His love is blind... & HIV-positive
may 14 2008
AHMEDABAD: They met on a passenger train, while travelling together every morning from home in Viramgam to work in Ahmedabad and back in the evening. They fell in love, got married and have embarked on a journey of life that dares the jaws of death!
This is the love story of Rajiv, a healthy young man, and Dipali a widow with two kids. She is also HIV-positive. She says that after marriage, she falls ill less often.A couple of years ago, Dipali's first husband, a driver, was admitted to hospital with a terminal illness. The illness was diagnosed as AIDS and Dipali was asked to undergo a test as well. The result turned out to be as expected — Dipali was HIV-positive.
Dipali, her husband and two children were shunted off to a separate floor of the house and treated as untouchables by her in-laws. All hell broke loose when Dipali's husband died. Her in-laws started taunting her, beating her up, wishing she would leave.
It is then that Dipali started work with 'Adhaar', an agency working with HIV-positive people in Ahmedabad. She would take the Viramgam local every morning at 7.30, just like Rajiv, a supervisor at a shirt manufacturing unit. The journeys together got them talking and Dipali shared her travails with Rajiv. Friendship bloomed into love and one day, when Dipali was beaten black and blue by her in-laws, Dipali shared with Rajiv her only option - to leave for Mumbai to get into prostitution for which a pimp had offered to pay Rs 1.5 lakh. "I proposed to her, asking her to ditch her unhappy life and be happy with me. I knew she was HIV-positive but that didn't make any difference. We all have to die one day," says Rajiv. Today, Dipali is a happy homemaker living with Rajiv and her elder son - the younger one stays with her in-laws. Asked Rajiv if he ever fears contracting the virus, he says, "We are careful and I get myself tested every six months. But if I do, I will accept it as a gift of love from my wife."