It was 2009. I was fresh out of college and joined in a software company. There was a CSR event in the company where the volunteers would visit a government boys school for blind and spend time with them. I enrolled for the program as social work is close to my heart.
I never interacted with any visually challenged person till then. So, I did not know what to expect. Will these children be sad? Will I feel sad seeing their sadness? I don’t know. I went to the school with various questions in my mind.The school is a government school cum hostel for visually challenged kids. It is located in an area close to Charminar.
The kids are joyful. They are singing and dancing. They are playing various games too. Some of them are blind by birth. Some are partially blind. Some lost their eyes in childhood. And so on. But they are all joyful and wanted to showcase their talents to us.As a volunteer, I could do various things like play, teach them something or just spend time talking. In my younger days, I had passion for chess and dabbled in it. So, I took up this.
My chess opponent is blind by birth. Lets call him Vishal (to protect the privacy). He was studying 8th class when we first met. We met over chess game and I was amazed at how well he played. Much more amazing thing is, he carried some different aura about him. Somehow, in that school, he felt to me like a wise and matured person. It did not feel to me like I was in the presence of an 8th class student. It felt to me like I was interacting with a person who is elder to me by many years. His words were profound and he radiated some kind of peace.This was my first interaction with Vishal.
And after this,there were many more initiatives that happened with blind school. There was an opportunity to teach various subjects to children. I took up History. Every weekend, I used to travel by public transport bus for 2 hours , teach History for 2 hours and travel back again for 2 hours. The place is near charminar and it is an unsafe place for women. Its a bit deserted and carries gloomy look. And I still went there. It amazes me now because now, I cannot imagine doing such things.
And there again, in History classes, I met Vishal. He was the most attentive student and gave his best to learn the subject. As a history teacher, I was impressed. Our friendship has grown further over years. I recorded audio notes for him for various subjects for years. I went as a scribe and wrote his exams on behalf of him. And we used to discuss the most about our common interest – spirituality. He is in a spiritual path and I am also in a spiritual path. He has a Guru and I too have a Guru.So, we used to nurture each other spiritually.He is a joyful and spiritual person in all our interactions.
In 2014, I went to his home as he invited me many times. I don’t like much to go to anyone’s home unless there is some spiritual purpose. I prefer my home and my own world any day.With Vishal, I thought I will cheer him up with some talk and all. So, I went. His home was quite far from the city. That was the first time reality of his life hit me.
His sister too is visually challenged by birth. He lost his father when he was young. His elder brother did not have a job. He had another sister who was married and harassed for dowry. And his mother is a simple house wife.His family is living in a small home and I did not know what to speak. I was at loss of words seeing his family’s condition. Seeing the joyful nature of Vishal, I never thought he had so many problems in his life . It took me quite some time to accept the reality.
With the support of an NGO, Vishal eventually pursued LLB and completed it. Now, he has grown into a young man. And his problems are still with him. His brother got a government job, got married and moved out of family. And Vishal took up the responsibility to take care of his mother and visually challenged sister.He could not find a job and is looking for opportunities. He is surviving on the pension he and his sister receive from government.
I know Vishal from the past 11 years and I have seen him spread smile and cheer no matter what he is going through. He spoke words of wisdom and spirituality. And he never lost hope and faith in his Guru and God even when things were not in his favor. Even though he is visually challenged, he still had to face relationship problems, dowry issues and what not. But he never lost the hope and courage. I feel amazed as to what makes Vishal smile and be joyful even in such tough situations.
If he had eyes, he would have got a job for the kind of hard work and sincerity he carries. He would have fallen in love and may be married too. And his life would have been so different. But he has no complaints at what life gave him. He goes on with his inner strength and courage. His only desire is to take good care of his mother in her old age.
Recently, he called me asking if I can give him any spare laptop as he wants to sharpen his chess skills through online learning from his coach(coach is teaching chess for free to Vishal) and pursue professional chess . Now, I did not have a spare laptop. But I wanted to help him in some way and I put the request for laptop in IWC friends circle whatsapp group(this is a whatsapp group of pranic healers where people keep sharing inspiring stuff).
And within 2 hours of request, 30,000 rupees were pooled and sent to Vishal to enable him to purchase laptop. This is one of the biggest miracles I have seen in my life. 30,000 rupees of donation in 2 hours!!!And for Vishal too, this is a great miracle as this gave him a hope that he can achieve his goals and succeed in life. He bought the laptop and got his internet connection,thanks to this group of Pranic Healers.
How can I ever thank IWC friends circle for its generosity and compassion? I can never thank enough. Thank You God for helping me become a Pranic Healer. Thank You God for helping me to be associated with IWC friends circle. Thank you for everything.
And in these 11 years of friendship, I learnt many things from Vishal. Thank you Vishal for teaching me to stay strong and peaceful even when things are not in favor. Thank you friend for enriching my life with your deep spiritual insights.Thank you for teaching me the meaning of gratitude through your life.I fervently pray to God that you succeed in all aspects of your life.
And thank you God for bringing wonderful people like Vishal into my life and enriching my life!
Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu!