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Beauty is in soul, not hair: Ketki Jani

Beauty is in soul, not hair: Ketki Jani

“I
am Ketaki Jani, an Ahmadabad born and Pune based government employee
who Studied B.A, B.Ed & M.A.”

In
our country where a lady is stereotyped to have long hair, how do
bald women walk with confidence and glory? Ketki Jani is one such
woman, who fought with depression, Alopecia, stereotypes and bullies.

She
narrated her battle :

“I
was leading a normal life like any other woman and everything was
great. An amazing family with a daughter, a son & two dogs.

But one day I found a bald spot on my head while combing my hair. As the days passed, the size of the bald spot increased aggressively. Shocked and panicked, I visited the doctor only to learn that the condition I was suffering from is called Alopecia and is untreatable.”

“Beauty is in soul, not hair” – Ketki Jani

“In
no time I realized that nothing can be done now, and Alopecia removes
every single strand of hair from the entire body. I lost all hair
from my head in just one and a half month at the age of 40. Being a
lady next door to the lady people would make fun of, my life changed
upside down.

Even
after losing my hair, the treatment had to be done. A series of
consultations, medication, and steroids were given each day for two
and a half years. It was too easy to give in to depression which I
did and was on the verge of committing suicide.

Everything
has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius

In
our society, being a bald woman is a joke, needless to say, a cruel
one. Given that barely a few percents of bald people choose to have
their heads as it is, while the rest struggle to accept the fact and
spend time, money and efforts to prevent it from happening.

But
defeating depression & coming out of it was a choice which I
made. After which I accepted the truth and embraced my baldness.
Before I walk in society with dignity, despite all the painful
questions, it was crucial for me to accept that – Yes, I am bald but
I have a soul, which is beyond looks, beyond comparison! Acceptance
wasn’t easy at all, I used to cry the whole day and was afraid to
move out. I even stopped looking in the mirror.”

Beauty
is not bound to a single flavor, color or shape. It may appear in any
form.” – Tanishka Patidar

Ketki
was depressed because of her untreatable disease, but then came the
turning point and the dawn for her.

“It
was my daughter Punyaja, now a physiotherapist, who told me that I am
beautiful as earlier and it didn’t matter what the society thinks.
She explained at length: All have to die one day so why are you dying
in instalments daily? For us, you are the same, as you were
yesterday.

It was then that I decided to accept what had happened and move on in life. I stopped taking steroids which would have had side-effects on my kidneys in the long run, and decided to shed my scarf and step out of my home with my beautiful face and shiny
bald head.

Beauty
is in the eyes of the beholder.”

It
wasn’t easy at first, of course, since I had people coming up to me
and asking if I had cancer or some other deadly disease. Some even
went on to tell me how my life had lost its meaning and there was
nothing left in the world for a bald woman. Further, I am so much
cursed for the wrong deeds I did. I was asked am I a widow! I could
see sympathy and non-acceptance in the society. Often, my condition
was made fun of, by strangers passing by.”

Her
steps were short but strong. Ketki stood by her decision, confidence
and herself.

She
further said, “Now, that I had promised to myself that I will
accept what fate had thrown at me, I decided to go through the
excruciating procedure of getting my head tattooed, fulfilling my
long-pending desire to have a tattoo.

I
remember how I chose my head to have a tattoo, believing that God had
given me a canvas and to make it more beautiful was my
responsibility. The tattoo helped me win back the lost confidence as
it made my condition look more like a fashion statement.

True
beauty is born through our actions and aspirations and in the
kindness we offer to others.” – Alek Wek

Then
I saw the Facebook page for the Mrs India Pageant and immediately
applied for it. Although later I doubted the decision and felt I
would get voted out in selection round itself. But a friend
encouraged me to go ahead with it and give it a shot.

I
did not only get selected but was praised for guts & courage to
have participated. We had different rounds in Dubai & Mumbai.
Finale was at Delhi. I was complimented by the show’s judges, from
whom I learned that going bald was out of choice for me but it is a
fashion statement in Paris and other European countries and that I
had an equal chance as any other participant.

Have
you ever heard of a comic phrase “if life throws a lemon at you,
make lemonade out of it.”? That’s exactly what Ketki did. She
turned her bald head into a canvas by decorating it with a beautiful
tattoo.

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