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Non-fiction: Kudos to this girl!

By: Shilpa Jayshankar


girl with cancerIt was a pleasant morning, I boarded a bus in Banshankari and sat glued to the window next to my seat. The pleasant weather and my mood made me switch on the music on my mobile almost involuntarily. I was completely immersed in the music being played and was peeping outside.

Few minutes later, I heard a voice saying -“Excuse me?”

I ignored for the first time; guessing she might be talking to someone else, and the second time I heard the same voice again but; little louder -“Excuse me?”

I took my hands-free off my ears and said-“Yes? You want me to hold your bag?”

No. Actually I’m not keeping well and if you can give me the seat? I can’t really ask her. So…” she said pointing at the lady sitting next to me who was old.

Hmmm. Okay” I said and got, off the seat.

Thank you so much” the girl said.

That’s okay” I smiled at her.

You want me to hold your bag?” the girl asked.

No. That’s fine” I said.

I was standing leaning against the pole in the bus fixing the earphones back into my ears again. Few minutes later, the old lady who was sitting next to the girl got down and I occupied the seat.

What’s your good name?” the girl supplicated.


Where do you stay?” the girl asked.

I was recommencing to feel uncomfortable with the conversation, as I was talking to a stranger but chose to reply as it would be rude.

I reside in Kengeri Satellite Town and you?”

I stay here, in Banshankari” the girl retorted. “and thanks for giving me the seat.”

That’s okay, not a problem I am just 5-6 stops behind; so I dint mind standing.” I said.

But you know, not everyone will be kind these days.”

Yeah. Because, the buses are over-crowded these days; so everyone looks for the comfort-zone. Can’t help it.” I retorted back.

So, where do you work?” she continued.

I work here in J.P.Nagar for a company called Lavandoo health.” I replied.

Is it a health insurance company?” the girl asked.

No. It’s a software company.”

So, are you a software engineer?”

No. I am a Nutritionist.” I said and smiled.

Oh! Nice. But, you are a Nutritionist and you work for a software company?” she asked doubtedly.

Yeah. We are working on a nutrition platform which includes online counseling and all that” I explained.

Oh! That’s nice. But how do you travel every day, don’t you stay far?”

Yeah. Commutation is actually a problem, but I am used to it as I travel everyday.” I made it clear.

So you also work close by..? Sorry, I forgot your name.” I asked her.

You dint ask my name at all” she laughed. “Anyways, I am Soumya. No, I am going to a hospital. I have an appointment today.”

I am a cancer patient and I am on a treatment” she said smiling.

I was dumbstruck or utterly shocked with what she said.

“WHAT!!!” I almost blurted out, barely managing to hold back my reaction. 

And that made me realize why she said she is unwell at the first place and I noticed some hospital reports that she had, merged in the transparent file in her hand. I felt so sorry for this young girl who never looked like a patient. So positive in attitude she was. I was at loss for words, but still I managed.

I am sorry Soumya.” I said feeling sad for her.

For what reason? That’s okay. I do not mind telling it.”

It was time for me to make a move, as I was just a stop behind and I got up.

Nice meeting you Soumya. Take care!” I smiled.

Yes I don’t actually know till when I am alive, but till I am alive; I have to take care of myself! And it was nice meeting you too Shilpa” she smiled back.

My eyes were almost wet when she said this, but I managed to hold back my tears. She reminded me of two people whom I have seen closely, thus far.

First one- My grand father who passed out 22yrs ago, after having suffered from cancer.

Second one- One of my clients in my past company who was 55yrs old, had won over this disease was so fitness and health conscious, who always came in morning with a small dietary recall book, with a pleasant smile and asked “Shilpa, kya khaane dogi mujhe aaj lunch aur dinner me?” Such a charming lady she was.

I got down from the bus, started walking towards the office and this girl’s smile all through the conversation and her pleasantness kept reverberating in my mind.

I remembered what I tell myself whenever I am upset- “Being sensible is what that matters than, being sensitive towards the things!” Easier said! 

But really, kudos to this girl. Kudos for her pleasantness, for her sensible nature and her smile. I wish she lives happily. 🙂  Let’s pray for this girl! 



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