Disclaimer: All the characters in the story written below are as real as they could be, from, yes, the Adult World (which sucks). This is based on a personal experience, and I hope the reader would relate. This is my story, right from the pages of my childhood.
It dates back to my childhood probably 8-9 years back, when I was approximately 8-9 years old (my memory fails me here) when we were having dinner. I was happily munching away my food and tomatoes with pickle (yes, that was a big deal that time. I had recently been operated of tonsils and the years before, I had been forbidden to eat pickle and citrus stuff, for it made me ill with coughing). Finally, they were out. Phew. Now I could eat, Kurkure and Lays and those bright shiny sour stuff everyone bought from the canteen.
Suddenly, my mom noticed a certain white patch on my neck and below my lips. She asked my Dad if he saw this, and I don’t even remember what he replied :P.
The innocent me, did not know, that very moment about what was going to follow.
The following week, they kind of put me under their microscopic eyes, touching and photographing my neck and lower lips trying to know if it was a white patch or my skin color. Yes, they did spot a scar. “Now, what?” was the only thing I remembered mumbling.
The next day, they took me to a homeopathic doctor, who said that maybe I had caught an allergy by eating ‘Discontinuos Food stuff’ (I hope you know, you cannot eat cucumber after milk, or coffee and omelette and crazy combinations in Indian households). I took the medicine and nothing happened. It increased.
My Mom was in a havoc now. God, something on a face is truly horrendous in Indian households.
They took me to another doctor, an allopathic one. The *insert a slang adjective* Doctor gave the 10 year old me steroids and stuff to combat the spot, and it upset my hormones (continuing till now) which resulted in hair growth in body parts (another Hawwwwww for us girls).
By this time, I was totally exhausted because of taking medicines and waiting for doctors. Now my parents took me to a reputed doctor in Jaipur.
I remember the appointment distinctively. The doctor was old and sweet enough. He asked me what I felt about my ‘scar’. I kept quiet. I had not developed a feeling for it till now. Neither shame, nor anything. It wasn’t too visible (though it was, but I chose not to believe that). I just wanted to get the hell out of there. The doctor told us there was no particular reason why the white spot happened, and it was all my ‘ill luck’. Also, I should ‘Pray to the God to make this vanish’ everytime I take medicine.
These were just a few initial visits.
Now, not to make this post that big enough, in a single paragraph I’ll sum up what happened.
Frequent visits to different doctors. Every random person who met me on the street and would see my spot, would tell my parents that they knew a doctor/a baba/a pandit who would treat it “guaranteed 100%” Everyone would give different ideas and medications over how I should cure this. Random people in buses and trains would ask my parents how much I had “suffered” and if I was taking any medication! They did not make fun of me or anything, but what bothered me was, why were they asking me?
Why were all those questions always related to the white spot on my neck? Why weren’t they about my education or where I studied? Maybe they got kinda worried and wanted to offer advice, but, yes, I got embarrassed. I still do.
Then, food. In order to stop the secretion “of whatever aided the white spot” in my body, I was forbidden from eating everything that had Vitamin C. Yes, everything. Lemon, tomato , pickle, pizza, mango, orange, tomato ketchup, every thing. I did not eat all of this for 6-7 years (except a family function or outing). I have started eating them now because ‘F*** everything’.
Now, when the younger me was forbidden from eating everything my aged people ate, I had this tendency to ask “Why?”. Not that “why did it happen to me?” (Honestly, I’ve never asked this. I accepted it. Always). I asked “Why do I have to stop eating stuff to stop this scar? Why can’t I let it be?”.
My mother, just like every Indian mother used to answer ‘People won’t marry you because you have a scar’. Oh, I used to get offended saying ‘What is wrong with me?’ and that ‘I ll marry someone who doesn’t care for this’ That was bullshit, right?
As I grew up, I observed, people did care for the scar. Not that they body shamed me or did not want to talk to me, but it never went unnoticed. People remembered me for it. People identified me for it. Unknowningly, it became a part of my identity. A random incident, which I remember was, someone praising me for the beautiful eyes I have and how I look cute, and I over heard the other one saying “But she has that scar. ”
Yes. It happened.
I wasn’t sad or all in tears, but it amazed me. Were people that lost in the abstract concept of beauty?
People have had worse diseases and spots. And experiences worse than what has occurred with me.
I did not go into depression, nor did I felt myself any less. I did not doubt my beauty or my looks or any qualities for that matter. But, what affected me were, PEOPLE.
How they remembered looking a ‘girl with a white patch’ to how they constantly asked ‘how many years did you suffer’.
Naah. Dude. I did not suffer anything. This is just a small (thankfully) spot.
People have it all over their bodies.
And what pains is, not the spot, but how the ‘Spot’ is turned to a ‘Scar’ just because of how the World reacts to it.
I can only feel how people who have it in larger quantity must have felt.
So, to everyone who knows me or someone who has any ailment, please remember them by their name, university, or deeds. You may also remember me by ‘The girl with the white spot on the neck’ but not just by this phrase. Kindly add an adjective to my appearance or my personality, a bit more than just the ‘White SCAR’.
Cheers to the beautiful song by Alessia Cara “Scars to your Beautiful”
“But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful”
The Girl with the White Spot
Picture Credits: Google image