When I tell people, I have three rare diseases, hypoparathyroidism, von Hippel-Lindau and trigeminal neuralgia they look confused and tell me that they are sorry. I don’t want sympathy, I want support from them. Because sympathy implies people are thinking I am weak. And I am not weak. I am strong. I am a Warrior remember? I have also written my survival story—
“A Warrior Dies Dancing, That’s Who I Am…” (available on Amazon in Kindle format)
Yes, I am Payel Bhattacharya who started her journey into expressing herself and the turmoil. She is going through by the long poem “The Warrior Princess”. Eventually writing a fictional account of her life story in the Indian literature journal by Sahitya Akademi which led to the survival story by the same name. Yes, that’s who I am. You can’t see it when you look at me, but I am in pain almost every day. Living with the painful condition of trigeminal neuralgia is difficult that’s why it is also known as ‘suicide disease’. And with VHL, tumors keep mushrooming inside the body in up to ten parts which include brain, spine kidneys, liver, eyes, ears, pancreas and sometimes they turn cancerous. I survived kidney cancer. I was also ambushed by the old killer consumption disease and after four years of vigorous treatment, I survived multidrug-resistant TB. Those tumors especially the nasty ones popping up in my brain makes living every day a constant fight. I underwent fourteen surgeries and radiation therapies. I don’t get to recover from any of my rare diseases like you do when you get cold or flu. It’s a daily fight for me where hope and the will to survive saves me always.
I could have chosen to sit at home by myself. Every day, day after day, isolated from the world but I took life as a challenge and strove to write detective fiction. I have a short-term memory loss which means I
forget things. Much like Gajhni of Aamir Khan. It happened after my cyberknife radiosurgery of brain in 2013. But then again after the radiation therapy for the brain in 2017, I could feel a difference. I could remember better, and thoughts were forming inside my head. I decided it’s time to live my dreams and aspirations and took the challenge to write.
Yes, despite my brain tumors, short-term memory loss, headaches, and one-eyed vision I knitted complex plots with intrigues.
“The adventures of Mum and Princess” which is my effort to create a detective who is individualistic without attempting to imitate my favorite characters. Mum has a remarkable facility for observation and notation of the trivia which often leads her to solve impossible cases. She is a sure
and a self-reliant woman interested in the solving problems. Princess is her sidekick helping her unravelling puzzles and solving cases with riddles. She too finds trifles to be of significance and by interpreting them helps Mum with her illuminating deductions. You can read their breath-taking adventures by ordering your copy on Flipkart.