I was 5 when I was diagnosed with the skin condition called "Vitiligo." For those who don't know, Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes the loss of skin colour causing a patched complexion. Nothing more, Nothing less. In a society like ours, that projects perfection in everything, comes up with the baggage of self-doubts and insecurities.
It was a single dotted spot on my left feet. At first, my parents thought it was because I fell and got the after injury effects. But the same spot appeared on my right feet and then on my arms and it kept spreading all over the body. My father knew a few of his colleagues who were diagnosed with the same condition. He knew, how there was not any cure for this condition. But he tried his best to make me look "better".
I don't even remember the countless treatments I have had to go through just to "get better". The most common said things were "Ye fish ke upper doodh pine se hota h kya"? "Arey ye black and white screen dekh lo" "mixed breed" "Jal gai thi kya" (Does this happen due to drinking milk after eating fish? Look at this black and white screen, mixed breed. Did u get burnt?). I was stopped by random people and recommended various treatments in which "I was never interested in".
I have great family and friends who have supported me and wanted to see me grow throughout. I did meet a few people who were close to me and made me feel inferior (my closest friends). To a certain point, I could continuously feel the fear of my skin to get all "white" in myself.
Since childhood, I gave myself the pressure of becoming all-white one day. But as time passed, the wait gave me nothing but fear and doubts. I was told by my family that ones you will grow and become something, everything in your life will be overlooked.
I still fail to understand why is it so important to become "something" to be liked or loved by people? I have always been a fun, happy, the most wanted kid who was good in extracurricular and did graduation from one of the finest colleges in Delhi. But I feel, all these things are secondary. It's very important to accept yourself without "terms and conditions" being attached to your existence. In all these years, I have come up to one easy solution, which is to start loving myself (which in a way is the most difficult path) without attaching my worth to fulfilling "terms and conditions" of society.
I have started this journey of "self-acceptance" by loving every ounce of my skin and patches. I want to accept myself just the way my skin appears and my journey to it is a long one ahead.
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