And That One Day Changed Me

By: Nandita Gupta

It was late again; I was waiting at the shuttle stop for my bus. I was getting impatient as I was already running late for a meeting. I glanced at my cell phone and saw I had an incoming call from my friend. “Hello? How are you doing?” was how this conversation began and we went on to plan our workout schedule. I constantly worry about every pound I gain and had made a resolution to begin working out again. “I don’t look pretty, I need to get the perfect figure” is a common ‘girl’ syndrome that can be seen in every girl, and I am no exception to the rule.

After five minutes the shuttle arrived and everyone got in. Just when we were about to leave, someone else climbed into the shuttle. He was a middle-aged man, wearing black Ray-Ban glasses, carried a stick to support his slight limp, with a small backpack on his back. We finally started, and I reached my destination. As I was getting off, I noticed that man standing off to the side, looking about, as though waiting for someone. I didn’t give him a second glance, but when I walked past him, he caught hold of my hand. I turned to give him an indignant look and demand an explanation for his behavior, but before I could say anything he spoke, “Please could you help me? I seem a little lost, could you walk me to my apartment gate?” That’s when I realized that he was blind.

I felt guilty for assuming things and I readily agreed to help him out. We had an interesting conversation on agriculture and different agro-farms in the area. He was a visiting student and seemed quite knowledgeable on the subject. I dropped him off at his apartment gate as requested, and then went my own way.

As I was walking home I thought about this incident. Minutes before I met this man, I was complaining about my looks, about how I may appear to be physically, but on the other hand there was this individual who had lost his eye-sight but had not only accepted it, but was also adapting and accepting himself the way he was. One could just sit at home and complain about one’s misfortune at losing one’s eye-sight but he was trying to live his life, and give himself another chance. I not only felt guilty, but felt very ungrateful for all those things that I had been blessed with. So what if I was a little plump? God has gifted me with a normal functioning body, intelligence, loving parents and caring friends – so many things to be grateful for.

I feel that everyone has some disability: it may be mental or physical. No one in this world is perfect, but one should not brood and complain about these things. One should accept them, move on, and try to figure out ways to deal with those disabilities. This man I met was an example of someone who still looked at the silver lining in a dark cloud, and this incident shall remain in my memory forever.

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