This semester, I moved into a new hostel within the campus, way outside my comfort zone. In an area more characterized by shadiness and stuff like that. Shock on my black behind when I finally realized that life here is quite easier/hygienic/calmer than my previous cave.
But the one thing that’s had a lasting impression on me living here for this semester is the completeness of the body. Never before was I more aware of the gift of my 5 senses. Taken for granted, ignored. The fact that I can see beauty, feel pleasure, hear music, taste and smell marvels of this world.
You see, this block I live in is residence to majority of the physically-handicapped in the campus, housed here because this hostel-block is closest to the office handling their affairs. And here they live, as ordinary humans, which most of us forget them to be.
And so day by day, I get slightly astounded, as I watch a blind couple, hand entwined in the other’s, taking a peaceful stroll under the sunset’s calm airs, a peaceful breeze pushing their companionship along. Weirdly, none has their cane in hand, yet no obstacle comes their way; almost as if they move out of the couple’s way, giving them way. Jeez, it’s almost ninja-like!
Or to the minute lady, who is ever-smiling as she’s pushed along from class to class, bound to her wheelchair by the unfortunate lack of legs. And yet, the sturdy-bodied student-lawyer, who forever remains vocal and cheerful in spirit (almost like a real-world hobbit), who does not let his difference confine him to a life of mediocrity. He lives a normal life, enviable by those blessed with able bodies, though we take them for granted.
There’s something about seeing someone who’s been pushed to the floor, crushed under the world’s merciless feet. Bones broken, teeth shattered, eyes distorted, body crooked. Yet they rise, undeterred, seeking their life’s pleasure. True definition of an underdog. Everyone loves it when the underdog comes on top.
I have always admired the steel in such people, seeing them as more human than me. And with this admiration comes a fear. A fear that a misplaced comment will go on to hurt them. Or, more fortunately, please/encourage them.
So we go on living, skewed lives, bound to collide/interact somewhere along the way. Drawing encouragement and inspiration from each other, sourcing strength and perseverance from the other.