Rahul Sharma is a civil engineer who’s working with India’s one of the largest companies – NTPC Limited. But beyond his job, Rahul found happiness in blogging. He started travel blogging about 2.5 years back under the name of ‘Inside Out with Rahul Yuvi’. Today, after publishing more than 75 posts, he has extended his blog niches from Travel to Restaurant & Resort Reviews, Book Reviews, and Spirituality. We got to know Rahul through a blog that he has dedicated to his vitiligo journey. This was followed by a fruitful Q&A session with the blogger.
Rahul had his first encounter with vitiligo in 2000. “The ordeal started one fine evening, when I, about 15 years old, returned home after having a horrible cricket session with my friends. Suddenly my mom noticed a small white patch on my knees and panicked. And, the Pandora box of worries & uncertainties started from thereon,” the travel enthusiast recalls.
Rahul says it was more difficult to deal with vitiligo as a teenager, especially during high school & initial college days. “It was all over me, spreading like a wildfire. After 2 years of rigorous preparation, I couldn’t clear the Entrance Exam for IITs. At the same time, I was fighting an incurable disease – too much for a 18-year-old to handle. I started thinking of ending my life. I was really low on confidence and was almost hopeless. Had my family not supported me at that time, I would have committed suicide.”
“Did you experience bullying?” We asked Rahul. He answers with a Yes and No both: “I used to think that people were bullying me and they were rude even if they simply asked me about my white patches. But as the maturity came in, I realized that nobody is bullying me, nobody ever did. It was just my mind playing games with me, turning me against myself. People around were just concerned or were asking genuine questions. That’s it.”
It took Rahul 8-9 years to get completely over it or in his own words peacefully and gracefully accept it. “Now Vitiligo is a part of me, nothing good or bad about it. It doesn’t bother me or my close ones at all. If I wish that I didn’t have it? Yes at times I do wish that how handsome would have I looked without these white spots. Having said that, I no more have any bitter or restless feeling that why God did this to me. I am at complete peace with my vitiligo.”
Over the year Rahul has observed that vitiligo is someway directly proportional to anxiety hormones. The more the anxiety levels are, the quicker is the spread. While Rahul appreciates turning down treatment to change the skin color, he just doesn’t relate to over-celebration of vitiligo on social media. “Just think. Do we ever need to justify a normal thing as normal? No. Rather than pretending as if nothing unusual is there, we should happily accept that ok we do have a skin order but it isn’t that big a deal. So instead of intentionally focusing on white patches, let’s post very general photographs of ours whereby our vitiligo may or may not be visible,” Rahul makes a valid point there.
When we asked Rahul to leave us with a message for youngsters with vitiligo, he indeed had something important to share, “I can still recall that extremely uncomfortable feeling of insecurity, that feeling of guilt for the crime that I had never committed, which stayed with me for next many years till I eventually won over vitiligo psychologically. If we pity ourselves, people will definitely show sympathy to us which will hurt us even more. If we came across as fuzz free individuals, more often than not, we will have only wonderful conversations.”
Well, we hope more and more people take Rahul’s advice seriously. We are pleased to have him featured among all Vitiligo Crusaders.