Purpose of life

Purpose of life

A Story by Sharda
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The story of eleven year old boy, who wonders about things way beyond his age

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Student Name: Shravan                                                       

Subject: English Grammar

Assignment: Write an essay on 'The purpose of life'

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Our teacher has asked us to write an essay on 'The purpose of my life'. The entire English period was dedicated to discussing this topic. Do thirteen-year old's really have a purpose in life?  Come on, we are supposed to be playing, eating, attending school and studying (I am sure the grown-ups would like the order reversed). But seriously, expecting us to have a purpose in life is like asking a tortoise the ETA to reach the other end of the room.


My classmates had some interesting answers. Raghu the studious, wanted to find a cure for Thalassamea, so his purpose of life was to save the poor children who were suffering from the Royal disease.  Simran the wannabe heroine, wanted to become the brand ambassador for Nutrilite, her life's purpose was to make all teenagers fit and healthy. I wonder if Simran has ever eaten a three-course meal without checking her weight before and after the meal. Radhika the quiet one, wanted to save dogs from the streets and provide them a save haven - I thought that was a great purpose to have.


The teacher explained the difference between ambition and purpose, she wanted us to focus our thoughts on how we could serve humanity. Ideas and dreams were discussed and by the end of the class, almost everyone knew what their purpose in life was. I was the only one who did not participate in class, I guess I was not very happy discussing the purpose of my life.

My purpose in life is to keep my older sister Azhaghi (pronounced Aragi) alive. Yes, you heard me right, it is my duty to keep my sister alive. In fact, the only reason I exist today is that I keep my sister alive. My parents thought of conceiving me only when the Doctors informed them that Azhaghi had leukemia, a rare form of blood cancer. The cure for this disease was to transfer blood cells from a sibling. 

The perfect egg and sperm were matched in a test tube, to ensure that the embryo had all the DNA requirements for a perfect donor. Then this embryo was inserted into my mother’s womb. My birth was awaited eagerly by not just my parents but the entire medical community at the Hiranandani hospital. I do not think anyone even cared, if I was a girl or a boy or how much I weighed, all they wanted was my cord blood. Thus my purpose of life was determined even before I was conceived.

Do not get me wrong, I love my older sister. She is seven years older than me and is in college. She is kind and has an excellent dress sense, my parents never hesitate to take her to the most expensive boutiques in town. My grandparents are always visiting some temple on the other to pray for her health and her long life. She is allowed to switch on the AC in her room during the day, as my parents are afraid that a daytime mosquito might bite her and she will have to be hospitalized again. No one scolds her when she gets low grades and almost every day my mother cooks only her favourite dishes. 

Okay, I am digressing and none of this has anything to do with the topic of this essay. But, I want to make a bigger point, I hate the stated purpose of my life. I wish I was just like any other kid whose parents conceived a child in the dark confines of their bedroom. 


Yes, I am just a little jealous of my sister and I wish I could get the same attention that she does. My sister falls sick a lot. After the first donation of my cord blood, the doctors drew blood again from me when I was ten months old, this time because Azaghi's WBC count had come down. Again at the age of three, I donated my bone marrow as my sister needed it for her leukaemia. Then I donated my stem cells and then again my bone marrow. I missed school every time Azaghi was sick because her cure rested in my body.  I would be poked, injected and have blood drawn while Azaghi got all the attention. I do not even flinch when the nurse struggles to find a vein and has to poke several times before she can draw blood. If on a rare occasion I complained, I would be scolded for being inconsiderate.


Yesterday I heard my parents discussing that Azaghi's liver was failing. I will now have to donate a small part of my liver. I googled the process, apparently, the liver can rejuvenate. so the Doctors will take a small piece from my liver and transplant that to Azaghi. Both of us will regrow our respective livers and lead a healthy life.  While my parents are happy that Azaghi will live a little longer, for me it is another hospitalization, quarantine from friends, no playing outdoors and also missing school. Not to mention the countless pokes in my arms for the various tests. Does my thirteen-year life really need such a purpose?


My father, my Mother, and Azaghi were on National television to discuss the success of the various medical advancements and how my sister had survived Leukaemia. The interviewer, a well-known activist and feminist congratulated them for being such wonderful parents and wished my sister the best of health. I sometimes wonder, if I were born a girl and Azaghi a boy, would the same interviewer have called this an abuse and brought the Nations attention to how female child is birthed to save a male child?


In conclusion, I wish to say that I do not want to have a purpose in life.  Like the dogs that Radhika plans to save, I just want to exist.

© 2020 Sharda


Author's Note

Sharda
Azaghi in Tamil means the beautiful one
Shravan - According to Hindu Mythology, Shravan sacrificed his life to take care of his aged parents

My Review

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Featured Review

Some points:

1. Place two line feeds to get paragraph separation. Or, indent with the top ruler in word, then cut and paste. Without paragraph spacing it's harder to follow.

2. As in all writing, a new subject rates a new paragraph.

3. The biggest problem you face is having written this as a transcription of a performance. You can't rely on the reader to place the same emotion into the reading as you would, because only you know how you would perform it. But as written, the emotional content comes not from what's said, but from the emotion you project via your performance: vocal, and visual. Unfortunately, since the reader can't either see or hear you, and has no access for how you intend them to perform in your place... Have your computer read this aloud to hear what the reader gets.



Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sharda

1 Year Ago

Thank you Jay for the review. As you suggested, I have changed the display format. Hope it more read.. read more
JayG

1 Year Ago

There's a LOT more to writing fiction than we realize, because no one tells us that the kind of writ.. read more



Reviews

This story is so touching. My heart breaks for the protagonist. Is it even ethical to do what her parents were doing? To treat the child like a piece of flesh. Your words evoked strong feelings here. You're an amazing storyteller!

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Some points:

1. Place two line feeds to get paragraph separation. Or, indent with the top ruler in word, then cut and paste. Without paragraph spacing it's harder to follow.

2. As in all writing, a new subject rates a new paragraph.

3. The biggest problem you face is having written this as a transcription of a performance. You can't rely on the reader to place the same emotion into the reading as you would, because only you know how you would perform it. But as written, the emotional content comes not from what's said, but from the emotion you project via your performance: vocal, and visual. Unfortunately, since the reader can't either see or hear you, and has no access for how you intend them to perform in your place... Have your computer read this aloud to hear what the reader gets.



Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sharda

1 Year Ago

Thank you Jay for the review. As you suggested, I have changed the display format. Hope it more read.. read more
JayG

1 Year Ago

There's a LOT more to writing fiction than we realize, because no one tells us that the kind of writ.. read more

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35 Views
2 Reviews
Added on March 12, 2020
Last Updated on March 13, 2020
Tags: Drama, siblings, sacrifice