I Was 8 When My Mother First Saw The Spot On My Face: My Life Could Never Go Back To Normal Ever Since
India is considered to be the land of diversity, traditions and culture. It is known for its historical existence. It is known for the great figures that this country has given to the world. But most people are not aware of the kind of mentality people have here. I love my country and it is not about India but it is about the people – Indians (most of them for that matter).
This is my story and the truth that I have been living with, for sixteen years.Share this quote
I was born as a normal girl to my parents, just like any other adorable kid. My parents have done everything to get me the best of everything that I have ever wanted in life. But that does not make me a brat, instead I have known how they have managed to get us these things even in their times of adversities, without even letting us realize that for a moment.
I was happy and content with whatever I had in life. I felt my life was picture-perfect since a very young age. I sometimes wonder if I jinxed it. It all started one day when my mom observed a white spot on my nose (when I was just 8). She thought it was something minor and would go away with a simple ointment treatment. But one ointment turned into hundreds of doctor appointments, packs of tablets, syrups and some more ointment, in no time. This skin disease is called vitiligo/leucoderma, where you have white spots on your skin. This occurs when the substance called melanin does not get produced in the skin and hence the brown color of your skin starts turning white.
Since then the race to get cured has been on. Till date.Share this quote
At that tender age you don’t even understand these things. Just do as your mom asks you to do, because she wants you to get better for a reason you can never comprehend then. Just because I’m an Indian girl, the pain of this gets doubled for my parents because looks are of primary concern everywhere in India. My first flight travel was when I was in my 2nd Standard, but this was not for fun, it was to be done all by myself to go to Mumbai to see some doctor there. My grandfather was already there and since our family was not so well off back then, dad could not afford two tickets to send my mom along. I didn’t know this was just the beginning of the never-ending run.
Weeks passed by, turning into months and then into years. Anywhere I used to go, people would give suggestions and advises to mom- do this, do that etc. I could feel it but back then ignorance was bliss for me. Treatments that I have been through were not a torture but have left scars on my skin apart from those white spots. Sitting under the sun after applying lotion for hours made my skin tone darker each day.
Additionally, a wrong treatment by a doctor made my body swell up and then immediately stopping the treatment got me back to normal but leaving stretch marks all over my body. Different doctors used steroids to make the treatment work. Yes all this was when I was just a teenager.Share this quote
These treatments never bothered me as much as the people’s reactions, when they looked at me, did. I wonder if I ever caught anyone’s attention genuinely. Not for my skin but me. Even if I was just walking in the crowd, I wonder if they wanted to get to know the real me or just be sympathetic. The people in metro/bus would stare at me continuously as if I was some alien.
I love kids but it feels pathetic when children get scared of me just because of how I look. But it’s the adults that bother me more in this country. Though I have always been very lucky to have the set of friends I have in my life. But others’ reactions to my skin texture have been harsh on my self-esteem for years.
No one understands how it feels to be like this, try living with this in our society every day and you’ll know. It is not that it is just in regards to the male section of the society. I have had wonderful guy friends and have had relationships too. But it is also about how females treat you, because you look ‘weird’ to them and hence must be dumb.
Over the years, I’ve come to believe I am a much better person than most of those “beautiful” girls.Share this quote
So I decided to walk out of my comfort zone and experience the real world once in my life. I decided to pursue Engineering but not in my own city. This was the first time I was going to experience co-education. And yes this was an eye-opener of how people really think of girls like me. If I would not have been the topper of my branch, I don’t think anyone would have even bothered to talk to me the same way as they did!
There have been nights I would cry myself to sleep covering my face with the pillow, till I could not breathe. But I never wanted to talk to mom about how I felt because I knew she wouldn’t be able to take it. But as everyone says everything happens for good and no one can be perfect.
This is God’s imperfection touch to me!Share this quote
Now I have been abroad for a year pursuing my Masters in an esteemed university. People here embrace my face, my skin tone and every little thing I’ve been looked down upon at for so many years so well that I cannot express. This place and people here have made me feel the most beautiful ever. Here when I travel in a train/bus, I receive a warm smile instead of a stern glare. The number of compliments I have received here for my looks have outnumbered the ones I received in last 24 years back in India.
So clearly, it’s not my skin or God’s fault, it’s my society that made life difficult for me. Us Indians need to realize that it is not about how you look or what complexion you’ve got, beauty is about what lies within you and how beautiful you look from within. Now I am independent, fearless and bold. In a way these spots have helped me stand out in the crowd always! I don’t care if I get married or not because marriage is really not the end of life! For anyone. Because a compromised marriage due to this is a big NO!
There is much more to life – YOLO (You Live Only Once). Anyone who is in a similar boat, learn to not be taken aback from people around you. Like I did. Get up and get a life just like other “beautiful” people around you have. This is no factor to make you feel dejected in life.Share this quote
There is one thing in my life that I would want to thank God for – he has given my skin but at the same time he has given me the strength to fight against it, to cope up with different reactions I receive each day of my life. That is what I pray for everyday that no matter what he decides for me, he should give me enough strength whatsoever. Yes and he has answered all my prayers till date.