Happiness Metastasized

Story Procured and edited by: Avichal Dani

It was on a fateful day when I was looking for my friends in the Ob/Gyn ward, that I stumbled upon the pediatric oncology ward. I was just about to turn and leave when a little girl tugged at my apron, and asked if I wanted to play with her and her friends. They were all huddled around playing some made up game like kids often do. I looked back at her and saw her eyes filled with an ocean of hope. And I just couldn’t say no.

I spent the rest of my day with these kids playing games and making merry. Initially it was them asking me endless questions- varying from my favorite cartoon to my favorite colour. But by the end of the day it was the other way around, I was the one asking them all the question. They patiently and keenly answered all my questions about their cancer and chemo journey. How they were keeping up with their friends? Their school life, and all about their plans for the future.

Their answers were so full of hope, innocence and a refreshingly raw sense of honesty. But all of these kids had one thing in common, they had a sense of maturity, playful little kids forced to grow up beyond their age, in experience, but they weren’t one to complain, and they did ask me if I had games on my phone. So, kids after all I guess.

There is undoubtedly something about a child’s wisdom, they seethe true, unjaded, not-so-cynical capabilities of this world. Most of us are so wrapped up in our own heads, about the whole meaning of it all, about our own complexities, the ones that we tend to build on, and tangle well, with no interference from outside. These kids taught me that, “to be” is the least yet the most one could for someone else and for their own self. For these kids, “to be” is a luxury, which it is for us too but the only difference is that we haven’t realized it yet and they have courtesy of the emperor of maladies: cancer.

So, as a tribute to my young Gurus who showed me a way and gave a new perspective to my world-view I shaved off my hair and donated them to a cancer focused foundation which made wigs for cancer afflicted patients. Some of the NGOs standing tall in this fight against cancer, where you can also partake of this noble deed are @copewithcancer and @impact_india.

-Anokhi Patel, AMC MET Medical College, Ahmedabad

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