Thursday, 29 September 2016

To a High Definition Life and Khaled Hosseini

And also, I'd request you all not to sympathize with me and tell me that everything will be fine. Because my faith screams that in future Pk won't just speak a lot better than today but she will see a lot better as well!

Does the Universe conspire? Should we really believe in what 'The Secrets' say? Should we really believe in God? The answer to all these questions is a big YES!  Before you read this I would like you to go back and read my last post where I talk about my feelings after reading 'The Kite Runner.' I swear I had no idea that I wouldn't get to blog for a really long time after that post. Like  a friend of mine you too might find it funny how a fictional novel changed my life but it did. Now that my new life has started, I decided to write to Mr. Khaled Hossieni, the author of 'The Kite Runner' and thank him for Sohrab! In today's post I am sharing that email with you all.

 Dear Khaled Hosseini,
Thank you for Sohrab because he gave me confidence, courage and his happy ending made me believe that I will be able to see the world around me with clarity. The font as I type this is eleven which otherwise used to be twenty-two and I haven't even zoomed in like old times! A friend found it funny how a fictional character could help me change my life but I am sure Sohrab wasn't fictional. I am sure there were a lot of kids in Afghanistan who suffered like he did.

I am a Keratoconus patient. It is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision. I have had it in both my eyes from the past four years. In fact, three years ago, when I was just eighteen, my life took a three sixty  degree turn and I needed a corneal transplant in the left eye! After researching, my parents realized how scary eye operations are and how contact lenses are not good for our eyes. Also, eye transplants are mostly not successful. They don't have glasses for my number so, I had to adjust with whatever I could and it was bad. Can you imagine not seeing yourself clearly? Can you imagine people mocking you because you hold your phone and book too close? Can you imagine not doing basic things like driving, swimming, etc..

At an age where I should have taken the risk of getting a transplant or at least started using contacts in the right eye because my dreams were calling me, I went ahead and started using natural medicines. The problem? I was strictly told to stay away from technology. I did not mind that but what really killed me was the fact that I couldn't watch movies. I love and breathe cinema and so I still went for movies. I wore the darkest shades over my prescribed glasses. I couldn't see anything but I was glad I could at least hear the voice of my favorite artists.
This continued for a few months and my vision improved but loneliness started to kill me. Sadly, we live in a day and age where we like to talk to six different people on four different applications  simultaneously. Every time I called my friends, they wouldn't talk properly even though they knew I had a problem and couldn't use my phone much.  My life was sad but i tried to overcome it. I had faith that nothing would go wrong and I should try and live normally. I did all that I could. I read as much as I could. Blogged as much as I could. Learnt how to make fashion illustrations even though I knew I could suffer from a severe back problem because of all the bending that I did. I continued using those natural medicines but they obviously stopped showing results. The good part was that my condition did not get worse. But more importantly, I learnt how to act. Ninety per cent of the people in my college did not know I had a corneal disorder and couldn't see most of their faces clearly.

22nd June 2016
Tears did not stop. All I wanted was a hug. I wanted someone to wipe my tears. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I cried so much or the last time I related to someone's pain so much. Our struggles were obviously different but the pain was similar. Every time Sohrab uttered a word my heart felt the pain. He was tired and so was I. He wanted his old life back, so did I. He wanted to see the red bridge, I wanted to paint properly. He wanted to drive up those streets, where all you could see is the hood of the car and the sky. I wanted to learn how to drive, go back to swimming, blog more often and basically do things like every other person with a clear vision does! I cried harder when in the end Sohrab smiled and Amir ran the kite for him!
All of it never struck me before I read your book or should I say before Sohrab entered the scene. I knew I had a problem. I knew I was struggling. I knew I wanted to fix things. I knew I was tired but there was nothing I could do about it and Sohrab gave me the courage to do something. I knew I had to tell my parents that I wanted contacts even though they aren't very good for you but despite this, they are the only solution to the problem I have. I knew I did not want people to mock me anymore. I know my eyes have nothing to do with your book but trust me, you don't know what happened next!

23rd June 2016
I gathered courage and entered my parents' room. Before I could utter a word, I broke down and when I could speak I just told them, "I am tired and I want to fix my eyes." From the 25th I started visiting doctors for opinions. I wasn't scared. I knew I could smile too because God is running my kite and I am his favorite child!

4th July 2016
I am in a waiting room and all I can see is tensed and shocked faces. They are all tensed because they have an operation and shocked because even though I too have an operation, I am literally jumping! I know things will get better for me after the operation and I will have a new life. I couldn't wait to enter the operation theatre!

The operation was successful but I experienced pain for four days and the next one and a half months were even worse because I wasn't allowed to wash my face, look at my phone or computer, watch movies and go out. I only told four friends who were kind enough to call me everyday and visited me whenever they could. All I did was listen to radio, feel blessed because of my family, pray to God and thank you for Sohrab! And it was then when I decided that the first thing that I'll do after I get my contact lenses will be to write to you!

I started using contacts from 26th September and started using my laptop on 28th September. And since then I have edited this mail twenty times because I did not know what words should I use that will sound appropriate to someone of your stature.

I'll thank you again and I'll thank you always. It feels incredible to see my family so clearly. It feels sad yet beautiful to look at my imperfections. It's strange to read from a distance. I cannot wait to drive, cannot wait to fulfill all my dreams. Words cannot express my feelings even though I keep shifting between a blurry and high definition life every six hours but it's BEAUTIFUL!

Sir, I don't have anything else to say but THANK YOU. I am out of words now. As a writer I am not very impressed with what i have written but honestly, I am extremely overwhelmed at the moment. I don't have a 6/6 vision but I know I will have that too one day. In fact, I'll help patients like me and be the Sohrab of their life.
In the end I would just like to say that  I'll pray for you always. Or should I say 'for you, a thousand times over!'

Yours faithfully
Prerna Khatri