I met Pragati in late 2003. Life really sucked back then. Though I was doing some freelancing software jobs, I didn’t have a stable revenue source. I was not sure what will I do in my life. I didn’t have many friends to talk to and used to feel lonely and depressed at times. Life was dull and boring. But then Pragati changed all that and very quickly as well.
All of a sudden my life started looking up, everything started looking rosy and bright. I was still not sure about what will I pursue as a profession, but I had a very strong support in Pragati. She became my close friend and soul-mate. After sometime professional life started looking up as well and we together founded our company. We got married in Feb 2006 and everything seemed to be perfect for us. We were blessed with a lovely baby girl in Nov. 2007 and everybody was happy. But my life was soon going to change forever again.
In early 2008, we found out that Pragati’s cancer came back and in her lungs this time. She had a long history with this very rare form of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma, which started from her left toe. She was successfully operated for it in 2005 and we decided to forget about it and bury it in our past. Ofcourse we now realise that we were too childish and too optimistic about ourselves. Cancer does not leave you that easily. In hindsight I think it was good that we didn’t think too much about it as it allowed us to get on with our lives and live happily with each other.
Year 2008 was spent in fighting with cancer and what a fight Pragati gave to that bloody cancer. It couldn’t diminish her spirit in any way and that’s why she so courageously planned secret B’day party for me with a chest drain hanging onto her and first chemo just over. She played and laughed a lot with our baby girl. When she had nothing else to do at home, she started reading and painting. 3 of her beautiful paintings hung on walls of our house will always remind of her. That was probably her way of giving a parting gift.
She was her usual charming and smiling self till her last day. Greeted everybody with her sweet smile whenever somebody visited her. She was unbelievably brave, positive and incredibly sweet and fun-loving even when cancer became really harsh for her. I can’t probably sum-up in words her true spirit. I will always remain proud of her. She passed away on 1st of Jan 09 and I became a widower and a single father at the age of 30.
It was only due to Pragati, I understood what Love, Happiness, Success and birth really meant. Ironically now I have understood true meaning of sorrow, grief, failure and death due to her as well.
There is a tradition in my family where when you meet somebody for the first time after getting married or whenever there is an important function, you introduce your spouse using a couplet, which should contain his/her name in it. There are many popular and overused types, so when I got married I created an original myself. I thought it summed up what I really felt for Pragati. I will be not using that couplet anymore, so I am penning it down here on my blog for one last time. “सिसक रही थी जिन्दगी, उसको गति मिल गई, किस्मत मुस्कुराई और प्रगति मिल गई.”
PS: You can add your name to my dedication to Pragati
at Lanse Armstrong Foundation website