01 December 2014


Posted by Vinoth Subramanian | Monday, December 01, 2014 Categories: ,

This story was not written to create sympathy upon the author. All the incidents are sent% true.

Every family confronts economical depression at times. June 5th 2012 was written for my family. Unlike other workers, my brother used to get his salary only on 7th or 8th of the month. My father’s construction work had already been over and he was anticipating a new job. My mother had a health problem on the very same day. My father had Rs 500 in his pocket to tackle the following days. Unfortunately her health condition was far from bearing line. He had no other go except to take her to the hospital. For the very first time he asked me money to give if I have. I always had the habit of having 500 rupees in my purse which was invariably used for emergency purpose. I gave him and it was spent for my mother’s medical allowances. They came back.
“Daddy, the right eye is severely aching.” I said.
“Must we go to the hospital today?” was his reaction. I said yes by nodding my head. I knew that it was not the right time to trouble him but I had no other option for it was my right eye and the pain was intolerable.
“I try my level best to bear this daddy. If it doesn’t reduce--”
“We’ll go.” He replied. It was 1:00 in the afternoon; and I tried bearing it till 5:00Pm but the pain didn’t come down. It was trickling and turning reddish. I told my father that I was not able to endure the pain. He took me to the hospital along with his 545 rupees.

Avadi Agarwal, one of the branches of Agarwal eye hospital. It was not looking like a hospital in that evening. A group of youngsters were chit-chatting, playing and making fun of one another. We waited in the reception nearly 15 minutes. Doctor called us inside.
She checked my eyes and told my father.
“I’ll write to the main branch.”
“What happened ma’am?” he asked her shockingly.
Instead of answering, she asked him back.
“How he became blind? By birth?”
“No ma’am, he was born normal.”
“Then how it happed?”
“Soon after his birth that is nearly on the 9th day he was affected by brain fever. As a result, the nerves which are connected to the eyes got damaged. Even though, doctors said that it could be recovered through an operation hence we agreed. But, due to a mistake, (the doctor himself said) he lost his vision completely on his left eye. Nonetheless, he manages with his right.”
She listened to him and checked my eyes again.
“I am unable to find the problem since we don’t have any scanning facilities here.”
“Anything dangerous ma’am?” he asked her with the tone of mystification.
“It seems sir. Does he have little bit of vision now?”
“Yes ma’am, on his right. He can see a little, like colours, furniture, and,” he stopped and asked me to explain her.
“I can identify people by their miens though not by visages. I can identify things if they are big enough. Then lights, roads, vehicles, cricket teams,”
“Cricket teams?” she asked.
“Yeah ma’am; like, blue dress India, yellow means Australia, green indicates South Africa and”
“I understand, what’s your name?”
“Vinoth.” My father said.
“Yeah I understand vinoth.” She said and asked, “How long can you see?”
“The distance I ask.”
“I am unable to explain ma’am. If it’s a bike shot distance, if it’s a lorry long distance, if it’s a train even longer, if it’s--”
“I can understand Vinoth.” She stopped me by interrupting.
“Are you able to see me Vinoth?” She asked.
“Yeah ma’am. I can’t say how you look like but,”
“Yeah I understand. You can identify that something or someone is in front of you. Am I right?”
“He can manage and even guide others in familiar places ma’am.” My father said.
“People like him.”
“Then Vinoth?” she asked me to proceed further.
“Though I can’t identify certain closer things, I can understand that something is there.”
“What happened to me exactly ma’am?” I asked her now.
“Nothing to worry. It looks reddish that’s It.” she retorted.
Doctors are taught including to prevaricate I fathomed once again. We came out and bought the medicines she prescribed. The drops cost 325. My father gave the money and got the change without even counting. He seemed much tensed while we were walking towards railway station.
“Why it starts again?” he asked me.
“Mayhap, it’s for some good reasons.” I replied.
We reached the railway station and he started counting the given money.
“Why did they give 400 rupees?” he expressed his confusion to me.
“What happed?”
He clarified with the bill and savvied that they mistakenly gave Rs 400 instead 200. He dialed and told them.
“We don’t commit mistake and we don’t cheat others sir!” the receptionist told over the phone.
“You need not cheat us;” my father said, “You gave us extra money. Better give them the phone.”
He talked to the bill collectors and asked them to come soon.
“They may commit botches only in treatment not in receiving money. Better you leave sir.” Said the stranger who was standing in the railway station after listening to everything.
“Why can’t we go and give daddy?” I asked him.
“It will consume 10 minutes for us to walk to the hospital but not to them.” He said.
As he said, 2 guys were sprinting towards the railway station and keenly searching us. My father saw them and took me towards them. He returned them the money.
“Thank you uncle… Thank you very much…” They gratefully said.
“No mention. Actually I didn’t count when you gave me the change. I am sorry guys. You will be probed for these kinds of carelessness.”
“Yes uncle. We’ll be very careful here after.” They replied and ran back. We too reached our home. I continued the drops and the pain reduced. Days slipped into weeks, weeks slipped into a month. I joined in Loyola college for pursuing my master degree and my father also got a job for building a new construction on the same day that was 9th July; my birthday.

