“When I was 11 months old, on a train journey with my parents from Patna to Deolali, my temperature hit 104 degrees. At the end of the journey, doctors announced that the fever was just a symptom; I had polio. “But I must congratulate you,” the doctor told my mother. “Your child has survived,” writes Sonora Jha, 45, the author of Foreign, her debut novel published by Random House India. The novel was recently shortlisted for 2013 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize.
“I walked with a limp all my childhood, my right leg shorter, thinner and weaker than my left. I needed corrective padding on my right shoe and spent hours on physiotherapy,” Jha writes in Tehelka. “No other child in my convent school had polio — in the ’70s, people like us, sons and daughters of middle-class, urban officers of the Indian Army, had better access to medical care. I was an aberration, a curiosity.”