Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beggining of Mumbai life

I finished my graduation and decided that I will move to Mumbai to do my MBA. The excitement of moving to a new city, staying in a hostel, getting all the freedom thrilled me so much. I went for extensive shopping spree and bought almost everything new. My mom decided to drop me off to the hostel. I packed 50 kgs of newly collected clothes, shoes, bags as that was the maximum limit set by airlines for two people. I felt nostalgic while leaving home so I picked my albums from my nappy days to graduation farewell and put them in my hand bag.

I arrived at Mumbai and took a train from Dadar station to Neral. it took my 2 long hours in the train as my college was at outskirts of Mumbai, surrounded by scenic view, water falls and river. It was a breath taking view. I was allotted room number 8 at ground floor. My mother helped me set up my room and she left for Delhi.

I was enjoying every second of my stay at this breathtaking picturesque campus. First month was super exciting as we all were busy making friends,  planning for freshers fashion show,  co coordinating dance performance and so many other things.Time was flying.

it was raining heavily throughout July and on 24th July, I caught up with Malaria. suddenly that scenic campaus looked haunted to me as there was no good medical facility around. closest was a mediocre doctor on the other side of the river who would shut his clinic at 5 pm. while I was lying in my room under the influence of painkillers, my room mate arrived and informed me that water has entered the hostel and I should move to first floor. I was shifted to level 1 but my condition wasnt improving. At 9 pm, I couldn't bear the pain anymore so my friends suggested that I should go and see the doctor. by then ground floor was filled with 4ft high water. My batch mates decided to carry me up till the campus which was at slightly higher altitude. I was then taken to the doctor's clinic. I was totally wet so my friends (except one) returned back to campaus to get money, clothes and my phone.

Doctor left after putting the glucose drip and told my friend that he will return after 3 hours. at 2 am doctor arrived and changed the drip bottle. it was 3 am now and our friends didnt come back. we were getting worried. we had no phone and to make things worst, there was no toilet and no door at the doctor's clinic.the entrance was covered by a curtain.

At 6 am doctor arrived and informed us that the bridge connecting our college has broken and there is no electricity and phone connection in the whole area. Finally at 11 am college authorities arrived and took us back to college.

when we reached campus, I was told that I cannot go to hostel building as water reached till level one and all students were rescued by navy last night. Though the water has left the building, there is a chick layer of mud and some snakes so it is not safe to enter the building. I forgot about my malaria and all i was thinking about was my stuff that vanished with floods. I was thinking of the dresses I didn't wear even once.

College was shut for a month and we were asked to return to out homes. Now all the flights and trains were cancelled so I stayed at my friends place in Mumbai for 5 days. Then I heard in news that trains are operational from Pune to Delhi now so I took a bus from Mumbai to Pune and then took a train from there. Train took 39 hours to reach Delhi. I was feeling so sad and low thinking what had happened in last 10 days.

But there are always two sides of the coins. My family was happy that I reachedhome safely and bought me so many presents, gifts and a laptop. Looking at my laptop, i was thinking that I am so glad I didn't get it before 26 July.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I was enjoying my first summer vacations. Monsoon had just arrived and like any child I ran to my balcony to dance in the rains. Next morning, I was down with fever. I had cold and was sleeping the whole day under the influence of medicine. My mother woke me up. She served the lunch and asked me to eat it. She went inside the kitchen and I somehow managed to reach till the table. I was half asleep. I asked her to open the door as I couldn’t see anything. Since the door was already opened, she thought I am making excuses to avoid lunch. She took me in her hand and made me sit on the chair. I again asked her to open the door. This time she scolded me and asked to eat and went inside the kitchen to get some jaggery as I loved eating it with food. When she returned back, she saw me moving my hands haywire in search for my plate. She thought I am still sleepy and weak so she fed me food with her hand. Then she took me out in the veranda which was bright and sunny. She offered me the glass of water and I was struggling to locate her hand. To her horror, I couldn’t see anything.

It was the most shocking day of her life. Her only daughter had turned blind. And within few minutes of her panic, she imagined the painful life her daughter would go through. There were too many things running in her mind and she got unconscious. There was no one else in the house and I was too young and weak to understand that something is wrong with me. After almost an hour my mother regained her consciousness. We didn’t have a telephone connection. She ran to the neighbours to seek help. One of them called my father in his office and briefed him about the incidence. He rushed back home.

