Pushpa is in her mid-sixties. With her warm smile and trendy hairstyle, she does not look like a traditional grandmother. She has tried her hand at a lot of things – being a play school teacher, teaching spoken English to bored housewives, selling Tupperware. For the past few years, she has turned entrepreneur, selling home-made chocolates and block-printed sarees from home.
Sharada is fifty. Appearances can be deceptive, and Sharada’s traditional appearance hides the bubbling spontaneity of a child! Married to a creative artist, she is a very creative person herself. She is an accomplished singer and music teacher but that does not stop her from learning and doing new things. Recently she learnt archery (!) and also acted in a student film, just for a lark! She is a wonderful mimic and raconteur, and can keep you in splits with her tales!
What connects these two women is the fact that they both are cancer survivors.
What amazes me is their spirit and their spontaneous, joyous approach to life. Like so many others I know, they have been to the edge and have come back, not scarred, but filled with a love for life.
When I look at them, my own ennui and cynicism seem out of place. Is it necessary, I wonder, to face death in order to appreciate life?