#AntzDoodlesforPyjamaPeople #8: Life outside RA

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Life outside RA,

by Antima Nahar

So now that you know me as the RA-girl, full of stories about my experiments with alternate therapies, I have a surprise for you.

I do have a life outside of the therapies. And I hold on to that life very fiercely — this is a part of my war strategy against RA.

So a few months ago, two friends of mine decided to get hitched and had a destination non-wedding. By non-wedding I mean: there was going to be no sangeet or even shaadi ceremony at this soiree. Instead, it was going to be a three-day long pool party in Thailand. RA or not, who would say no to that, right?

On a whim, I booked my tickets and became a part of the 150 WhatsApp group messages flying back and forth — what to wear, what to bring as gifts, schedules, and tans.

As I read these messages every day, my mind would fly in a different direction. They spoke of cocktails and walks in rainy beaches, of all-night masti, and delicious red curries.

I was not allowed alcohol, gluten, or dairy. Then there the Thai rain. It was bound to make my joints swell up. My biggest concern became: what shoes was I going to wear in case my feet were too swollen for the quintessential 3-inch high wedding-attire sandals.

Doubts started to niggle at me. I mean, what was I thinking planning a trip like this?

Fear got the better of me at multiple points leading up to the actual journey. But where there was fear, there were friends. Friends who would dispel these thoughts with their excitement and madness.

Eventually, I packed my bags with meds and special food and remedies and, most importantly, an array of shoes! But, even as I prepared myself for the worst case scenarios, I knew I wanted to be a part of this experience. An experience that might be dampened by rain, but that rain sprinkled with love, and I knew everything was going to be ok.

In the end, life played its hand. The lot of us reached the airport — me with a bag full of my remedies and potions for pain — only to find out that our flight was delayed by nine hours.

Strangely enough, even though I was petrified till that moment I saw the airport doors, those nine hours flew by in the company of my friends and my sketchbook. This is what I drew for my friends as I waited to join them for their joyous day.

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Special Thanks to Antima Nahar

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You can follow Antima on Instagram or email her on antima@antsatwork.in to find out more about her work. Catch her column on our site every weekend. More of Antima’s work is available on her website.

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