By Kaveri Jain
“Please make whatever I wish for come true.”
Mamta Agarwal’s childlike innocence and unflappable belief in the power of affirmations and manifestation are endearing and contagious. Less than three years ago, she applied the same faith to manifest a wish for her father’s health, and ended up donating her own kidney to save his life. But while the operation was successful, Mamta’s life changed in ways she never expected.
A graduate from the Pearl Academy of Fashion and an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Pune, Mamta got married at 21, quit working and seamlessly slipped into the role of a caring wife and daughter-in-law. But a homemaker’s life wasn’t for her. She had seen her father work hard all his life; from a humble banker he had shifted his profession to a garment manufacturer and had accomplished more than anyone could have dreamed of for his family.
Sitting at home after marriage led to boredom, which further lead to illness. Mamta started suffering from one problem after another – stomach ulcers, cervical spondylosis, urticaria and obesity. When no one was able to find a solution, their family doctor suggested that Mamta needed to get back to work. And so, even while pregnant, Mamta began her journey as a fashion designer with the help of her supportive husband Anuj.
She was 30 when her father was detected with kidney problems, which was a result of his unfit lifestyle and diabetic condition. After suffering for eight years, he was eventually taken to Singapore for treatment. A transplant was the only way to save him. Mamta’s brother Mohit was in the forefront, taking care of everything in Singapore. “But I was adamant on helping my father,” Mamta narrates.
“I spoke to my husband and he agreed without blinking an eye. Even though a donor had been found, I got all required tests done for the kidney donation. My mother and brother were clear that I would not donate my kidney and I should not interfere further in this matter. I still handed my reports to my mother and manifested my intention to help my father. The universe granted me my wish: the donor found by my brother was rejected by the doctors in Singapore.”
After many raised eyebrows, hushed whispers and even loud questions by friends and family alike, Mamta broke all societal norms and donated her kidney to her father. The operation, which took place on September 26, 2016, was a success.
But the experience, life-altering as it was, left her devastated. The 17-inch long cut on her abdomen, the countless wires attached to her face and body, and the feeling of being paralyzed took away all her joy of giving her father another chance at life. It was now that her journey really began: a journey of healing and spiritual growth.
Both Mamta’s kids went through the toughest time of their lives. Her daughter Nandani spent weeks Googling ‘percentage of deaths after kidney transplant’. Her son Krishna spent days crying in fear. But it was due to the unconditional support of her sister-in-law Shreya, who dedicated herself to taking care of both the kids, that their lives slowly started getting back to normal.
The first six months after the operation were most challenging. Mamta went into depression. The painful nights, the hormonal imbalance, the constant medical tests, and the physiotherapy sessions took a toll on her physically and emotionally. But with the help of her mother, husband, and in-laws, who stood like rocks with her, she slowly started recovering.
Yoga and meditation with Jai Guruji and the teachings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar became a way of life for her. Today, due to her will and faith, she is healthy and disease-free. She runs a successful fashion boutique from her beautiful home in south Delhi, continues to be a hands-on mother, a supportive, loving wife, and a doting daughter and daughter-in-law.
She believes in the power of seva (service), and has become an ambassador for the cause of organ donation. She educates people about the procedures, encouraging them to pledge their organs, and also runs a ‘crockery bank’, where she provides free utensils for pujas (prayer ceremonies) and satsangs (prayer meetings).
Recently, she had the chance to meet her two idols: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Amitabh Bachchan. “Since I was a little girl, I wanted to meet Mr Bachchan, have a cup of coffee with him and spend some time talking with him as Mamta, and not just a fan,” she says. It took her brother over two years to arrange this dream-come-true meeting for his beloved sister as his gift. “Mr Bachchan appreciated my selfless work for the cause of organ donation, and it has only strengthened my belief,” she says.
Service is her purpose of life. “Doing something for people in whatever small way I can is my calling,” she says.