02 August 2016


Posted by Vinoth Subramanian | Tuesday, August 02, 2016 Categories: , , , ,

It is almost two months since I took part in a car rally conducted by national federation of the blind (NFB) along with Madras Motor sports Club (MMSC.) But, I am thinking of him, still thinking of him. He’s an ordinary person with extraordinary emotions. No… no… He’s an extraordinary person with ordinary emotions. I know I am confusing all, because I am confused.

Free-masons hall was empty when we entered. It was the place where we were asked to report for the car rally.

“What have you achieved by coming very soon?” Mohanraj asked me.

“We are on time and others are late as you came to the railway station.” I replied. Chandru supported the opinion and followed me.

“What am I to do? I have to take care of everything.” He replied.

“Is it so Deepa?” I asked his wife.

“Yeah! He’s the one taking care of everything. Who readied Charan?” She pointed out her child and asked.

“Whatever, now we are on time. Isn’t it Charan? ” He asked his one year old son.

“Charan sounds good. But, the first half of his name was given by me. Okay?” I replied him and got the kid from him.

“Who denied that?” He asked and placed his son on my shoulder.

“Where is your sister Chandru?” I asked.

“I am here Vinoth.” Suganya replied.

All of us were seated in the hall.

“Hi, I am Narmatha.” A volunteer came to us and introduced herself and asked our names.

I think I have introduced all. Except Charan and Deepa, others are not new to the Blog for I have already mentioned about them. But, this was for Narmatha. Mohanraj is my senior but best friend since first standard. Suganya is my classmate and a best friend since LKG. Chandru is Suganya’s younger brother and my junior. Deepa is Mohanraj’s wife and Charan is their one year kid. Each of us, except Charan, introduced ourselves with Ms. Narmatha.

“I was scared a little.” I told Deepa.


“Only Mohan and you are partially blind and the rest are totally. Mayhap, it’s not a challenge to come. But, I was afraid of Charan. You had to carry him and guide us.”

“When did you reach beach station?”

“Around 2:00 P.m.” I said.

“We also reached at the same time.” Suganya said.

“Did you know what happened while I was coming?” I decided to narrate a small story to them and waited for them to ask.

“What happened?” Suganya asked.

“Confirming the platform number on my own, I got down from the train. As usual it was eighth platform. A guy and a girl were walking beside me. Both seemed young. The guy held my hand and asked my destination. I told him the platform and he decided to take me. I didn’t want to disturb him. We had reached the staircase. I told him to leave me for I was aware of the way. He started clambering and the girl also accompanied him. I felt awkward. But, they were not in a mood to listen to me. I didn’t want the girl to walk and suffer. (When did we worry about guys?) Finally, they left me in the third platform and went. I asked them where they were going while they clambered the staircase with me. He said they were going to Velacheri. I was shocked. The train was halting in sixth platform. But, we were coming from eighth platform to third. I felt sorry for troubling them. I apologized too. But, they didn’t want to leave me in the middle.”

“Some people are really great. But, some people won’t hear us even we yell for help.” She said.

“Yep! We need to face many faces. I don’t know whether they are lovers are friends but, I find two kinds of youngsters while helping a visually challenged person when they are with their ladyloves. The first kind would help us only when they are with girls to impress, and the second kind of guys would do this naturally along with their sweethearts. Of course, some guys ignore us. Nonetheless, many men, when they are with ladyloves, help us when we ask.”

“However they are willing to help when we ask. What about love failures?” She asked.

“We don’t even need to ask them.” I said and continued,

“When I was standing beside the staircase, a woman came and told me that you have been waiting on the other side of the staircase. In fact, it was she who guided me to you. Have you come with her?”

“Yes, we came till the railway station. Then, she helped. We told her about you and she brought us you.” She said.

People were mustering one after the others. Simultaneously, the registration process also had begun. But, we didn’t stop our discussion.

“Many people would help us and some would not but, the third kind is too atrocious. Have you noticed them?”

“What is that third kind? I might have experienced but unable to bring it to my mind now.”

“One of my visually challenged friends got down in a college bus stand. He didn’t want to take out the cane for it was broken.  He walked to some feet and sensed a girl standing. He sought for help to cross the road. She hesitated a little. Then, she took out a pen, held the one end and offered him the other end of the pen to cross the road. He furiously pulled away his hand from the pen and walked on his own and crossed the road. Fortunately, nothing happened to him.” I narrated the story.

“Did she want to help or not?” She asked.

“God alone knows.”

A lady came to us to confirm our names in the register. We registered our names one by one. She seemed familiar with Mohanraj. Mohanraj was wandering here and there.  I called him to clarify my doubt.

