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Blog contest: Success comes in all shapes and sizes

Tanushree Sandhu


The word “beauty” in a woman conjures the image of a svelte lady with big beautiful eyes, long lustrous hair, smooth skin, a sharp nose, rosy lips and a captivating smile with dimples on her cheeks.

While a few are blessed with the complete package, some have to be content with only a few of these attributes. I am one of them. I suffer from a skin condition called Vitiligo, a chronic medical condition in which melanin formation is reduced in some areas of the skin leading to the appearance of white patches. And because of my complexion, the patches seem more prominent.

It all began with a small white patch in 1993 when I was about to enter my teens, the age when you suddenly become conscious about your appearance. With time, it started to spread around my face. I tried all sorts of medication, homeopathy, allopathic medicine, ancient Greek medicine (Unani) and finally settled for Ayurveda. Surprisingly, it worked and my Vitiligo is under control.

But what really cured me was the support I received from my parents. They kept my spirits high and instilled a lot of confidence in me, but it still wasn’t easy. There were a couple of people I met for the first time who wouldn’t bother asking my name, but were more concerned about the marks on my face. They’d even gossip about how contagious my illness could be and I’d probably have a tough time to find someone to get married to. Initially I used to cry a lot because this skin condition didn’t hurt me physically as much as it did mentally. Dietary restrictions meant I couldn’t snack on sour delicacies, citrus fruits, curds and many other things which I loved to eat.

But on the positive side, I learnt to eat healthy. Now artificial food colors, flavoring agents and preservatives are not a part of my diet anymore. And one more thing that came with it was a fitness regime. I learnt yoga and took up Bollywood dancing to keep myself fit and to regulate my blood circulation.

It has been proven that too much stress aggravates and negatively impacts health- my skin condition is no different. Interestingly my Vitiligo taught me to be positive. My act of deliberate positivism to get cured eventually turned me into a very positive person. Now I miss no chance to be happy and happiness is the extension of my very being.

Things started changing in 1999. I met the man who I was to marry. He entered my life as a very good friend and it’s been a journey of 14 long years including five years of marriage. I became a journalist, worked at a radio station, with television, given voiceovers, have tried my hand at theater. These creative outlets have made me forget my skin condition and today I have learnt to be happy the way I am.

Tanushree Sharma Sandhu

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24.08.2012 | 12:43