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Mumbaiyya Gal – Intro – Living with HIV

March 16, 2012

My Story: Living with HIV


“I bloody hell want the divorce. I don’t care whether you kill yourself or run away or even go to the court, but I won’t leave you until I get the papers signed!!!” And he thrashed me, twisting my arms at the back while my screams grew louder enough for the maid to come running and separate me from him.

“I will see to it that you will not get out of the house unless you sign the papers”, he threatened and walked away, leaving me stunned, my heart tearing out like thousand daggers. I wanted to scream, but I cannot. I wanted to beg, plead, but I cannot. I wanted to run to someone whom I could trust, who could understand me but I cannot.


Year 2006. I was on my third month of pregnancy when I was diagnosed positive. My whole world came crashing down. Poz? Me? Not possible! There has to be a mistake. I looked at him. Looked deeped in his eyes. Waiting for the answers. My mind was churning thousand questions but no, I can’t be thinking like that! I trust him. I must not assume things. My eyes beseechingly waited for his report and my ears strained to know the result. My heart was thumping hard. Finally the doctor walked in ….. “Negative”

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? If he is negative then how I am positive? How? My mind started racing……….

Year 2004…On Jan we got married. Within a few months I became pregnant. I was overjoyed to know that I am finally becoming a mother. But my happiness was cut short when he said “Baby, I want you to abort. I dont want to start a family yet. Not now.” I remembered the argument that followed after but then he won. And I aborted the baby with deep pain in my heart. Not once, not twice but THRICE!!!!! Three abortions, three different hospitals in span of two years starting 2004-2006. While undergoing fourth abortion, I was being screened and handed out the report “HIV POSITIVE”!!!!

Ok, so I got infected from any one of those hospitals. And I don’t know which one amongst the three. Besides, I had destroyed all the previous abortion reports and files, so I can’t just walk up to them and charge-sheet them. I wish I could had!!!! But then……..

“I will be with you, baby, don’t worry. You have me throughout your life. And I am not scared. So stop thinking too much. Stop crying, please, or else you make me weak”. The comfort, love and care that he gave made my world. Then what happened? What destroyed our marriage? What changed his love for me completely? What made him so angry? What led him being in Extra-Marital Relationship? My post-partum depression? The change in my behaviour? Me being poz? Or just not too good for him anymore??? Or was it the scare that finally gotten in to him? I never know. I still don’t know.


I cry silently for my child. My son was born (negative) on March 2006. After divorce, my baby went to his custody. I work as an IT Professional, standing on my own two feet, braving the world, its hardships and men. At the same time, I am also fighting for my rights, right to see my child, maintainence, or lets say, the divorce alimony. He has remarried, hardly in touch with me now. Deep inside me, the hurt, the pain, the traumas are still there, but outside I have learned to smile, to laugh, to live again. I may be broken, but never defeated. I am just biding my time and will strike when right. All I need is not pity or sympathy but CONFIDENCE to go on………

More about Mumbaiyya Gal

Bio: My name is Jyoti Dhawale, which in Hindi, the national language of India, “Jyoti” means “Light”. As in “The Ray of Light”. 1976 born, am diagnosed with HIV on 2006 due to medical negligence. I love travelling, music and dance is my passion, reading my time-pass hobby and watching movies a great stress-buster. I love life and even if the toughest of situation break me down, it wont DEFEAT me and my will to live. Am born a rebellious fighter and love being in company of people, be it online or in person.

I was married in 2004, got pregnant in 2006 where I learnt I had contracted the virus, carried baby to full terms and gave birth to hale, hearty healthy son (negative) thru C-Section. In 2007, my marriage started crumbling and divorced happened in 2008. I dont know if the failure of my marriage is due to my being HIV-positive or due to fear (my ex-husband is negative), or maybe because I was not fit enough in either of my responsibilities as a mother and a wife. But that was my Past. Now my present lies in helping eradicating the ignorance, educating the masses, showing myself as an example which is the biggest challenge I face, especially in a country which is conservative and orthodox…But then CHANGES begin in you and it starts with YOU.

Why Mumbaiyya Gal (Jo) wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: Here, in India, HIV/AIDS is a curse and those who are living with it are treated as “untouchables”. I want to reach out, through the powers of media, to even the remotest place, and extend my hands to those crying for love, care and acceptance. In a conservative country like ours, I want to expose myself to show that HIV is not related only to the poor, the downtrodden, prostitute or drug/sex addicts. Even your well-do-to neighbour could be one! We need to reach out, speak up and be heard!

