I aimlessly browsed through my Facebook news feed and once again sighed when I saw my colleague Aisha’s photos of holidaying in Mauritius. What a lucky lass! I said to myself for a 100th time. And here I am. A 35 year old, middle aged woman in whose life nothing is right. A job that completely sucks and the only thing I look forward to is Friday and how can I tell you about the sadness that creeps over when Sunday evening comes. I am an engineer by qualification, joined this software company right after I graduated and
have been here ever since.
Gone is the young dynamic ambitious girl who entered the gates of this office 14 years ago with grit and determination and a burning desire to make it big. She has been replaced by this middle aged woman who just wants to get done with the work assigned to her and leave for the day asap. What caused this transformation? The politics around which did not let me get my promotion? The bonus I was worthy of and never got? Uncooperative colleagues? The mundane nature of job? Family commitments and my becoming a mom of two?
But it hardly matters. Often people say you cannot have both, a good personal and professional life. In my case looks like I was destined for none. 2 kids who are the cusp of teenage and have time for everything in the world except their mom, a husband who is always ready to bury his head in his newspaper or snore to glory but never has the time to have a heart to heart conversation with his wife. Friends who were once inseparable but as time passed, each went his own way. I was truly deluded with my boring normal life. I was just living it on auto mode. Wake up at 5 cook, clean, get ready for office, board the office bus, reach office, make small talk at coffee vending machine, check mails, attend conference calls, work on PPT, complete other tasks , have lunch at desk, call husband have a 2 minute conversation and then don’t know what to speak so hang up, finish work, have a few random conversations at tea , take the 6 pm cab, check Facebook and online news, read some blogs and marvel at those who are so passionate to write them, reach home , make rotis, have dinner with family at the dining table while the kids are busy in their own world, make an attempt to talk to them, then seeing them distracted give up, get stuff ready for the next morning, watch the saas bahu serial for lack of anything to do, then go to sleep. My longing to get out of this normal life was growing day by day, outwardly I remained calm and indifferent, the corporate smile plastered on my face but inside a volcano was erupting.
Suddenly one day without any warning I got a nerve wrenching pain in my stomach. It went off after a while but came again and again more frequently. There was blood in my stools. I went to a doctor, a few tests and scans were conducted. And that’s when it came like a tornado-“This is going to be difficult but I have to tell you, you have stomach cancer. We suspected the growth of fibroids which has been the cause of pain is benign but we just re confirmed it, it is malignant. You are in the2nd stage. We have hope. But you must get admitted right away. We will have to start therapy”. I was in a state of shock.
“That’s the thing we are short of my dear”.
The next few months were a blur. I went through chemotherapy, so many scans, injections, medicines. My hair had starts falling off, I had lost 10 kgs, my eyes were hollow and I looked like a dead woman. The disease took away so much from me but it also gave me a lot. My husband whom I always complained about for his lack of emotions was my biggest pillar of support. He hardly left my side except to go to office; he kept reading for me those blogs that I used to like reading and religiously watched the saas bahu episodes with me. My children held my hand and made me believe that I would get well – just for them. Their Mummy is a fighter. My colleagues called and they enquired about my health, some of them seemed genuinely concerned.
As I sat staring out if the window aimlessly one day, I thought of office. What would I have been doing now? Probably working on a PPT and suddenly I felt the urge of being there- at my seat- working. I missed my normal boring life, the life I used to detest and had prayed for something different. God had heard my prayers and he had granted me my wish in the most unexpected way. He had made me realize that I was leading a beautiful life- a caring husband, 2 kids for whom I was the centre of their universe, a good job in a reputed company, and all the comforts of life. I had everything and I still wasn’t satisfied. But today I would give anything to get back my old life. At that moment I made a firm resolve to fight cancer, and to win, yes I would win back my old life and I would treat it with love and nurture it with tenderness and care. I would treat it as a gift bestowed by God upon me. That was the day I said to myself “normal is something I will never take for granted again.”
Author’s note:Please note this is a piece of fiction.