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Jayati Godhawat

IWB Blogger

23 Y.O. Sumit Gogia Is Battling Multiple Sclerosis Through Her Poems & Art

  • IWB Post
  •  September 19, 2017

 

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” ~~ Walter Elliot

23-year-old Sumit Gogia, too, is taking small steps with faith and utmost belief in self towards achieving her dreams.

Born and brought up in Ludhiana, Sumit Gogia’s story took a tragic turn when she got a paralytic attack due to which she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder, Multiple Sclerosis.

Always a bright student and the school topper, Sumit aspired to become a doctor. Though she had a keen interest in arts, painting, theatre, drawing, and dancing, she was determined to pursue a career in medicine.

“My parents were shocked when I told them that I wanted to become a Doctor and that I would be taking up Science,” recalls Sumit in an interview with IWB.

Sumit was in 10th standard then and had filled the firm for Science stream. However, it was on the day that he was going to submit her form that Sumit suffered a paralytic attack and was immediately hospitalized.

After various painful neurological tests, the doctors announced to Sumit and her parents that she has Multiple Sclerosis, a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged, resulting in the disruption of the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate.

After an initial recovery, Sumit came back home and resumed her studies. However, she let go of her dreams to become a doctor and took up Commerce instead. However, six months later, she had a relapse and suffered another attack which left her partially paralyzed for 6 long years.Sumit Gogia

“I couldn’t do even the most basic things and was totally dependent on others for my day-to-day functions,” she sighs.

“But, my passion for poetry and painting was so huge that my problem seemed smaller and I decided to write a book, even when I couldn’t hold a pen,” adds Sumit.

With her parents’ unconditional support, Sumit completed her school and decided to pursue B.COM. When Sumit was in 3rd year of college, the doctors experimented with a treatment in which she was given multiple preventive injections.  But, these preventive injections had severe side-effects on Sumit, to the point that she had to be taken to the ICU after every injection and had to be given more injections to calm her down and make her sleep.

“But, never did I miss my college and my classes. Just next day after I got these injections, I would go back to my routine. In fact, I remember the one time I got an injection just before the day I had my final year exam and I prayed to God, ‘Please don’t let the injection react today, please”  Sumit confides in me.

“For my entire final year B.Com these injections were given to me and every time I was injected, it was like a near-death experience for me. I have survived these near-death situations no once, not twice, but seven times in that 1 year after which, my family and I both decided to stop this treatment,” she continues.

And yet, Sumit appeared for her final exams and answered all the questions which were written by her brother, Gurmehar Gogia. In fact, Sumit tells me the day when her college Dean called her dad,  Maninder Singh Gogia.

“He said he never expected that I would be able to clear the exams and was surprised to find out that I not only passed the exams but secured 70% marks.”

 

Sumit Gogia

Her achievement fueled Sumit to study further and so, Sumit decided to do MBA. However, after completing 3 semesters in MBA, one day, an unfortunate incident led her to quit MBA.

“After my classes were over, I was standing outside my college gate, waiting for my driver uncle to pick me up. Out of nowhere, a drunk lecherous man came to me and started abusing me verbally. I started crying for help and the entire college staff gathered around me. The matter got so escalated that even the Police came to the college to arrest the perpetrator. However, the college authority started accusing me and blamed me for standing outside the college gate,” recalls Sumit.

“That day, I decided to quit MBA and focus all my time and energies in creating art,” she adds proudly.

Sumit then professes her love for poetry and tells me that she wrote her first poem when she was in 3rd grade.

“My dad has been collecting all the poems that I’ve written since my 3rd grade and it was his idea to compile a few and publish it in a book,” explains Sumit.

 

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In her first book, ‘Khwahish: A Wish’ she has compiled 23 poems and each one of them has an illustration attached. The themes of the poems as Sumeet says is inspired by her life experiences, relationships, family, the power of the Almighty, and many other topics.

Sharing with me one of the poems that is closest to her heart Sumeet says, “My grandparents, Harjeet Kaur(Grandmother) and Late Mahinder Pal Singh (Grandfather), have played a very crucial role in my life and have supported me in my best and worst. I was always very close to my Dad (grandfather) and he was like my pillar of strength. He was diagnosed with 4th stage of cancer and he was in the hospital for a regular check-up when he suffered a heart attack. At home, we didn’t know about it but, somehow, I was out of control and demanded to see him. I was then taken to the hospital where I saw Dada in the ICU. He called me inside and held my hand. He, ‘Mai haiga, Meetu, mai haiga,’ which means ‘I am there, Meetu, I am there. I came back home and was crying profusely. I sat down and penned down all my emotions for him. I have included that poem in my book, Khwaish, also.”

Sumit is also a motivational speaker and she confides in me that it took her around a year to write, rehearse, and perfectly recite her speech.  Currently, she’s also teaching in a pre-primary school and her second book of poems, ‘The Winded Hope’ has also been published.Sumit Gogia

Reminiscing the days when she would cry for days and felt helpless, Sumeet says that she would question herself, “Why do you cry?” and she even found an answer to her question which she likes to express in a poetic phrase:

“Rona kyu hai? Kyuki aansuon ko toh ankhon me bhi panah nahi milti.” (Why to cry? Because tears do not get a shelter even in the eyes.)

Sumit also affirms that for any child to actually realize his/her potential, their parents and family members play the most important role.Sumit Gogia

“My mother, Bhupinder Kaur, and my father, Maninder Singh, along with all my other family members have immensely supported me throughout my journey. And, I think if a child’s parents motivate him/her and support him/her in their dreams than the child never feels lost or hopeless.”

Now, Sumeet is stronger than ever and has created her own path. She thanks the Almighty for teaching her life lessons and giving her this life.

Sumit says that she lives by a verse she learned from Gurbaani (hymns in the central text of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib), “Mann tu jyot swarup hai, apna mool pahchaan.” (O my mind, you are the embodiment of the Divine Light – recognize your own origin.”

P.S. You can but Sumit Gogia’s book, ‘Khwaish: A Wish…” here.

Photos Source: Sumeet Gogia

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