“Who is that ma’am? Does she know you very well?”

“She is the wife of one of our visually challenged sirs.”

“Is she normal?”


“Okay. Is she sighted?”

“Yes. She is sighted and that sir is visually challenged.”

“It’s great. Isn’t it? A sighted woman is willing to marry a visually challenged man.”

“They’re all belonging to previous generation. And, it is not possible today.”

“Why? Even last month, Hidaya got married to a sighted girl.”

“I feel; it is not good for a visually challenged man to marry a sighted woman. There are some lucky exceptions I don’t deny. First of all, sighted girls don’t show interest on visually challenged guys as sighted guys do on visually challenged girls. In case, if a visually challenged man gets married to a sighted woman, there won’t be proper understanding between them. Moreover, there will be a definite psychological gap between the sighted woman and a visually challenged man. Sometimes, it may lead to one side domination. Either the visually challenged man will be deceived often, or the sighted woman will be tormented.”

“Do you remember the thing you said in school?”

“What did I say?”

“You said everything is possible. A woman and her family would expect only groom’s secured job and nothing else. They won’t look at his disability.”

“Did I say so?”

“Did you lie then?”

“May be.”


“No! May be I would have said it in our higher secondary school. But, practically speaking, what I say now could be the truth. If a visually challenged man wanted to marry a sighted woman, she should be his close relative and she should have seen him since his childhood. Cause, only they may come forward to marry and they only may understand the psychology of a visually challenged man.” He declared.

“Of course, I partially agree with you. The expectation of modern women increases day by day. They need not actually prefer a well-settled visually challenged man whatever the reason might be. But, at the same time, I have a different opinion on rarest women who still wish to choose visually challenged as their life partners.”

“What is the difference you could observe here?”

“In an ordinary circumstance, an ordinary woman marries an ordinary man with her ordinary expectations. As a husband, the man is expected to fulfill his wife’s expectations. When her expectations are fulfilled, her desires would be dissolved. When her desires are dissolved, her deceptions would be dismissed. When deception is dismissed, dejection would disappear. When dejection disappears, her tears would not be trickled. When her tears are prevented, problems would be perished. When problems are perished, misunderstandings would be buried. When misunderstandings are buried, mutual understanding would be formed. When mutual understanding is formed, what would grow in a couple’s life? Love would grow.”

“Expectation and desire are the common phenomenon in a human’s life. Even our people expect a lot. Am I not correct?” He asked.

“Of course!! One of our visually challenged friends said, ‘the expectation of a totally blind man is to marry a partially blind or a sighted woman. The expectation of a partially blind woman is to marry a partially blind or a sighted man. The expectation of a partially blind man is to marry a sighted woman. And, the expectation of a sighted woman is certainly not to marry a blind man’. Is he not partially correct?”

“Yes.” He said and let me share my words.

 “When a sighted woman decides to marry a visually challenged man, I feel, she already becomes an exception to expectations. When there is no possibility of expectations, there is no possibility of desires. When there is no possibility of desires, there is no possibility of deceptions. When there is no possibility of deceptions, there is no possibility of dejections. When there is no possibility of dejections, there is no possibility of pains. When there is no possibility of pains, there is no possibility of tears. When there is no possibility of tears, there is no possibility of problems. When there is no possibility of problems, there is no possibility of misunderstandings. When there are no misunderstandings, there blooms mutual understanding between them. When there is mutual understanding, what remains in the end? Love remains till the end!”

“How far these possibilities are true?”

“I am not telling the truth.”

“Then?” Mohan asked.

“I am sharing my opinion.”

“What is your actual opinion?”

“Love has two faces. The former one travel towards pleasure and the latter one towards peace.”

There was a visually challenged man listening to our discussion, asked me in the end.

“Was there any possibility to meet such a girl in your life?”

By the time the registration process got over. We were asked to settle down. Mohanraj disappeared in the crowd. Narmadha took rest of us to the back row.

“Good evening everybody.” The organizer of the car rally, the chief of Madras motor sports club has begun his briefing session. Unfortunately I forgot his name. I am very happy for at least forgetting his name for I am cursed to remember many things and some funny things. There was no difference in the briefing session. He was on his duty of explaining the rules and regulations of the rally.

There was an empty chair between Suganya and me.


“Yes, Suganya.”

“How many times should I call you?”

“Really! I am sorry.”

“It seems you are actively listening to his speech.”

“Not exactly. I didn’t want to disturb others. “


“Why did you call me?”

“Finally! At least now you ask this.”


