-Written by Dr. Geeta Sundar

I am not perfect. Gosh, I know that, but like every other woman and lady before me, with me, I have aspects of my body and life that I wish turned out the way I imagined them.

But after entering neurosurgery and seeing it in its most sublime, naked, bared out form, I can only say the whole experience and the way I see myself is cathartic and holy. It’s brainwash from all the unnecessary societal norms I grew up with. Its like wearing smooth tapered glasses with a Pollyanna vision.
“Do something, anything!” she wails, clutching her sari and her bosom. Her tears are genuinely thick, and clog her eyes. I explain once again about the grave prognosis and shake my head. “Only supportive care. Nothing active can be done. He is too far gone. Might not make it through the night.” She shakes her head, grabs my hand for emotional support and reiterates the story she told me 2 minutes ago. The boy was 19, had no parents, she was his mother’s far away cousin, no grandparents, nothing to his name, nobody to even care or give him a funeral, but she had promised his mother, and so she felt responsible. “Anything, doctor? There is something you can do, surely?”

“Palliative” I tell her, my voice sounding way harsher than it did a few seconds ago. But the message in them, an ultimatum. She knows she has lost this battle, as she breaks down once more, grieving. I let her be and slowly walk back to the patient. Maybe there is some response, I tell myself, those few empathy strands in me hoping I can stop her crying for the moment. But I see him laying there. Left femur broken badly, naked except for Foley’s, IV lines over his body, pupils dilated, no response to any pain I provide, CT scan a plethora of bleeds in every nook and corner of sane brain tissue. I know he is gone, his mind lost somewhere in a zone/region undefined by human standards, an unknown we are yet to know.

And I realize, that I am so grateful to have a full femur, pristine enough CT brain, hands and legs and a brain that responds to a command in equal measure, and I am lucky to have parents who would fight for me. And I couldn’t care less about my appearance, or the dried, beaten hair over my face, tendrils unkempt or otherwise, the sad, tired look I sported, or that I reeked, or that my batch mate was getting more surgery chances than I did, or the fact I was exhausted beyond words or hadn’t eaten or slept in days together. Nothing else mattered as much. Nothing else was far more important. In short, I was lucky to be alive, working and doing what I love. Too grateful to have feelings and feel them freely.

Each day I see the same morbidity. Trust me, its never easy and we can all go and weep deep into the portable graveyards we all carry, but there are certain things that just teach you to mature faster than expected. So yeah, I’m grateful for a lot of things, and I hope to release such a testimony into the universe, since cosmic energies have been believed to be able to modulate the fate of another being. If such is the case, I’m grateful for being a woman, having hands and legs, eating and sleeping at my will, speaking and listening to my choice, hanging out and doing what I love with people I love. I am grateful for all the small things that make me smile and all the bad things that make me appreciate the value of the smaller and finer things in life. I am grateful to God, and every other entity or person who goes a long way in making sure my mistakes don’t turn into gigantic misgivings. I’m grateful for this life, for this person I am – warts and all, weight and all, glasses and all, personality and all, moods and all. I am grateful for the family I have, the up bringing I’ve had, the ideals I own, and share with them and the support they have given me to get me till here as they continue to support my lofty dreams.

I care not for how I look, or how I appear, body self-shamed or not. I care not for how the society sees me, hooks or crooks or climbers on a wall. I am me, I understand me, I love me (most of the times) and such is what I make of my life; like Pollyanna.

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2 Responses

  1. Aakash says:

    Beautifully written.

  2. Ranganathan says:


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