What is a handicap? You might say speech or hearing impairment, blindness or the lack of one or more of limbs, but this man from Mumbai has some food for thought. He was declared blind by doctors just minutes after his birth, but he believes real handicap is the lack of love. His story went viral on the Humans of Bombay Facebook page and is nothing less than inspiring. He came to Mumbai when he was 16 to avail better treatment but his first surgery failed. He accepted his destiny, but did not lose hope. He completed his education, made friends and learned to be independent. He has a loving wife and daughter and amazing colleagues. You might half-expect him to rue about the destiny’s cruel game with him, but he says he has no problems.
You might even want to take a leaf or two from the advice he gives.
“I was declared blind by doctors just minutes after I was born. The medical facilities for the blind are not that great in UP so I was sent to Bombay when I was 16 for better treatment but my first surgery failed. I accepted my destiny and completed my schooling from the Victoria Memorial School for the blind. I loved my school life — I made great friends and learnt to be independent from them. We didn’t have a lot of money, but I was desperate to study further, so I would make and sell agarbattis after college and then study until late at night to keep up. I also performed in an orchestra from time to time and saved every penny for my post graduation and finally got a job with the State Bank of India!
I love my job — my colleagues are amazing. They taught me how to take the train independently and even how to cook my rice and pulses. When I reached a point where I was making enough money, I married the love of my life. I’ve never seen her, but I know she has a beautiful heart, because there hasn’t been a day when she’s made me feel like I lack something — we’ve lived a beautiful life together with our daughter.”
“What advice would you give people?”
“After 55 years of having no sight, the only thing I can say is that life is beautiful, if you want it to be. The second you love and accept the way you are, the world becomes a wonderful place to live. Often people ask me what my struggles are because I’m blind, but I have no struggles; no problems. The only reason for that, is that I have love in my heart and I feel it all around me from my wife at home to my colleagues at work. When I hear stories of people suffering from depression or young children committing suicide — I feel like there’s where the problem is. The lack of love is the real handicap anyone can have and these are the people who need to be loved even harder.”