Sunday, 20 April 2014

Life:by choice and not by chance

             The walls and floor of the oncology ward were the same pale shade,colourless as the lives of those who currently inhabited it.  Some faces were old and scarred,ex animate.....some etched with years of agony while some stone-like with their eyes transfixed to some distant point.

             But among those,one stood out - as we huddled around her bed,a girl much younger than me.  She beamed at us.  Though she was bald and wore the same printed gown as the rest;her smile distinguished her from the uninterested others.

             The procedure to be demonstrated was a simple lumbar puncture.  She was made to lie down on her side,crouched as we watched,excitedly as children at a magic show.  After all it was our first.  A doctor pulled out a long,slender needle and told her to relax.  An assistant swabbed her lower back.  The doctor,then,felt her spine,stopped at a point and expertly started to push in the needle through her bare skin.....not a drop of blood...neither a wince.

             Suddenly....SLOP!one of us had nearly hit the ground,fainting by the scene.  I looked around at other faces and received terrified glances.  I felt goosebumps.It must have been so painful,but then i realised,it was routine for her.
             The girl turned over after sometime.  Not a tear.  She looked at our stunned faces and smiled again,her face not showing the remotest sign of pain.  And this must be so minor compared to the burden of her terminal illness...the fatal,onerous,malignancy she was diagnosed with....the side effects of palliative chemotherapy that meant to alleviate her pain,ease it until death only freed her of it all.

I stared at her,but i could not smile.  I felt weak at my knees.  She continued to embarrass me with her smile.  I noticed that she was very pretty.

I noticed something else that day.  The answer to a question that we all have asked ourselves at some point of our lives.
"Does destiny really exist?"

For if it didn't,then how were some born blind,some crippled and some with inevitable suffering or incurable disease?

I now knew that the important question was not if it really existed,rather we should ask ourselves-"Even if it did,should one believe in it?"
        Because did not i,just a split second ago,see a girl younger than me defeat it?Because wouldn't believing in destiny mean setting ones own limits?And don't we all have a right to be free?



For the blind have learnt how to read,the cripples have managed to walk and technology has defeated most of,if not all burdensome diseases.  And for the ones which still don't have a cure---------- human faith and determination is still stronger than any destined 'fate' . 

(true life incident)
-Niharika Prasad