8 May has always been a special day, of course. Why? Because 8 May 1977 was the day when God blessed the world by giving birth to me
Anyway, yesterday, it became even more special. Yesterday, that is on 8 May 2011, I gave the first ‘publicity’ speech for my book! Okay, so it was at the Thalassemia Day function. I guess I can’t really separate thalassemia from anything I do. But no matter that. It was a really interesting evening.
For the first time, I saw what goes on backstage. My eardrums are still tingling with the noise! But it was fun seeing little girls standing in line to transform into Punjabi beauties! Older girls were all crowded in front of the mirrors comparing the visibility of each other’s eye shadows and blushers. There were some boys participating too. But since they occupied a separate room, I cannot tell you what they were doing to pass the time.
The frenzy, the chaos of last-minute emergencies was sometimes quite funny to watch. And thanks to all this, I forgot my own nervousness about the speech. Which was good, of course.
Before my turn to speak came, I was feeling a little scared. I was scared I would halt and stutter and stammer. But that didn’t happen. Instead, everything came out so without break from my mouth, that my mom says I would have given Rajdhani express a race for sure!
Anyway, all went well. My book’s cover was displayed on a big screen while I gave the speech. It looked really impressive, if I may say so myself.
There were several dignitaries present there. There was Mr. A.K. Walia- Health Minister – Delhi Government, and celebrities like Mr. Bishen Singh Bedi, Mr. Satish Babbar (singer, music composer), Ms. Shobhna Narain and of course, several senior doctors and members of Thalassemics India. I was given special blessings and a gift by Dr. B.L. Kapur! That felt nice, really.
All in all, it was fun, and quite an exciting way to spend one’s birthday. I hope the year that started in such an exciting way, would continue nicely too…
For my friends who couldn’t be present at the function, here’s my book’s cover and the speech that I gave:
Greetings to all the honoured dignitaries and guests.
Today, I have come here to introduce to you my most cherished dream. But before that, I’d like to recount the following lyrics. “There are miracles in life, I must achieve. But first I know it starts inside of me.”
Yes, I want to achieve miracles. And yes, I know they will begin from my own striving. And if God gives me time, I will go on striving. It does not matter if I have thalassemia. It cannot, it will not, rob me off my dreams.
Living with thalassemia is not easy. It wasn’t for me either. If I look back at my childhood, my memories are more crammed with hospital visits than visits to parks or playgrounds. Because of thalassemia, I even had to drop out of school after class seventh.
But I wanted to become a writer. And I knew that without education, I’d have no chance of doing that. So I continued my education through correspondence courses. Today, I can proudly say that I am a post-graduate in English Literature and also in Applied Psychology. And since 2007, I have been working as a freelance writer and editor. Best of all, I have also written a novel.
And it is to introduce this novel to you that I have come here today.
The title of my novel is Dream’s Sake. It tells the story of four friends who are caught in the grip of past and trapped by their own fears and insecurities. It is, of course, a love story. Actually, it has two closely interlinked love stories in it. And together they display the power of true love and show how far a person can go to fulfil the dream of a loved one.
Dream’s Sake is being published by V&S Publishers. It will be released into the market soon. It will be available in all major book stores and also at Landmark and Reliance Timeouts. It will also be available at Flipkart.com and other similar websites.
With the publishing of this book, my most cherished dream is coming true. And I have come here to seek your blessings and good wishes for my Dream’s Sake.
And to my friends here, I would like to say that I hope all your dreams will come true too. Don’t stop dreaming just because you have Thalassemia. Don’t stop trying. Thalassemia may weaken our body. But it must not weaken our spirit.
So don’t give up.
Don’t, ever, give up.
That’s all that I have to say.
Copyright 2011 Jyoti Arora
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