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Your handicap and our handicap!

Posted by Dinky Mind on Sunday, May 15, 2005 in

I run for miles at a stretch, without once realising what an ordeal it is for you to walk one step. I talk of the red and the blue sky and the silver moon, without thinking of you, who can only see black. To whom his own appearance is a mystery; for whom there is an envelope of darkness and no morning. And when I break my glasses, I complain.

My day begins with words and ends with words. I hear, I speak. I express feelings of love, hatred, of hurt. I compliment, I reprimand, I spend hours glued to the television and the telephone. I sing my favourite song and hum my favourite tune. You do not cross my mind. You, who have no communication with the rest of the world. And when I am asked to lower my voice, I complain.

In the remaining time (i.e. the time when I am not doing any of the above), I think. I think before I speak, after I speak, while I speak. I think when I write, when I observe, when I sleep. I think of the past, and often relieve it. I think of the future, and try to plan it. I form opinions. I calculate, I learn, I reason, I remember. I think of everything, but you. You, who are unable to perform any of these tasks. You, who are locked up in a prison and are unable to live your own life. Unable to understand who you are and why you have been brought into this world. And when I can’t recall what I wrote to my friend’s birthday, I complain.

Today, all of a sudden, I am beginning to think of you. All of you. Trying hard to imagine what your life is like. And wondering why I haven’t done anything to help you. Why we don’t provide you shelter that you need. Why sometimes your family fails to give you the love that you need and leaves you to struggle alone. I wonder why the institutions are so scanty and the benefits so merge. Why not our government allocates more funds for proving your quality of life.

Why we cannot have books in Braille and speech therapy and the countless facilities provided in the West. Why we continue to be oblivious of your existence, and ignorant of your problems.

You have taught us more than our best teachers. It is through you that we have learnt to survive. To conquer our fears and make our weakness our strength. You have taught us to be confident, yet sensitive – brave, yet accepting – for you are all these qualities personified. Those among you who are mentally incapacitated have taught us the lesson of virtue and innocence. You who are unaware of Satan who abides within us. You have taught us, above all, to persevere. And, not to complain. History has witnessed people with handicaps climbing mountains of success. Anna Sewell wrote ‘Black Beauty’ without ever having ridden a horse owing to physical handicap. Milton wrote unmatched ‘Paradise Lost’ when he was blind. Beethoven played his classical symphonies before awe-stricken audiences, when he couldn’t hear. If these legends can do it, you can.

You think you are handicapped? Ain’t I? Aren’t we all? There is always something that we lack. Be it beauty, intelligence, money, or character. We say we have eyes, but do we really see the heaps of garbage around us, the filth, desperately needs to be cleared? We say we can understand. But is there anything in this world, in this life, that we understand fully? We say we can speak. But do we call idle gossip we indulge in, speech? Do we speak the truth and fight the injustice that exonerates the guilty, and persecutes the innocent? We have deliberately chosen not to use any of the facilities provided to us and this, my friend is OUR handicap.

- Extracted from

Alien Legacy,

Issue 3,

16 Nov. 1999.


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