"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. and if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand Utopian future. the future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory" - Howard Zinn
This is exactly what this month was in a capsule. kindness, compassion, courage, I saw it all. and it was beautiful. I've been picking my brain every time i come close to writing about this month. Where do I start, how did it begin..and each time i'm overwhelmed just looking back and thinking how fantastic the month was. But let me tell you anyway. The month of April i had labelled as
'The month of Rebirth'
As 3 years back I underwent a Kidney transplant surgery that saved me and gave me a second chance at life. My brother donated. Its a month I can never, ever forget. And I want to share and write about it as much as I can - shout about it from roof tops. In a world where most of the media is focusing on the terrible things, I want to share and talk about the positive. I want to do my own little bit to show there are people with big hearts, that there are people even after walking through hell, have the biggest smiles. I want to be part of the .5% of us spreading positivity, happiness and smiles. I want to show the millions of renal patients, they are not alone in this. I want to be spread awareness and help in however little I can. So I did.
I had beforehand decided on a few things I wanted to do for the month, and one major element was to plan and host a photowalk. The other things were to spend as much time as i could with my family, to start this mini project where friends would take pictures of me (i contributed too) and upload them on my Instagram account - a way to talk about how my body has changed and how
Acceptance and self love
are some of the most important thingsI have learnt from these four years of the transplant.
The month started with me announcing my plan of hosting a photowalk. After much debate and arguement (with myself), I decided to host it at Basavanagudi on 22nd April; two days before the 3rd year anniversary of the transplant (24th April, 2015). As a lover of all things romantic, I choose this charming part of old Bangalore I have always admired and loved; It's where I got married also! The many old establishments that serve some of the city's best dosa, vadas and chutneys were also a big plus. So, with the help of my friends, Meghna and Suraj, out we went scouting the area and fixing the route we would take on the day of the photowalk. I was a nervous wreak from the time I announced the plan to my small set of followers on
Instagram and Facebook. And as the day got nearer, the more edgy I got. The meet was set to start at 7am and there I was with 22 others who woke up that Sunday, dragged their bums across the city for this little gathering. I was shell shocked. I couldn't believe they took the time and effort to be with me. I bought school name tags and Natraj pens for memorabilia and got everyone to write their names and be creative with them. When the time for the introduction came, I wanted to talk about my brother and about organ donation - but there I stood, like a dear caught in headlights, stunned looking at the 22 set of eyes looking at me,
I froze and said nothing.
After all the introductions were done, my set of friends who knew got me to a side and told me to talk about it, forced me, threathened me. If not for them, I'd be sitting here filled with regret. So with that, I told my story, and went on to mingle, click pictures, meet new people, make friends and eat delicious dosa. The rest of the day I spent with my closest friends I made though Instagram. Though the photowalk saw a small group of 22 people, I want to make this a recurring event and use my voice to help as much as
Apart from the photowalk, there were other event that warmed my heart and soul. The month also saw travel. This was to Chickamangaluru to attend a dear dear friends wedding. It happened three days after the photowalk, that I just wasn't mentally and physically prepared for. Somehow in my head, i thought the wedding was the next week. But, this event I couldn't and wouldn't miss for the world. And so my two friends and I ventured in the bus all the way to attend our friends wedding. The wedding was beautiful and of course it brought me to tears which I tried controlling, but it was like seeing my little sister getting married. I would love to share the brides story someday. She is one one the strongest people I know!
The wedding reiterated that LOVE will always win.
Other events I want to highlight -
- my sister made chaat - i had chaat after the longest time and it was delicious!
- The brother came and spent 4 days with us and in the end he went back to Dubai with his wife. Rasam travels next to - Dubai! :)
- Vishu was celebrated two times. Once at a family friends place with wine and the loudest laughter. The second time with the family where I collected 3K and blew it all the very next day on a dress!
- Cried for Asifa. When will this STOP???
- Went to Bangalores' very own flower and vegetable market - Majestic; where mum and sister-in-law bargained and I took pictures!
- Sand 'Happy Birthday to you' 4 times.
- Mr.Husband made my brother and I a card for our transplant anniversary. I broke down and cried.
- Ate Davangere benne dosa. It was drenched in butter. I ate half. Prayed hard I dont end up with another case of food poisoning. I didn't.
- Vidyarthi Bhavan dosas are the best I've tasted.
- Lunched with my favorite ladies at SodaBottleOpenerWalla on the 24. Great place.
- Attended my first photography workshop by Toehold. Excellent workshop!
- Forever grateful and thankful to be alive.