When I lost my sight at the age of 9, I was totally shocked and confused. I didn’t know what was happening around me and what kind of future I was heading to. All my family-members, relatives and neighbors were deeply worried about my future. They all thought that with my sight gone, my door to the outside world was shut forever. Everybody thought that I would have to spend the rest of my life depending on others for help. All those who came to see me sympathized with me and I became the mouthpiece of everybody in the neighborhood. It was really a terrible experience. I lost the ability to do many things which I used to do easily when I had sight. My hopes and dreams all collapsed at once. But after I went to school, I slowly began to see the beauty of my new world and discovered my own strengths. I gradually regained my confidence to live a normal life with others and I got back my smiles that had vanished along with my sight. . Today, I am a happy person despite of being deprived of the opportunity to see the physical world with my own eyes. Although I have lost my sight, I have got the vision of my life. My disability is actually supposed to limit my freedom and choices to enjoy the real beauty of this life, but as I grew up, I began to see in it many advantages instead. Following are some of the advantages of being blind I have come to understand based on my own personal experiences:
Most of our children today grow up in cities and towns leading sophisticated lifestyles and as a result, they hardly get the opportunity to experience a unique type of life their parents and grandparents have enjoyed back in the village. Although the towns and cities do have various modern facilities that make life in general easier and more comfortable, villages have their own unique natural beauty and charm. So while many parents in urban centers are busy looking for means to engage their children meaningfully during this long winter vacation, I and my wife are sending our children to the village to let them experience a unique way of rustic life as well as to get them closer to their grandparents. We have been taking them to the village at least for a month every winter with the hope that they would learn to appreciate the beauty of rural life and realize the real value of family and community bonding.
When I was studying in PSG College of Arts and Science in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India, one of our Bhutanese friends had a bicycle gifted to him by his brother who completed his studies from Kerala. It had become a Bhutanese pool-vehicle since everybody used to ride it whenever needed. We used to ride it to go out for shopping in the nearby market areas as well as to go to meet our friends living outside the campus. It was comfortable for two people. When the owner of the bicycle graduated in May 2004, he left the bicycle for us to use. I often used to go on ride with my friends who were experienced cyclists.