Aug 8, 2012

Definitely Abled! [221/365]

Pardon me for the poor picture quality.
The past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful gentleman at a blogger meet.
He introduced himself to the group of 150 fellow bloggers as Raghava, blogger and social evangelist and entrepreneur. With a smile that could put anyone at ease.

When I introduced myself to him, he had that ready smile again. Naturally, I asked him what he blogged on and if was a photo-blog perhaps because virtually everyone at the meet was a photoblogger!. Pat came the answer 'Oh no. I am blind'.
Now, I really can't put in words what I felt at that moment. Awkward.

Later, during a short tea break I wanted to know his story. He seemed so normal. He didn't wear dark glasses, nor had the cane with him at that moment.
He was cheerful and didn't rant about how disabled-unfriendly the world is.
Raghava would later explain to me how he began loosing his vision about a year ago, almost in a matter of factly way.  He was curious to know if there was anyone else who were in the same situation as he is and I told him about Poonam Vaidya and the little that I knew of how she coped with a life with dimming lights. The news of someone else who shared the same condition cheered Raghava. I promised to try and connect Raghava with Poonam.

As I left the meeting, I was reminded how small the world is, how fleeting life is and how we take almost everything for granted.
Raghava is steadily loosing his vision. From a perfect vision, he now sees everything in a blur and I can feel how depressing this can be. I can barely tolerate driving without my prescription glasses. In about a year from now, he could be completely blind. That is a frightening prospect. Raghava is no superman. He isn't a dark knight. He isn't immune to the crushing realization that the lights will be turned off soon.

He however does have a lot of fight left in him. We spoke about his interests in social entrepreneurship and the projects he works on. I've seen far too many able-bodied people sulking, bullying their way to the top. When Raghava described himself as 'definitely abled' I was impressed.

Here's wishing his tribe increases!
Good Luck, Raghava.

Other heroes I've chronicled:
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