Disability is a matter of perception


In the housing society where we lived, there was a blind couple living next door. Mr.Sharma and his wife were blind, but operated all electronic gadgets, cooked, listened to music and loved eating out. Life did not come to a stand- still because they had a disability. Both of them worked, Mr. Sharma in a public sector and his wife Hina in a private company.  She trusted the Auto driver who took her to the office every-day, the hand that helped her cross the road, the taxi driver in Colaba when she went shopping and her friends who listened to her stories.

In the evenings the couple went out together, and weekends they partied like any normal couple. They were organized, and knew where every object was placed in their house. They did not misplace anything unlike us and found their things without running around. They shopped in malls, watched TV, listened to music, saw movies in theatres, and even went dancing. They did everything that we did but the only difference was, they loved every moment they lived. She always wore the most precious ornament, a beautiful smile on her face.

“Mark Inglis, the world’s first double amputee has won silver medals to reach the summit of Mount Everest. A mountaineer, researcher, wine maker and a motivational speaker. He is also an accomplished cyclist. Mark Inglis lost his legs in a mountaineering accident in 1982.

He was trapped in an ice cave for thirteen days during a blizzard on New Zealand’s Mt. Cook. Both his legs had to be amputated, yet after the accident he earned a degree in bio-chemistry and became a professional winemaker. In the meantime, he began skiing, cycling and returned to mountaineering. Four year later he reached the summit of Mt. Everest.

“It took nine months to train and eighteen months to recover” he says. There was damage to the stumps, frostbite in the fingers. It’s very hard on the body but he didn’t give up.

He says ” disability is a state of mind. The most expensive thing in life is a negative attitude as it costs you opportunities. The only free thing in life is a positive attitude.”

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