I thank MSSI for giving me a platform to share my story:
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2011 after a long battle with difficult symptoms of optic neuritis, pain, falls and fatigue. I was in India at the time with my husband and there was little to no active knowledge of MS. The doctors also seemed somewhat afraid to tell my family and me what the news was. The diagnosis was finally made after returning to the UK, and it was perhaps one of the most devastating events of my life.
From being the active and independent professional, mother and wife that I was, I spiralled into a deep depression where I thought this was the end for me. I thought I was being punished for something I might have done in my past life. I felt unwell, weak and a burden on my family despite their efforts to support me as much as possible.
A year after my diagnosis, the one thing that had not changed was my love for music. My family reminded me of how I inspire them. They also reminded me of the lessons I have taught them to overcome hardship with determination. So I worked hard to seek the right kind of help both medically and mentally to bring me back to life.
Today, I continue to travel across the world and run one of the most successful music academies for western music in India. I continue to perform on stage too– singing and playing my guitar and the piano.
While in Hyderabad in 2015, I met Meena Gupta (Charter Chairperson, MSSI) and joined MSSI. This has benefitted me greatly because of the up-to-date information and support I receive and also I have been able to connect with other people living with MS.
In 2018, Meena and Mamta Gupta (Chairperson, MSSI) requested that I perform for World MS day in the city of Hyderabad, India on behalf of MSSI. The event gathered and inspired a large public audience. It also raised awareness of MS to the Indian public. I am an active advocate for MS in India, determined to spread awareness of the disease and the help available.
In 2019, I and my newly formed all-female trio, The 969, performed on World Music Day where we spread the word about MS again particularly in women, and inspiring them to keep on living!
I am grateful to be able to spread the joy of music to everyone; the young and old, sick or healthy. Recently, during the Covid19 lockdown, my daughter and I composed and recorded a song based on my experiences; “TOGETHER”. This song is dedicated to people living with chronic illnesses, particularly MS.
Although no two days are the same with my MS, with some days being harder than others, I will not stop being the active and independent professional, mother and wife that I was, am, and always will be.
YouTube link to the song “Together”; recorded at home during Covid19, stay at home policy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlTgRmq9QD0