!

Meanwhile, please do try and type in font 48 in word document to experience the experience.


PS: This was written in 2015 when the eyes had gone for a super toss!

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