Friday, June 14, 2013

Handicapped yet Human..!!

This is not an everyday feeling; when I feel ashamed of my own existence… But it is so intense that it baffles my inner core all the time; leaving me puzzled and doubtful about my duties and responsibilities towards other living beings… How can we forget our essence and become neutral towards an extremely sensitive subject? “Pain, anger, depression that is settled deep in heart, it paralyses the required response that a brain could give…” I answered myself…  But, it did not release the intensity of the incident that I had encountered while coming back home…

I chose public transport means i.e. Bus to reach railway station from my place… Carrying a heavy trolley bag with a backpack is not an easy task for a young girl who doesn’t seem to care about her physical strength… But, I was determinant to leave for home for a long vacation… In Pune buses, you are not allowed to step in from the door near to driver; but I did… Having considered me as a female passenger with luggage, the driver did not complain… As he drove off, I felt stumbled and could not take control over the luggage, there is a single seat near first door where an old man in his sixties got hold on my assets… I felt a relief; stepped ahead and looked at his face to thank him… And, he was already smiling… In such a mess when you encounter with this kind of emotion, it is a surprise heal to the damaged soul… Bus kept on moving towards its destination, and I had managed to get a seat opposite the lane reserved for ladies which started right behind that old man’s single seat… All other seats are meant for duo, I kept staring randomly outside window of old styled bus when it moved, at the first door when it stopped… In expectation of somebody new who would board and simultaneously counting who would step down...

Weather was a mixture of sunny and rainy excitement, just like a happiness shadowed by the clouds of sorrow…  Bus stopped at a station, and I as usual shifted my glare towards the first door… Lady sitting behind old man’s seat had dropped down, leaving a young and regular looking woman sitting diagonally behind to that old man… The observation was interrupted as an old woman in her eighties had just boarded and started a silent communication with the regular woman asking her to shift to the place which was just vacated… The regular woman made face in disgust, as old woman was neither beautiful nor rich… She had no power to influence a strong mind… Regular woman responded back in refusal and suggested the old one to take the vacated place… Why would this old lady beg her to shift? Why don’t she quietly sit on vacated place? Well… she might have her own reason… why can’t this young one just shift? Why doesn’t she hold courtesy for the old age people? I started conversation with myself while watching the whole episode… Probably, I was just touched with old man’s gesture… Or the young lady was really snobbish… She had turned her face away from the old woman in order to avoid any further communication… That’s an old trick! The old woman had gestured towards her leg… I think she has problem with it… As soon as this thought struck in my mind, the old lady already sat on the vacated place setting her right leg parallel to the ground… Ohhh… My God! She has stick in that leg and she can’t fold it..!!!!  As I noticed rod inserted in old woman's right leg, a sign of disgust for young woman and pain for the old one appeared simultaneously on my face… Young woman was still ignorant… I felt helplessly filled with anger… But, the old lady had already made her place… Without much complaining… Probably, she has seen too much in the world… Or, because she has no physical strength left to raise her voice for her needs..!!

Bus kept on moving with its speed… Passengers boarded and got down… I tried to focus outside… But the incident had shook my nerves and I kept on staring at the chemistry between the old and the young women… The young one’s stoppage had finally come and an older and fat one was about to replace her… The old woman took notice of the approaching woman and shrank as much as possible and welcomed the new arrival… “Pain, anger, depression that is settled deep in heart, paralyses the required response that a brain could give” is not the true reason…!!  A transformation of concept had occurred in my world… She did not reflect her disappointment on the third party..!! On contrary, she offered as much as she could afford… Without expecting anything in return..!! The fat lady looked down at little old handicapped woman and thanked for gesture with smile… Two ladies had no reason to turn their faces away from each other and started conversation in Marathi…

 I traveled further in train, bus, auto, metro, rickshaws… And reached home within 24 hours… I settled myself quickly and started doing painting projects and reading novels… But this incident constantly kept on clinging up to my thoughts reminding me the old lady’s face… Her pain, her helplessness, her courteous behavior… Leading my thoughts constantly wondering about what material it takes to be a human… A perfect body or a perfect inner self… I felt more prone to the deep thoughts and reflections of human being around me… I have seen people mocking a deaf person when he fails to pay attention to their statements… And people mimicking the impaired hands… Also, people ignoring other person just because he looks ugly… This depression gets deeper day by day… With all these incidents, it makes me feel disgust for all such perfect bodied people who fail to prove themselves as human..!! But it develops a respect for those who have lost some important physical features, who don’t look gorgeous, who have pain bigger than their own size, yet come out as a great soul by reflecting right gestures at right time… For their existence, I still hold some faith in the word “humanity”...!!


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