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Dianne permalink
    March 16, 2012 8:03 pm

    I am inspired by your story and your strenght, you have shown amazing resilence and I am so honored to read your blog. I agree we need to address stigma head on and speak up and be heard as positive women and show our strenght and tenacity. Hugs

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 18, 2012 4:53 am

      Dianne, thanks a lot for your input and support. YES< we need to address the stigma head on, speak up and be heard. So lets all do it together as ONE. Thats where an individual get the strength from.
      Keep watching this space weekly for more 🙂

      • Koma permalink
        April 13, 2012 6:23 am

        Hey Girl I am so proud of you, You so brave than many of us out here
        I wish i can be as brave as you

  2. lungi permalink
    March 17, 2012 2:23 am

    Girl your story touched me In a way that I can’t imagine its great that yu haven’t given up hope in life girl what ever happened is the past now continue with life facing what you have nkow that the are a lot of people leaving with this virus you not the only one we all have different storys to tell be strong keep going

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 18, 2012 5:08 am

      Lungi, to be frank, there was a time when I gave up hope. There was a time when I thought I dont want to live. There was a time when emotional depression hits me so bad that it makes me go low. BUT there was also a time when I use to sit back and think. THINK. Why it had happened? For what purpose it had happened? And what is the purpose of my life NOW? Thus, an individual’s past shapes his/her future, make and mould you into a better person, depending on how you look at life.
      And since I love life, even thou I was broken but never defeated. I would pick up my shattered remains, glue them and move on. That is the REAL survivor. Committing suicide is an absolute foolishness and running away from the problem is a cowardice. So FACE IT and SHAPE IT ❤
      Thanks a lot for your support.

  3. mirriam permalink
    March 17, 2012 2:31 am

    Hello Baby, your are amazing and a blessing to your nation in particularly to those people in India. You are a lioness in the fight keep on fighting i am here if you ever need my help on line. We are many you are not alone, we must fight stigma to the very end. Love

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 18, 2012 5:02 am

      Hi Mirriam. So sweet of you to offer your help. Lioness, yes, coz I am a July baby 🙂 🙂
      Keep watching this space coz when the King of the Jungle roars, EVERYBODY hears 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Daramola Tosin permalink
    March 17, 2012 4:34 am

    your story really inspired me, but all the same you are not alone TOGETHER WE FIGHT STIGMA. We are just like every other person.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 18, 2012 4:59 am

      Thanks Daramola.I will be more happy if the story touches the million and help them to come out of the closet. Thats my aim. I am contributing to this e-magazine so that more and more people see that they are not alone.Thanks a lot for ur support.

  5. Ricky permalink
    March 17, 2012 6:39 am

    Hare Krishna

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 18, 2012 4:54 am

      Hare Krishna Ricky. Thanks for taking time out to read it.

  6. mildred permalink
    March 19, 2012 10:59 am

    you brought a beautiful boy in this world and taking each day as it comes is the key. You have the right attitude and i believe that the lord never turns his back on us . We are cleansed by our hardships they make us even more special, they make us shine a little brighter , as long as you still have the fight in you girl God will always give you the grace. peace and love to you .

  7. mumbaiyyagal permalink
    March 19, 2012 7:09 pm

    Mildred, I believe, you are very spiritual by the way you write. “Cleansed by our hardships”, yes. For every actions there is an equal or the opposite reactions, and that we call it as KARMA. Thus for every sufferings, we are paying the price of our karma, and this price reminds us to sow good now so as to reap the benefits in future. My attitude comes from my Spirituality, which I will describe in my upcoming post depending on the response n reader’s views.
    Do keep watching this space weekly for more.
    And once again, thanks a lot dear, for such an encouraging words

  8. Khadijat permalink
    March 20, 2012 9:09 am

    Your story did not only touched me it also remind me of mine . I had similar experience same year that is 2004, that relationship break up with no child but due to been HIV positive. I keep on moving with HOPE. I remarried 2006 with a man who know my HIV status as been positive while he was HIV negative. We had our baby boy 2007 who tested negative. I think what every women living with HIV really needs is CONFIDENCE to go on.You are not ALONE!! TOGETHER WE SHALL FIGHT AND WIN STIGMA.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 20, 2012 7:10 pm

      Khadijat, u are blessed!! Hope is one thing that keeps a fire burning inside u ALIVE. Be it in vain, or be it a belief, HOPE is always there!! Time now have changed where the subject of HIV is concerned but what has yet to change is the people’s outlook to it. There will be a day when HIV is termed as “just another disease”, something that one can live with it, like TB (tuberculosis) which was once before a dreaded disease. Some years back, no one would approach a TB and Leprosy patient but with awareness they are now respected. But HIV people are still shunned in India. Thus marriage now remains a distant dream for me. And I dont want to dream. I want to make it into a reality that HIV poz can marry HIV neg and still lead a normal life while observing safety precautionary measures. And that is not too hard. So all one need is EDUCATION to eradicate the IGNORANCE and then the STIGMA attached to it by being a pillar of support.Being HIV does NOT mean the end of life! It is just the dawn of NEW BEGINNING, to which I will be writing about it this weekend.
      Keep tuning in weekly for updates 🙂
      And thanks for ur unwavering support, confidence and above all, u are lucky to have a negative person by your side. We need such example to SHOW the world!

  9. lynn2011 permalink
    March 20, 2012 3:39 pm

    Welcome. what a powerful story. Thanks for joining us on the blog. All my best, Lynn

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      March 20, 2012 7:22 pm

      Dear Lynn, joining Girl Like Me is my first stepping stone to come out in the open. And I will not stop just there. I need to bring HIV out in the open and make it a nation-wide campaign!! (nation-wide as am referring to my conservative country :INDIA). HIV was here even before I got the virus. But I never knew the virus in depth. To be frank, I came to know about HIV in 2003 when media started the advertisement campaign. But then I just knew it as a sex/drug addict’s disease that flourish in prostitution racket. Coz even advertisement says “Use Condoms. Be Protected”. And that is ABSOLUTELY NOT SUFFICIENT ENOUGH to educate the masses!! And when I contracted the Virus on 2006, I came to know more about HIV thru unhygenic conditions in the hospitals. Had I known it before, I would NEVER have taken the step to be aborted in some ILLEGAL clinic!!!!!!!

  10. Khadijat permalink
    March 22, 2012 5:57 am

    I really like your words of encouragement. This is GREAT!! I will love to read your next write up that you called the dawn of NEW BEGINNING.


  11. mumbaiyyagal permalink
    March 22, 2012 10:56 am

    Thanks Khadijat…..
    Watch this Saturday……
    If all goes well, it will be out

  12. soniaroy79 permalink
    April 26, 2012 1:44 am

    Really inspired by your life and your courage. I got diagnosed in 2007 and it was also a case of medical negligence, and while reading your blog i relived exactly the moments when i saw my reports and thought this must be some kind of error and it can’t happen to me. I am in my 6th month of pregnancy right now, and all my prayers are for a healthy baby for which my life has changed completely. You have given me a new ray of hope..and i want to thank you for it. You are a very brave girl much braver than me.. and I want to share my mantra of life with you- The worst is over ..and the best is yet to come!!! Believe in that and i hope you find happiness. Will look fwd to your blogs 🙂

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      April 29, 2012 9:48 am

      Hi Sonia,

      I have read your blog too. I know how u feel. Only the wearer of the shoe knows where it hurts the most. Not in the mind, not in the heart but it pierce right deep into our soul.
      And hey, nice to hear that u are pregnant. Dont worry, medical science has very much advanced. Everything gonna be allright.
      Should u come to India, preferably to Mumbai, lemme know……Will catch up…..

  13. Kamal permalink
    June 15, 2012 7:00 am

    I Salute your courageJo…….If you were thinking, that after reading this I won’t be your friend, then you are mistaken……….you are doing a great job and I pray to God to fulfill all your wishes.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      June 16, 2012 3:44 am

      Kamal, my dearest buddy……Now I know u will be there……together we can help eradicate the fear in other people’s mind.

  14. June 20, 2012 4:33 am

    Hi love…just at the time i was asking myself so many many whyssssss is when i opened your blog and answers came flowing like your blog is a dictionary or some sort of suggested solution to an examination question paper.Well,From your story i now understand i got infected exactly just like you..medical problems exactly in the same way you did..and i threw away the papers just like you.And my man is Neg just like in your story…love u thanks for being an answer to my questions u r such a darling.

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      June 21, 2012 1:18 am

      Dearest Momo,

      Here is my big bear hugs to you……(((HUGSSSssssssss)))
      All I want from you is to smile and light up other people’s lives. Stay positive and never let the virus bring you down. Take charge of your own body and control the virus rather than virus controlling you. Life is too beautiful to easily give up.

      Much Love…….

  15. JP Thakkar permalink
    June 30, 2012 1:40 am

    I am SORRY for judging you wrongly. I know your forgiveness wont heal the wound. I still respect you and have high regards for your COURAGE – STRENGTH – BRAVERY… I am here for you always…KEEP SMILING THE WORLD LOVES YOU

    • mumbaiyyagal permalink
      July 4, 2012 6:24 am

      Awwwww JP Thakkar…….Its ok…Thaaaanks a lot for ur support. I need more people like you to join us in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

      • JP Thakkar permalink
        July 4, 2012 8:19 am

        Please do count me in your gang … thanks a tonne for your forgiveness… so kind and nice of you.


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