Dec 5, 2005

Samarthanam…a cheerleader calls

I stepped into a stadium after a long time, just a number - 694, just another face in a sea of a thousand faces, some bright, some cheery, some complaining, some enthusiastic…but all there for a cause. To encourage the disabled and special people who show exceptional grit in the face of adversity.

Now, I have done some work with special children while in school, later in college in a different context as part of “Make-a-wish-foundation”. However, I am a comfortable urban dweller, selfish, self-absorbed and largely worried about things, which in the humane sense hold little relevance. I choose the word humane since, most things worrying me are self oriented…will I be able to make that trip to Singapore this year…what to do on new years…when the heck will I buy the car…and things of similar nature.

For today, a cloudy day with a fine granular drizzle, I am here to walk, not for solidarity or for the disabled, but because I wanted to …for myself. I am however caught unawares as I stand on the sidelines enthusiastically cheering for a bunch of people running a 2 km race in the stadium. Some with visible physical defects, some blind and running in pairs, some with blank stares…but all smiling. Even as I see them chugging away a chill runs down my spine, wondering about the thrill of winning, the thrill of feeling the wind in your face.

Somewhere in these thoughts the walk starts, 5 kilometers, controlling traffic, walking alongside people who barely can. Striding ahead, and loving it, the feeling of being able to walk, to feel your senses, the rain against your face, the awareness of being whole, perfect in every physical sense. Even as I become aware of myself in person I am consumed by a feeling of pain, I know tomorrow is another day and I will be consumed by the same trivial concerns. But I know I will not pass up another opportunity to feel whole, to feel gifted again.


Navreet Kaur said... is beautifully written.

golliwog said...

I am proud of you!! Partly because your awareness about the inconsequential many things we all tend to worry about...
It is interesting that we need challenged people to make us feel whole... wouldnt it be great if we could feel the same without a comparison?
And, if you've read Richard Feynman- after the explosion of the atom bomb he helped make- we are not responsible for the way the world is. The thought has helped me from drowning in hopelessness at times!
Nice writing...