Post #73 : The diary of a Blindman (*3)
Post #71 : The diary of a Blindman (*1)
I hated people. All they did was to give their part of pity, sympathy or wishes.
I hated myself. I was just a bag of blood and bones converting food into poop.
Couldn't see. Couldn't walk. Uneducated. Unemployed. Life was aimless.
I hardly met people. They all always sounded dull. Except her.
One day I heard some unfamiliar voices from the other room. They were our new neighbours.
"So you have a son. In which standard?" An old female voice asked.
"Ah, actually he doesn't go to school. He is blind." And then my mom repeated all the tragic story.
"So what?" Said another sweet yet commanding voice.
"It doesn't mean he will sit on a bed for the rest of his life. Where is he? I wish to meet him."
And I heard footsteps approaching.
"Hi. Wanna play a game?"
"Yeah. I'm pretty good at footless soccer."
"I said 'game'. Not 'sports'. What about chess? Actually, hold on for a minute."
And she ran out. In minutes, she came back with a chess set.
Not an ordinary one. It was a magnetic chess board with iron pieces carved especially for easy identification by touch.
I had seen one in school but never played.
She told me rules and we started playing.
Contrary to what I expected, she didn't let me win.
Instinctively, I asked for another round.
"Not today. Be ready at 10 tomorrow. I'll pick you up. We will get a place where you will find a lot of people like you."
Then she told me that she was a part of a self-help group of some physically challenged people.
"No. I'm done with this. I don't want to see sick people again."
"And I thought you couldn't see." She said laughingly.
It was a lame joke, but I managed to smile.
"Its okay. You can avoid people. Just come with me."
I couldn't say no.
Next day she took me to a building. As promised I wasn't introduced to anyone.
While playing chess, she said "Quick questions. Answer in a line or two. What do you enjoy doing?"
"Things where I don't have to rely on anyone. Singing, writing.." I ran out of the list. "..chess."
"Question two. What's wrong with you?"
"I feel like a burden on my parents. I can't do anything about that. And this is killing me."
"Question three. What do you want?"
"To be respected."
She continued the game.
She kept me busy all day.
Someday I would learn abacus. Another day I would read someone's biography.
French lessons were given a separate hour.
We were learning piano together.
I was getting better at chess.
I read GK books at home.
Science and economics were fun when learnt for knowledge.
I learnt doing signature.
I started meeting people.
They appreciated my singing.
I started to write short stories, poems and songs.
Day by day, I was getting better.
Life was still aimless. But happier.
"Results matter today. They might not tomorrow." She said one day.
And that was the day when she took me to a hospital telling me it was a general check up.
But they checked my eye and sent reports to another hospital.
And last week doctors told me that they can fix it.
Just one operation. That's it.
And here I am.
On a hospital bed. My parents sitting in front of me. She is out for coffee.
Doctor said OR will be ready in 10 minutes.
He frankly asked me whom do I wish to see for the first time.
But perhaps, I wouldn't mind seeing her as for the first thing I would like to see.
And, to the Operation room!
10 Years Later
I had really forgotten about this diary.
Would never have found it if I weren't moving today.
Since I've found it, I can continue.
Still, in braille. Because I still can't write.
Operation didn't go as expected.
No harm was done but couldn't fix it.
I was a little dissapointed at first, but its okay now.
I think I'm doing good now-a-days.
Two years after the operation, I managed to forge some graduation degree and got a job under physical handicapped quota.
I make announcements at railway station.
Isn't fun though, but allows me to pay my bills.
I can send some money to Maa as well.
Father passed away three years back.
I still sing sometimes. Whenever I get bored alone.
But now I'm moving out. To a new city. I got transferred.
I am quite excited. Maybe I could make some friends. Any friend.
I'm all packed. She is waiting outside in a taxi.
Her husband is also with her.
He is a good guy. Keeps her happy.
They've a kid as well.
Life is just fine. Workable.
Results matter today. They might not tomorrow.
~ Chand Sethi