Friday, December 26, 2008

The Encounter with Death - Why blog?

Playing cat and mouse game with death is no great fun – even if , at the end of it, you emerge the victor. The feeling at the end of the game is not exactly like that of a world heavyweight champion after the decisive fight. Probably because it is an unevenly matched fight. And it's more serious. Deadly serious. It's a matter of life and death with no referee to blow the whistle at the sign of danger or foulplay.
So, how does one feel at the end of the game? Well, you are left with a desire to delete the whole episode completely from your memory. Permanently.

You try hard to make a perfect erasure. You physically put out of sight the items associated with the days you spent battling with the killer disease. You throw yourself into all sorts of activities which leave you with very little time for memories. But memories don't need time space to surface. Like Aladin's genie popping up at an accidental rub of the magic lamp, some bits of memory surface without any warning, and grin down at you saying gruffly 'heh heh, thought you could get away from me, eh? No way". And you are caught completely off guard.

You tell yourself there are heartwarming memories too - like that unexpected cool breeze on a hot, humid summer's day. But then they are constantly stalked by that menacing genie - or is it that one cannot exist without the other? like twins - not identical - born of the same womb?
It’s like a chequer board of nights and days where memory with me the pieces play (forgive me, Omar Khayam :D).

Ever since I regained my health, I’ve been engaged in this task of playing the catch-me-if-you-can game with that stalker genie. Then one day ,
Chinny, my friend came along.
Now, I had never let her into my secret and very personal battle with that monster. But she is a sharp one, and has this ever-active high and sensitive antennae that plumb human emotions instantly, very accurately. She saw through my bluff and bravado.
The way out is to write about it, she said. “Just write", she said. “As and when you feel like it. Don’t write to publish. Carry a diary with you, and write when you feel intensely”

I took her advice.

Has it done me any good?

Oh, yes. It has. I can now include oats in my diet without memories of chemotherapy triggering off a wave of nausea. I can now put on those clothes I had once put away for fear of resurrecting the ugly genie.
I think Chinny’s therapy worked.

And now, I have decided to blog my jottings. Some one suggested I publish. Initially I thought it was a good idea. Then doubts assailed me. Who on earth would want to read the not-so-pleasant stories of a nonentity who fought cancer, because she was left with no choice but to fight it?
Besides, publishing means a lot of hard work. It requires a perfection that blog does not require. Publishing is engaging with the public sphere whereas blog is essentially a private sphere, and optionally public. The difference is huge. Blogging makes no demands on me as a writer. It requires no chronology, no style sheet, no rules of grammar. It gives me the power to withdraw the whole or part as an afterthought.

So why take the risk and effort of publishing when I can be the lord of what I blog? (Should i have said 'lady of what i blog'?:D)

I have begun to post the story of my encounter with cancer under the blog name
Rage to be, which can be accessed through or

My first post is on the doctor who treated/is treating me – Dr. V P Gangadharan. I chose to do this just to emphasise the truth that for a person suffering from the most dreaded disease of our times, it is important that the doctor who treats is both a competent professional and a sensitive human being.


  1. It's good that you decided to blog about your experiences. It does give hope and courage to many out there.. I first heard about this when my uncle got it way back in 80s and there was no cure then. Later another uncle and last year my dad also succumbed to this disease and so for me it is in the category of deadly disease where you can't escape. Reading your experience is giving me hope and if I come across someone suffering, I can ask them to fight it out rather than give in helplessly..

  2. Hello KPJ:)

    It will be a good idea to share your experience because it will be useful to many who want to tackle this deadly disease.

    I will now go and check out your new blog.


  3. This was completely unexpected. I can feel more respect forming in mind for you KT. Am off to your other blog. But let me tell you in advance, yes it would be a great idea to have it published, but only if you want to. Dont worry about readers - trust me they will get the better out of it!

  4. Molly, reading a frank sharing always helps to get in touch with one's own humanness. Thanks for the blog. I bet, it will help many....!

  5. I read this post earlier, but couldn't post a comment at that time.
    It's quite brave of you to share your painful experiences. Hope it'll be of help to many.

  6. Pranams, madam. How beautifully you write! See it as one sees it, face to face, man to man, woman to woman, woman to the genie or whatever it is, eyeball to eyeball, without wilting and that is it. I didn't know when I wrote to you about the possibility of transcending oneself I am speaking to someone who had done it already. And I who is only theoretically aware of the possibility of doing it. I would like to see you with my wife when it is convenient to you, after she comes back from my daughter's place sometime this month-end.

  7. would love to meet all of you. am also at my daughter's place across the seven seas. we mother's are always imposing ourselves on our children:-)
    transcending oneself? well. what choice does one have?


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