Totally thirty eight students were admitted to pursue M.A. English literature in Loyola college, thirty five of us were present on that day and eight of us were from the same college. Professor asked to introduce ourselves. I thought of memorising the entire name at once. Unfortunately, boys name were sounding like nouns and girls’ were tongue twisters. As I wanted, none of those seven students (my old class mates) knew my birthday. It wasn’t their fault for I had maintained the confidentiality of my birthday for the last three years when I was doing my under graduate with them. Nonetheless, Ashwin found my birthday through my Facebook and wished me in the evening. Soon the message scattered and I got nicely on the following day for not telling.
Co-education was scaring me since I hadn’t been familiar with it in my under graduation and in the higher secondary level.  I studied with girls only till my fifth standard that too they were all visually challenged friends. Boys were mingling with boys as girls did in the beginning. On the next day, one of the professors came and told us that we must elect the representative of the class. She asked us to file the nominations soon. Students complied with her wishes. Two out of fourteen girls and one out of twenty one boys were nominated for the election. Their names were announced in the class by our professor.
“The contestants are,” she said, “Mario Cassion Anand, (boy) Jezvin Little George (girl) and Grisha. Any other nomination?” She asked
I whispered Ashwin to nominate one more girl. He asked me “why?”
“By doing so, the votes will split and the boy will win.” I said but he didn’t respond. My state of mind, at that time, was not making him win; on the other hand, I wanted girls to lose. I had my own my problem to be faced at that time.
“If any one of the girls wins in this election, if she becomes the representative of the class, if I need any help or if I need anything to ask I won’t because, I feel shy.” I said to myself. By the time the election had got over and I was anticipating the immediate result. Though I could guess Cassion’s undoubted victory, I didn’t want to trust this people. Finally he was promulgated as the representative of the class.
Days were smoothly gliding. I had already memorized all of their names by searching in our college website and stored them in an encrypted word document for it contained girl’s names and their dates of birth. Nearly ten days might have passed by. We had an informal interaction among ourselves. Everyone introduced themselves. Anish made me confront that mixed crowd and I said good morning by uttering all their names. Ashwin broke the silence, asked everyone to involve in hand-shake and we complied. Anish was taking me to everyone and making me shake my hands with them. Though I knew all by their names, I was not familiar with their voice.
There came the heroine of this story Ms Jezvin Little George. She ensconced her little palms with mine and unleashed the first sentence.
“I need to talk to you.”
“It’s my pleasure.” I replied for obviously not knowing what to reply. She spilt a smile and went. She called me in the evening which I didn’t expect.

I picked up the call and talked.
“Hi,” a female voice replied from the other end.
“Yeah aunty tell me” I replied with an assumption that it would be my friend’s mother.
“Hello… hello… hello…” she was re-uttering her words and continued.
“Are you busy with anything?”
It was not her voice I savvied and kept quiet for few seconds.
“Who is this?” I asked hesitantly.
“I am Jezvin. I can’t hear you properly. Can you hear me?” she replied, I was speechless and thanked god for she didn’t hear me when I called her “aunty”.
I disconnected and recalled her again.
The line was clear.
We talked nearly 20 to 30 minutes.
“You are the first girl to call me.” I said while speaking.
“Oh! So I am the first girl friend!”
“No” I said, “First sister.”
She smiled and chit chatted for a while. Finally we hung up and met on the following day. She came and gave me some chocolates which I shared with Kiruba who is my classmate.

The first birthday.

Grisha was the first person to celebrate birthday in our class and she was the first person whom I gave a pen as birthday gift. After memorizing all of their names along with dates of birth, I swore to myself that there after I would be giving pen as my classmates’ birthday gifts. People were in their extreme exuberance on that day. She cut the cake and gave everybody including me. I too degusted it without creaming my fingers.

Days went on. Our first continuous assessment was approaching. Groups were formed, some people took initiative and taught, some learned, some supplied notes, and other made on their own. In the span of time, I saved all of my classmate’s numbers from our representative Cassion. Though it was not a successful internals for us, it didn’t affect the platform of joy. Father Santhosh had arranged a get together promptly. Unfortunately, I said no to them since my father was on his way to my college to visit me. They started leaving from the backside of the jubilee building where I was also standing without making a move for I was not much familiar to the place.
“Are you coming to father’s house Vinoth?” the other heroine of this story asked me.
“No Brita, my dad is coming to visit me so I am going to hostel now.” I said.
I didn’t know how to go to the hostel from there so I closely followed while she started walking.
“What Vinoth?” she asked.
“Nothing Brita, I will just come with you till near the elevator then I proceed from there to my destination.” The elevator is located in the building.
“Should I hold your hand?” she asked for she hadn’t done it so far.
I didn’t reply but offered my fingers. She clasped my left hand and guided me till the elevator. I left her hand and proceeded to main-road which leads to my hostel.
“Vinoth.” Jezvin called me from the distance.
I took a turn but she reached me.
“Aren’t you coming to father’s house?” she held my right hand and asked.
“No.” I replied and told the whole.
“I thought you’d come.” She sadly reacted.
“Sorry. I will come another day.” I said.
“Where are they?” she asked.
“They are going in front.” I said after releasing my hand and pointed towards the way where Beatrice Brita went.
“Okay I can see Brita and few there.” She said after looking at the direction.
“Go fast. Bye.” I said.
I turned and started marching towards my hostel. All of a sudden, something has stopped me. It was neither Brita nor Jezvin but the voice of someone.

It was the voice of my hero, the hero of my story, the hero of my life, the hero behind my survival, my motivation, my inspiration, my soul rescuer, my healer, my general, my generator, my strength and my life’s ultimate hope.


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