Skip to main content

Can be worse.

Life, can be worse.

Being a 24 year old medical student was fine, but I was HIV positive. I was recently diagnosed of virus and it came as a shock to both me and my family. My parents told me not to worry about it and continue leading a life as normal as I could. And I tried.
I stopped going to college but the university let me write the exams and I got my bachelor degree. I couldn’t continue in the medical field after that. I had to quit.
Yes, my parents always supported me but I wanted to find someone whom I could love and feel and touch without them being scared. I wanted a companion, a lover.
So I decided the best partner I could find was someone who was HIV positive as well. I organized a talk, a seminar about how I was dealing with the difficulties and living with the deadly disease. But this lecture was open to only the HIV positive people, and I kept an age limit till 35. Both boys and girls were allowed.
I never had a problem with the boys, in fact I was very quick to realize that I liked boys as well, I like the boys more than the girls. Before HIV I didn’t show any of this to anyone, I controlled my feelings but now, after HIV, I was free. I could like whomever I wanted, be the real me. My parents never objected me or questioned me. That was one of the perks of HIV. And that’s when I also realized being gay, or bisexual, or any sexual preference which was seen as a taboo by the community wasn’t as bad as dying.
The seminar didn’t attract a lot of people; the hall was small but still empty. Only about ten came for the seminar and I was happy about it.
My intention was to find anyone in that room who would be with me. There was only one single female in the crowd. And she was kind of familiar, then I remembered, she was my college mate and we were good friends back in college.
She could have been a good choice but then she was a good friend and I didn’t want our relationship to spoil. And I wasn’t interested in girls anyway.
We had a friendly conversation and it was nice to meet her again. She told me that she contracted the virus after some accidental blood transfusion form an infected person.
The seminar went on and there was one more boy in the room who I was attracted to. He looked my age and was cute.
But Swati, my friend also asked me whether we could support each other and have a relationship. I sadly rejected her offer by saying that I was more interested in men than women. She understood my feeling and happily accepted my reason. I felt sad and hoped that she found someone.
I approached the boy and it turned out that he was gay too. I had got a companion; the seminar was a success.
After the seminar, I was standing at the door, waiting as people left the room.
 Swati came to me before leaving, she wanted to say goodbye, maybe this was the last time we were going to see each other.
“You know……” she said as she shook my hands. My boyfriend was standing beside me, holding my arms.
“Your life isn’t as bad as you thing, you have your parents to support you and now you have found a companion. That is all you need. Love and companionship is all you need and you have it. Enjoy your life.”
“Yes, thank you. I hope you find someone too” I said.
 After all of them left I saw the pile of sheets of the participants. I had asked them to get proof of their test reports, just to be sure. But I never checked them.
Out of curiosity I went through reports, just flicked the sheets. All HIV positive in the bottom of the paper, except I noticed something different in one of the papers.
This made me search thoroughly again. I went through each sheet and the second last sheet. It was there.
Swati was HIV Negative.
I remembered what she told me last before leaving. And it taught me a very important lesson in life.
 Being HIV positive isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a person. Not having a family is.

Popular posts from this blog

The abandoned

The Abandoned
Mr. Kuthappa leaned against the wall adjacent to his bed and sipped the brownish, gold liquid from a tetra pack. Abstaining from what my eyes were showing “Mr. Kuthappa, what is that” I paced myself towards him, to show my authority, to demand the respect I deserved, to remind him he was the patient and I was the doctor. But my angry catwalk didn’t seem to intimidate him. Nothing was going to bother him now and we both knew I couldn’t save him with my knowledge or medications. It was too late. His body was completely submerged in the sea of alcohol. He continued sucking through the small hole of the tetra pack waiting to hit the sea bed. This was also a record new low in my life. An alcoholic drinking right in front of his doctor. “Oh, this” he let the pack swing between his index and thumb fingers. “This is what has guided me for the past 25 years. Always there for me in my bad times and good times.” Kuthappa gulped the remaining, squeezed the packet like a toothpas…

The pharmacist

The pharmacist.

Traffic across the street had slowly dwindled as midnight approached, the moonlit sky casting occasional shadows over us. I could begin my process of the closing the shop. 5am-12pm was my work routine. It was a life sucking routine but the timings gave me extra customers, elderly in the morning, the younger later at night and also I could save the extra electricity costs by not keeping it open 24 hours. It was my shop and I didn’t mind working extra time to earn a few more bucks. I didn’t have a family to attend to, so this shop was pretty much everything I had. As I was summing up my day’s earnings, my favorite customer, Syed dropped by. “Hey, how’s it going my man. I can see you made good money today. Keep it safe. Especially from me” He joked, giving me a wide grin as he made his way to the neighboring shop, which was also mine. A popular smoking hotspot among the locals. I could sense Syed’s rush to take a drag of tobacco. Syed, the same age as me, worked as a wel…

The diary of a freedom fighter

The diary of a freedom fighter.
I set the air condition to 18 C, turbo mode on, directed the air flow to my bed. Refreshed after a steaming, hot water shower I crashed, face first on my crisply draped bed. As the cool air performed its duty of drying me, I repositioned myself from prone to supine. A wet patch Today I decided to start a new book. But this time, it wasn’t a bestseller by a famous author, or a critically acclaimed book by an unknown author, or a book suggested by my reader friends (who read one book a year, so it had to be good) or a book recommended by amazon for me. Today, it was my grandfather’s diary, which my father had given me when I was 15 years old. The book dated back to the 1940s and it was a memoir of my grandfather’s time in pre-independent India. After 10 years of procrastination, finally the faded black cover of the diary was staring at me. I took a deep sniff of the approximately middle pages of the book. I did it before every new book. The peculiar, ink …