A love letter...

Dear Vitiligo,

You rocked my world when you first came into my life- 13 years ago.
You were my 9/11.
My Tsunami.

I tried to hide your first few spots
with a Band- Aid.

You were my extra marital affair-
My secret
to be kept hidden from family and friends.

You filled my thoughts, my hours and my days.
I could think of nothing else.
You consumed me.

Your passion was brutal- you drained me
and robbed me of my melanin
pigment by pigment- I was putty in your hands.

You seduced me
with treatment options
Steroid creams, Ayurveda, Chinese herbs, PUVA and NB-UVB.

Your kisses left spotted evidence
on my neck, my cheeks, my hands, my eyes
which I tried to cover up-

with Turtle necks
long sleeved tops
and fancy sunglasses.

Oh! Mrs. Jain..."your colourful tights are so in".
And those scarves-

Little do they know-
I'm keeping you all to myself
You are my secret lover- I'll bear your bruises in private.

You took me to the dark side
I clawed my way back
Bring it on you bastard - I am ready to break free.

The doctor said,
"Consider yourself lucky-
It's not cancer."

The husband said,
"I bagged a great deal-
 A BOGOF- married a brown girl, got a white one for free- Yipee!"

I quit the doctor
kissed the husband.

You are a part of me and always will be
A topsy- turvy fantasy
a threesome- you, me and hubby.



All the hullabaloo caused by the new Miss America made me think about pigmentation and hence my letter above. I have lived with Vitiligo for thirteen odd years and see myself as 'a-patchy-Indian' (Apache Indian) :)
I enjoyed reading this article:

In case you are wondering about Vitiligo ( also known as leucoderma), here's an explanation:

Vitiligo Explained

Whilst vitiligo is a relatively common skin disease, it is little known by the general public and often not well understood by the medical profession. In modern society appearance can be all important.  It is the constant worry of the increasing visible difference that makes vitiligo so extremely difficult to live with.  It is for this reason that sufferers can find it hard to adjust to their changing appearance; It can even raise questions of cultural identity when darker skinned people may have to face the prospect of a future with white skin.
and a BOGOF is- buy one get one free.


  1. It must be really hard! ... but you are brave and have the right attitude... Kudos to you for handling it so well...

    1. Thank you Ish. It wasn't easy. It has taken me almost 15 years to come to terms with this and even now there are days when I wonder- 'why me?' But my friends and family have been wonderful. They have helped me to see that a beautiful heart is more useful than a beautiful body:) xx

  2. Hi Arti,
    I am Vidya Shenoy's friend, who upon her recommendation happened to read this write up. What a beautiful write up indeed! I really admire your courage and attitude towards life.
    Keep inspiring.....

  3. Salutes to u my dear! U r my living example of looking at brighter side of life! More power to u and cheers to life!

    1. You said it Vidya- Cheers to LIFE! And blessed are we who have opened our eyes today to see the sun and hopefully the Full Moon later tonight:) love and hugs. xx

  4. I read with dual being the way in which you have tackled Vitiligo...the other, your wonderful command over the language...then I shared this Post with a close friend who has tackled the onslaught of Vitiligo herself with a very similar approach! Am glad that Ketaki shared your Blog on Google...I look forward to being a regular reader and glancing through the lovely pictures...hoping that I shall restart my blogs/writings with renewed vigour...

    1. Thank you Ruchira and welcome to my little corner in blogosphere.Vitiligo had started definining me till I tackled it and took charge. It's easy to play the victim, but so boring! Give my best to your friend:)
      Looking forward to reading your posts:)

  5. This is a beautifully written piece Arti...I can relate to this as my mother got it a few years back and I can see how it has affected her personality...she does not like to meet new people....she has it on her face and arms so she cant hide it. Love the positive note in your piece. Shows your inner strength.

    1. Hi Alpana. It's not easy to watch your pigment disappear. The feelings of 'Why me?' and helplessness can be difficult to cope with. And the stigma in India surrounding Vitiligo doesn't help either. I used to use camouflage make up when it first started. It certainly boosted my confidence in those early days. I will send you some details.


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