Saturday, November 16, 2013

“No arms, no legs… worries!”

This season’s Nach Baliye on Star Plus has Vinod Thakur as one of the contestants. He first shot to fame as a break dancer on India’s Got Talent. He had a rough childhood. He started repairing mobile phones to earn money.  He never had any formal training in dancing. He taught himself by downloading dance videos from an internet café. When he starts dancing with a grin on his face, people openly gape at him unabashedly. When he came on stage to dance with his wife, Shilpa Shetty as one of the judges of the show, covered her mouth with her hands. This much astonished she was on seeing the level of energy and enthusiasm shown by Vinod. A man who was born without legs. 

Watch him dance and you will be surprised at his dedication towards dancing. Today inspite of having two hands and two legs, people criticize god for the way they look and talk. Some people are not happy with their heights. Some don’t like the shape of their nose or lip or arms. Have we ever wondered how life would have been if we had any disabilities? We look at our physical features and compare it distressingly with others. Ever wondered how life would be if those same not so good looking physical body parts are absent since your birth?

I came to know about Nick Vujicic during my engineering days. In one of the orientation programs conducted, we were shown a video of this man who was born without hands and legs. He was depressed by this condition in his childhood and contemplated to end his life when he was just 10 years old. But then he decided not to do so because that would hurt his loved ones and might make them feel immensely guilty. His parents made him go to a normal school. Because they wanted him to have a life like a normal kid. Something that he is very proud of today. When he was seventeen, he started speaking about his life in front of small groups. He turned into such a motivational speaker and so many listeners got influenced that he has visited many countries by now in a will to spread goodness and hope among others. He types with his toes, swims and plays golf. He writes and dresses with the help of his mouth. He has visited approximately 24 countries for public speaking till now and has his own private website.  

Vinod, Nick and many others like them throughout the world have accepted the way they are. There were many hindrances and issues they had to face. Maybe they face today too. But they haven’t given up. Nor their parents and companions. They are the creators of god and they do not complain anymore. What’s the point in complaining anyway? They learned about their talents or carved out a career and they are living a satisfied life. Vinod is an amazing dancer and Nick can calm the minds of any noisy audience with his influential speech. They have earned respect from the society. Throw all those pity and sympathies out of the window. These people do not need anyone to sympathize for them. They need others to empathize with their lives. We should learn from them to be happy with the kind of life god has blessed us with.    

Looking at their lives, my own personal problems and issues look so unimportant. Why feel angry at all at difficult situations? Why shout, curse or feel jealous? Why have hatred towards someone? Why neglect our health and boil our blood in the whole process and then blame our busy lives or the people in it? Don’t we have anything more important to do in life? When Nick can love himself the way he is, why can’t we too? When he does not have any complaints to put in front of god but prays to Christ every day, why can't we bear our troubles with a smile? When Vinod can dance to his heart’s content fearlessly, why can’t we come out of our own shells too? These folks have erased the word impossible from their dictionary. Why can’t we do the same? We face many problems in life. We stagger to keep up in times of troubles.  We crave for success and excellence. If we fail in something, we tend to curse fate. Whatever we have, we are never satisfied in it, are we? We want more and bigger. We easily become depressed and feel jealous of others who have more power. We strive to achieve perfection in everything we do. In this tough, competitive world, we often get distracted and end up getting frustrated. If somebody is not listening to our woes, we easily become annoyed and irritated.  If we suffer from a great loss, we tend to become suicidal. We forget to cherish what we have. What we were born with. In order to satisfy others, we often neglect our health. But look at these people. They are more fearless and brave than us. They faced many challenges in life. When they can do it so humbly and cheerfully, why can't we too? 

When someone is born with any disability, people immediately start showing pity towards him/her. It follows with a doubt on the disabled person’s future. Some outspoken folks even try to discourage them. The world is tough out there and they don’t stand a chance-such humiliating words are thrown at them. What one fails to understand is that just because someone has two hands, two legs, one head and no brains doesn’t give that someone any right to discourage/ insult/ or dishonor disabled people. It is in no one’s hands that a newly born child will have full organs in proper conditions. Of course, some people can always be counted upon. In some cases such children are abandoned by their folks because of their conditions. When it’s not even the child’s fault. Why punish an innocent heart when life is already going to be full of sufferings and tough decisions for the rest of his/her future? Who knows maybe the next kid born in their families would again have disabilities. Then what will they do? Abandon the new born again? And for how many times will this go on? When their other kids with full body parts become adult, get married and end up having their own children born with any disability, then what these same parents turned grandparents will do next? On second thoughts, a human being can land up in an accident and get his any body part chopped off by a speeding vehicle. He/she can become disabled for life. How would they feel if their loved ones desert them for their disability or dependency? 

In future, if my own children have any disability, should I abandon them like some others or prepare them for their future life ahead? This is in our hands, how to carve out a life for such children and make them ready to face the challenges ahead. Hats off to those parents who encourage their disabled kids to face the world with a smile on their faces. Else we wouldn’t have gotten to see inspiring personalities like Vinod and Nick at their best. Moral for the day? Have a purpose in life and enjoy with full gusto. We don’t know when our lives will end or for how many days we would live. Who has seen the future? Let’s just live in the present and be happy at whatever we do and whatever little/more we have. If a person with no limbs can have positive attitude towards life and no regrets, why can’t we too have the same feelings? Why can’t we too try to overcome challenges and fears just the way Vinod has? Let’s learn to love ourselves the way we are. Let’s live our god-gifted life to the fullest till we are alive. :)                          

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