By now all my relatives had arrived. I was taken to top eye specialists in Delhi but nobody could detect the reason for my blindness. After a month of tests, check ups and medicines, I was referred to All India Institute of medical Science. My parents were told that due to high fever one of the nerves in my brain got tweaked. After one month of medication, I could see again but through thick glasses. Without them I was again blind. Doctors said now I will have to see world through these glasses.

Now I was a toy for my cousins and classmates to play with. I was nick named as Chashmish. If I would go out to play with my building friends, someone would take away my glasses and enjoy my blind moves. So I stopped playing. I would sit at home and see kids playing from the balcony. My mother would play with me, help me with eye exercises. She would take me to the doctors every Saturday for check ups. Finally she found one doctor who assured her that I can get my vision back after a year of exercises, medications and diet. That was the beginning of my healthy diet regime. After year of spinach soups, carrot juice, exercises and medication, I did get my eye sight back.

So now when someone asks me what I like most in me, I tell them it’s my eyes because I know how precious and priceless they are.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I was 4 years old when my mother realized that I should be sent to school. She took me to the best primary school near our house which was around 2 kms from the place we live. Yellow building, grey gate with Arya Model School written in black bold letters. I was interviewed by the principal. She asked me to recite poems my mother had taught me all this while. She asked me the color of my dress and I happily told her the color of my favorite frock I was wearing. I got admitted to the school. Since the session had already started, I had to attend the school from very next day.

At 7 o clock in the morning my mother woke me up. Since my mother didn’t have enough time to buy my uniform and books, she made me wear a pink dress. My cousin, who was a year elder to me was studying in the same school so she packed my school bag with his last year’s books. At 7 30, she realized I had to board my school bus at 7 .45. She woke my father, asking him to drop me to the end of road where school bus would pick me up. My father, who had a habit of having bed tea to wake, was half asleep. When we reached at the bus stop of my school bus, we came to know that bus comes at 8.00 a.m. we were standing there, waiting for the bus to come. My father was getting irritated as he had a swelling stomach and wanted to visit the loo. To his rescue, my uncle, who is a villager, was coming from the other side of the road to visit us. My father exchanged greetings and asked if he would mind helping me in boarding the school bus. My uncle agreed. By that time there were 8-9 kids have gathered. A school bus came and my uncle helped me board the bus along with other 5 children. He waved me and I sat on a seat next to the conductor.

I reached the school. I prayed along with other students in the assembly ground. Then one of the teachers sent me to the nursery class, where I sat on the third desk in first row from the class room gate. Day passed by and it was time to go home. I along with other students boarded the school bus..The driver didn’t know who I am and whats my address. So he dropped me at the last bus stop along with other kids. By now, my mother really worried about my whereabouts. She made a call to my school and to their utter shock, school authorities told them that I didn’t come to the school. She ran to my father’s office.

Now I was in strange area. I was a strong girl so I didn’t cry. I was searching for my house. Till now my mother had dictated my address to me 100 times and I remembered it very well. When I was walking in the streets searching for my house, by passers realized that I have lost my way. One of the ladies asked my name and where I stay. I told her my name is Parul and I stay at 2/252, adarsh Nagar. Since I was too young to be believed, she opened my bag to see if there is any proof of my residence. To her shock, name written on my books was of my cousin, Siddharth. She discarded the information I gave her about my residence and looked with a pity at me saying, ‘Dear Siddharth, I don’t know where you stay but if some one else asks you about your name, tell them your right name. OK?’ With this remark she took me to near by house and asked if they know this girl Siddharth. I immediately shout back that I am not Siddharth, I am Parul but nobody believed me as my books were not supporting what I was saying. I was passed from one house to another, checking if someone knows me by any chance. After an hour of passing the parcel, I reached a barber shop who apparently knew the Principal of the School, whose name was written on the books. That was the only thing written about me on the books was correct. He took me to the principal’s house. She recognized me immediately. By that time it was already 4 o clock.. She called up at the school to find out that my parents were searching me and had come to the school to find my whereabouts. She told my parents that I am safe and she would be bringing me back to the school. At 5 o clock I met my parents who were eagerly waiting for their only child. I dictated the whole day’s event to my mother and that’s when my mother frowned at my father for being so careless.

This adventurous day of my first day at school was dictated nth time in front of all our relatives, telling them how brave I had been even at the age of 4 and how careless my father can be that he asked his brother to send me with the first bus that comes to pick the children to school instead of telling him the name of the school.