My dil is going 'dhak dhak', 'dhak dhak'. I am off on a date with my husband to watch Bebo romance Imran. Hope it's a fun, light hearted, no-brainer of a movie. It's just what I need after Karachi - a place that really and truly provided serious food for thought! More on that tomorrow. For now, it's ciao!
Will you be my Valentine, Yuvi??
When a national heartthrob makes it to the headlines for a medical condition, it isn’t the best news. Last week, our dashing South Paw and World Cup hero, Yuvraj Singh , dominated news coverage across various media, after going public with his condition – a rare form of cancer identified as ‘Mediastinal Seminoma’. Since that shocking disclosure that led to a tidal wave of sympathy, Yuvi has issued several upbeat statements that reveal his fighting spirit and determination to win this tough battle and get back on the field. His exclusive interview to the TOI (“Why this Kolaveri di over my illness?”) was not just amazingly brave, but it displayed his grit and determination to reclaim his life.He was honest enough to admit he was initially ‘angry, confused and repentant’ ( a fairly common syndrome with patients diagnosed with the Big-C), but has emerged from the ordeal, a stronger, more determined man. This makes him India’s Number One Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Yuvi has always had a huge female fan following, being single, charming and handsome. This crisis is bound to double that!
But on a more serious note, I was talking about the issue with Vandana Gupta, the dynamic founder of V-Care which celebrates 20 years of providing help and support to cancer patients in 2013, and she expressed a few valid reservations about the misrepresentation of Yuvi’s condition in the media. Considering V-Care celebrated its 19th Survivor’s Day just under a week ago, Vandana ( a survivor herself) wants to clarify that India does have some of the most competent oncologists in the world, working tirelessly to save lives. One does NOT have to believe such treatment is exclusively available in Boston( where Yuvi is being treated), or at a fancy international hospital. Yuvi is fortunate he had the resources to travel abroad for his ailment. But others in a similar position need not despair! Our docs are as good as the best anywhere. Further, too many half-baked theories about Yuvi’s cancer have already done the rounds ( excuse me, it isn’t lung cancer he’s suffering from, okay?). Vandana points out that it is misleading to claim chemotherapy alone will ‘cure’ a patient. She knows what she’s talking about. So, while we all pray for Yuvi’s speedy recovery and send him the biggest heart ever to say, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day! We love you!” let us also stop any careless speculation and leave the man alone to fight on valiantly and come home to a brand new innings.
Mithu Alur is another extraordinary woman, like Vandana. Both have dedicated their lives to the service of others. Mithu called me with a fantastic perspective on Valentine’s Day. “ Do those suffering from cerebral palsy, for example, have no right to nurture romantic feelings?” she asked. Frankly, I had never given this subject a thought. She went on to add that love can and should be celebrated on several levels on such a special day. Valentine’s Day is not just about physical love. What about emotional, intellectual and spiritual love? Why does society imagine that people who may not have full control over their bodies, and could be physically ‘displeasing’ in appearance, do not wish to be a part of such a joyous celebration? Why the stigma? Who would profess love to someone in a wheelchair, when society’s parameters reserve Valentine’s Day for the beautiful and the young exclusively?At ADAPT, one can listen to the stories of those coping with various disabilities and hear their tales of love and longing. Yes, they want to be in loving relationships. Yes, they dream of meeting a life partner and getting married. Yes, they want exactly the same things that ‘normal’ people desire. On this Valentine’s Day, let’s make it an all-inclusive affair. That’s love. True love! And it does make the world go round.