Good news first. I tested myself for HIV today and it is negative. I feel as if I have got another lease of life and will live long and happily now. It suddenly feels as if a ton of bricks has been lifted off me and I am now free to pursue my dreams
It all started on Saturday, when I was out watching Ajab Prem ki… with my family at Mega Mall. After coming out of the Audi, a kiosk outside ran the awareness message “every 5 seconds someone gets infected with HIV”. Now ever since my visit to a brothel couple of months back, I have been petrified if I contacted anything fatal and the message did trigger certain uncomfortable questions somewhere. Later I stepped into a bookstore in the basement of the Mall, where by misfortune I picked up a stupid book written by some non-descript asshole which details out life of an Indian student in Russia, who sleeps with whores and catches HIV, thereby destroying himself and his family. Now that further aggravated my fickle thought process and I started relating it to myself and my folks. After returning home the ugly thoughts magnified all the more and I shuddered at the thought of how my people will react if I die a slow and painful death
Now I am not too much attached to my folks, but the very thought of me being HIV+ sent shivers down my spine. It would surely be a life worse than death, shunned and ostracized by one and all, huge bills for anti-retroviral drugs, avoiding AIDS till end and finally waiting for a painful death. Perhaps the only ones accepting me and yes, crying along with me will be my own dear family. I cried on Saturday night imagining the gruesome story it would eventually be, if things went wrong. Also I took the courageous decision of getting tested.
On Sunday I had a mild fever throughout the day and infact have been sleepless for three nights, having ghastly nightmares of things going wrong. In the afternoon my Mom was taking out my woolens for winters, she still thinks of me as a kid, and I could imagine how devastated she would be if I tested wrong. Yesterday when my brother returned home, I was imagining his shock if he learnt of my condition, for he would be the first one I would tell. I have been literally sweating in these early winters and today I had an ugly stomach upset, from all the paranoia that has gripped me since Saturday evening. Infact on Sunday evening I was crying astoundingly fat tears and have not felt so helpless and shit-scared perhaps ever in the past three decades of my existence. Yesterday after coming back home I chanted and prayed for two and a half hours non-stop, something I never did even when my father was dying in deep coma. Infact I was tearfully shaking even while giving blood sample for this expensive test and believe me, have been in a state worse than hell ever since those morbid thoughts entered my fearful brain.
What this ordeal has taught me is to appreciate the beauty of life and be grateful for living through this joyful journey. We take so many things for granted and keep cribbing about miniscule matters, thereby robbing ourselves of enjoying this wonderful life. Life is beautiful; just open your eyes to see the splendor all around.
Those who find this funny imagine your life and of those around you getting irreparably devastated and destroyed, even for a brief while. I know it can be macabre and ghastly, because I have just lived through it.