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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Take Two

Currently,a banker by profession,I was part of the Maharashtra team for the prestigious Ranji Trophy,and was a regular fixture in the side for almost seven years.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE |
April 20, 2010 2:36:11 am

Life threw challenges upon them but instead of succumbing to it they bounced back with multiplied zest. Here are a few real fighters who have conquered the odds and turned their lives into inspiring stories

Not out: Mahendra More
Currently,a banker by profession,I was part of the Maharashtra team for the prestigious Ranji Trophy,and was a regular fixture in the side for almost seven years. On February 23,1997,I was returning home after a practice session,when my motorcycle slipped on the road,causing a severe impact to the back of my head. I was taken to the Poona Hospital,where I was unconscious for almost two months. When I regained consciousness,I found that the muscles in my legs had contracted due to lack of movement,making me paralysed from the waist down. I was confined to a wheelchair,and it was quite doubtful whether I would ever be able to walk again. For the first few months after the accident,I was depressed and resigned,but one day I suddenly felt a strong desire to walk again,and I merely stopped accepting any reason to give up on myself. With a combination of treatment,physiotherapy and resolve,I started walking with the help of a walker,before progressing to the support of crutches and finally,was able to stand and walk on my own. Today,I work at Bank of India,and commute on my own using a specially modified two-wheeler. I also got married after the accident,and am a proud father of an eight-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. I am grateful to my colleagues at the bank,as they supported me at my lowest point and persuaded me to start working again. Most of all,I am indebted to my wife who accepted me as I am. It is my family that keeps me going. The accident did not mean I cut myself from cricket as I have been acting as a scout for the Maharashtra Cricket Association from time to time. Cricket has inculcated in me the never-say-die attitude that helped me to move past this traumatic experience,and my interaction with the sport inspires me to work even harder.

I can: Nayana Kirloskar
I have perhaps started enjoying life more thoroughly after I have come to know about the illness. Now I know that in the limited time that I have,I need to enjoy the simplest things in life,which we have been taking for granted,or ignoring. It was at the age of 50 when I started to loose weight and went for a checkup that I was detected with ovary cancer. My family was traumatised but the human mind adjusts too soon to situations and I was adjusted to the thought that I have to live with a stranger,atleast it was known stranger rather than an unknown. And if this is the worst that could happen I realised it can go down anymore so I have to go upwards and took it in my stride. It’s been seven years now and my association with the Pranshanti Cancer Care has helped me a lot. After several chemotherapies and operations,I go for a check up every three months now. And more than that I have started social work,paintings and bhajans besides reading literature and enjoying the simplest things in life.

In sight: Niranjan P Pandya
The last time I saw light was 50 years ago. I was 16 and was playing with 10 friends of mine in front of Shaniwar Wada. It was 6.15 pm and just as we were about to finish,the last ball of the day (that too a plastic one) hit hard between my eyebrows and all I could see post that was darkness. I was taken to the best ophthalmologists in the city over the next few months by my mother. What was initially thought to be a problem with the eyesight turned out to be retinal detachment and I discovered that I had lost my eyesight completely. It took me a year to accept the fact that I am blind. After such incidents,majority of the patients succumb and avoid people. It was my mother who made me mix with people and behave as if nothing had gone wrong. It was she who made me believe that people are good and if you are positive,the world responds positively. Today,at 66,I am the chairman of Resource Mobilising Committee,Vision 2020,Right to Sight,Government of India,founder of H V Desai Eye Hospital in Hadapsar,executive director,Poona Blind Men’s Association and have over 10 projects and three institutionalised projects to my credit. The H V Desai Eye Hospital that I founded in 2000 has over 250 staff members. We conduct over 100 eye surgeries and check 300 plus patients per day. I am a firm believer that whatever happens is the will of the almighty and that if human being decides,there is nothing impossible. I lost my eyesight but got a vision that changed lives of countless blind people.

Lost & found: Nikhet Shaikh
An awful 99 kgs was always there to make me feel bad,low and even guilty. In class 10,when girls spent hours in front of the mirror,I hated it. Reason- obesity. It was so painful to think about it that I never made any attempt to think about the reason – whether it was lifestyle or genetic. However,it was a fact that I was fat and that too a whopping 99 kgs. Any family function,friend’s gathering or even at home and in my society my weight was pulling me down into inferiority complex,when my mother encouraged me and asked me to make one last attempt (I had made several attempts earlier,from dieting to gyming,but they didn’t work because of lack of determination). She told me to first get determined and think positive. After my first visit to the healthcare centre too,I wasn’t sure if I could ever do that. However,constant support form my mother infused an urge to look good in me and that urge made me do all it takes to loose weight. In 12 months,I was 60 kgs. While to me it was a process and hence divided into many small moments of happiness and victory,to others,who came to know about my 40 kg loss,it was an achievement. Praises further encouraged me and now I know that I need to get down to 45 kg so my effort is still on. To all those who laughed at me and made fun of me,I am an answer. I had joined gym thrice without any success. Change in food habits and faith in myself eventually changed my life and imbibed in me the confidence that my flabs took away from me. I completely stopped eating non-veg food and had only home made food like vegetables,salad,rotis. Earlier,workouts were tiresome and I used to miss outside food,but now,workout is a part of my routine and I love home made food. I feel good when people cite me as an example of determination. Due to obesity I was also suffering from many ailments,which were cured as I lost weight. Now,I eat everything but very carefully,which not only checks my weight but also keeps me healthy. I owe it all to my mother,who believed in me and now I tell people to believe in themselves.

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