Cancer Champions…Ek Umeed
The Champions putting the stage on fire
Amidst applauding clatter in a full house auditorium, their faces reflected an incandescent glow as they ramp walked with their repristinated bodies. I sat coyly in one corner of the IMANTECH hall, experiencing the goose bumps as the cancer champions festooned the stage. The horripilation also stemmed from the memory of my days of pain. The part of memory that relates to the struggle of saving my son. He isn’t a cancer patient but went through a hell of equal magnitude as a case of acute fulminant hepatic failure. I gazed around at the clapping cluster of students at the left upper zone and tried to submerge the flashback pang in their thunderous laudation.
Earlier this morning, I reached inadvertently with a privileged invitation to attend this magnificent event from Dr Madhu Gupta, founder of the beautiful tomorrow trust( what an enthralling name, the name itself rings positivity). I wouldn’t have missed this event since they were to talk about cervical cancer prevention, and that’s also my forte of advocacy. But, frankly speaking, I was expecting it to be just another boisterous propaganda (and I did get glimpse of that during the event). I’ll talk about that later. First let me elaborate on the spring of positivity that the show showered over us. ,
This was one of the rare events that displayed the connoisseur’s view and the sufferer’s emotions as a cheerful mix since most of the cancer champions were themselves doctors and had sat on both sides of the consultation table. So, when these doctor patients walked on the stage, the sparkle in their eyes exhibited a definitive tinge of genuineness.
Dr. Shalini’s campaign for lifestyle modulations and cancer preventive strategy had an equal sense of authenticity. Her concise talk not only had the experience and wisdom of the director of NICPR, but at the same time, it carried an affectionate tone of a caregiver. Unfortunately, I missed Dr. Madhu Gupta’s opening remarks (I said I was carelessly late).
A few lines earlier, I hinted at the avoidable propaganda. It may sound supercilious, but that was a feeling generated in my mind when this sentence struck my auditory cortex, and, I quote, verbatim, “The Rotarians have eliminated Polio except from two countries.” It sounded like hijacking the Polio campaign to assert a solo claim. I must be clear that I have no intention of degrading the superlative effort the club is making to create the needed social impact. By the way, Polio isn’t eliminated yet. There are recent outbreaks reported from America(Rockland County) and Europe.
The day was also earmarked with entertainment events. A splendid musical parody Mughal-E-Azam 2.0. Where the alluring Anarkali was obsessed with a 3 BHK flat, Salim hip-hopped on Durjan/Duryodhan/Dussashan….whatever. Akbar Miyan threw tantrums over diet ka Ghas-phoos, and Jodha was busy going live on Insta. Marvelous performances by all actors complimented a super directorial effort from two directors, Vatsala Khera and Gaurav.
Watching the skit, I was so engrossed in munching the pieces of mimicry that I didn’t find time to clap. While the skit was a personified caricature of Bollywood classic, Badal Ke Paon was a fresh breeze of air, flowy, effortless and soothing. These doctor dancers could compete with any professionally trained group with their dancing brilliance.
All in all, the event was a good combination of academics, social messaging, and entertainment fitting to a size of less than a day’s work. Almost like a bundle of ATPs sweetened with joy for a quick dose of rejuvenation. A good consolidated effort from Rotary Club Sahibabad, Beautiful Tomorrow Trust and GOGS. All speakers were motivational, and Dr. Anjana Sabharwal looked elegant as the anchor. A sincere piece of advice, you may be enormously busy and have hundreds of other engagements, but please do not belittle the efforts of the participants, organizers, and the audience by announcing that you have to leave to attend another meeting.
More important than even the bundle of ATP, however, is the fact that this effort to support the needy must continue. Even as I write this, there are people who are looking up to us to lend them a helping hand, and we must not ignore them.
Signing off with these few lines….
चौंधियायी रात में रोशनी ढूँढता होगा,
उम्मीद का एक परिंदा तूफ़ानों में उड़ता होगा।
चाँद की गोद में बैठा कभी,
तारों की सेज पर सोया कभी,
कभी हँसता, कभी बहुत रोता होगा।
एक हाशिए पर सफ़र है उसका,
कहीं किसी मोड़ पर अकेला जूझता होगा।
उम्मीद का एक परिंदा…..
Dr Sarla Mehta