The auditorium boomed with applause, as I stepped up to receive my MBA certificate and the medal for being the topper in the entire college. It was a surreal experience. I looked at my parents. My father had a proud smile on his face and my mother had tears in her eyes. We went home and celebrated my success. I already had a job offer in my hand at a reputed MNC. Anybody would think that my life is perfect. But it is not so.
Just 4 years back, I was a victim of acid attack. My perpetrator was a guy from my MBA coaching institute. He had asked me to marry him, but I had rejected him. One day when I was out shopping with my friend, he came on his bike, threw acid on me and fled. It had scarred the entire left side of my face, except my eye. I was immediately rushed to the hospital; however the doctors could do little to restore my original skin. I had also lost hearing in my left ear The acid not only left a scar on my face but on my entire life. The attacker was arrested and sentenced to few years in prison.
I was discharged from the hospital and came back home.
From that time on, everyday became a struggle for existence. I did not leave my room for several months and did not look at my face in the mirror. I started hating myself. I lost all my friends and I discontinued my MBA coaching. I felt ugly and severely depressed. By that time, my dad found out about an institute which provided counseling for people like me and help us get back on our feet. I enrolled for the counseling sessions, which happened for 3 days in a week. There I met, many other girls who were the victims of acid attack, just like me. After so many days of being a recluse, I felt that I was accepted somewhere and I was not alone. The counseling sessions helped me get back my strength and confidence to face the world.
I restarted my MBA coaching and got into a very reputed college and the rest as they say is history. But has my life become better now? The answer is no. It can never be better or normal. Every day, I should face the stares from the people as if I am some extra-terrestrial. Every day, I should hear the remarks from my so called relatives that I can never find a groom or get married. Every day my self-esteem gets shot down miserably and every day I should remind myself that I am a well-qualified and confident woman. I am just thankful for what I have got now and believe that I am beautiful in my own way.
(This post is dedicated to all the acid attack victims. I just cannot fathom the pain and hurt they might have gone through.)