“Come and sit near me. The chair is unoccupied.”

I went and sat next to her.

“Please trust your visually impaired navigator. They will be given the tulip. They will guide you. Please trust them. Once again, and one more time I tell all the drivers; please, please and please trust your visually impaired navigator.” The organizer was insisting.

I felt happy for his words.

“Do you have any doubt? Please feel free to ask.” He admitted.

“Shall I ask him Suganya?” I asked her.

“Ask. But, what are you going to ask?” She asked me.

“Wait a minute.” I said and raised my hand.

“Yes, gentleman.” The reply came as I expected.

I stood up, straightened my head, stiffed my body and opened my mouth to ask.

“And my question is…” I raised my voice and deliberately paused and looked around to control everyone. The hall became speechless. Surprisingly, everybody shut their lips for a while.

“Yes, sir.” He replied.

“How many categories this time?” I asked and he started answering.

“As usual, we have around seven categories this time. Experts, Regulars, All ladies, Novice, Beginners, Round table and Free masons.” He said and explaining about the prizes. But, these people didn’t allow me to listen to him.

“Everybody listen!” Many started controlling us.

“Now, it is time for allotment. Navigators are requested to raise your hands when your names are called. The drivers will come and pick you up.” They were announcing the car number, calling the navigators and allotting the drivers. Only Chandru got allotted. I was carefully listening to their calls.

“Car number twenty-seven! The navigator is Vinoth s, and the driver is Avinash! Navigator Vinoth?” I put up my hand and stood.

They asked me to sit down. I sat and waited for a while. A man came to me and approached.

“Are you Vinoth?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I am Avinash. Your driver.” He said and gave me a Braille sheet.

“Here is your sheet.”

“Shall we go out? It’s very noisy here.” I said and moved with him. Of course, I didn’t forget to inform Suganya.

“Where are the other two? Have you brought anybody with you sir?”

“Nope. I have none with me. There must be four people inside the car they said. I can bring my assistant tomorrow. But, can you arrange somebody from your side if possible?”

“Oh, okay sir. I will bring. You don’t worry.”

“Okay. Now, we need to go for a sample drive with this one side sheet. Isn’t it?” He asked. I heard what he said. But, I had something to ask him.

“Is it possible…?” I paused and repeated the sentence again.

“Is it possible for you to take me to the rest room?” I didn’t know how I asked him. Actually, I was searching Mohanraj for this. He was unreachable in the hall. I didn’t feel like going to the rest room when volunteer asked me. but, at that time, I was scared of the two and half journey to my home and asked him in the end.

“Let me search the rest room and take you. Is that okay for you?”

“No problem sir. Let us search together.” I said and started walking with him. I understood that he didn’t know Tamil at all. Nonetheless, He only began the conversation after that.

“I am working in the army.” He said.

He must be working for decades I understood. But, I didn’t dare to ask even a single question about his rank. Not that I was scared to ask but, on the other hand, I was recollecting the thing which I have asked a minute ago.

“I should not have asked him to take me to the rest room.” I said to myself and walked with him.

“What are you doing?”

“I am working in Indian Overseas Bank.” I replied. He was slowly guiding me. He stopped even for a tiny stone. I couldn’t understand whether he was too scared or too conscious. However, we reached the rest room. He was waiting outside. I felt awkward for making him waiting for me.

“What if he was a self employee? What if he was a social worker? What if he was a private employee? What if he was a software engineer? Oh my god! Why my driver should be a militant?” I thought to myself. I finished and came out.

“Shall we go for a trial driving?”

“Sure, sir. But, if you don’t mind, may I inform my friends?” I asked.


“Can you drop me in Egmore railway station After finishing this sample trip?” I asked him.

“I don’t know where it really is. But, I will drop you.” He said and took me inside. I met Chandru and Mohan to inform my departure.

“You can’t get trains in nights. You proceed.” Both said and sent me with him.

By the time, I introduced them to him. We came out to start our journey.

“Shall we take a Selfie?” He asked.

“Sure, sir. Do you have mobile?”

“Nope. I didn’t bring mine. What about yours?”

“My mobile will take time sir.” I replied.

“Okay then. I will bring mine tomorrow.” He said and guided me to his car. He told me to stay back, opened the door and asked me to come to the front. He held my hand, placed it on the top of the door and asked me to go inside. It was a prolific guidance. That is the exact way of guiding a visually challenged person while getting into the car.

I started reading the script and he was driving. It was around two kilometers. We successfully finished the trial.

”It’s good. It will be very interesting with four people. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, sir.”

We started searching the railway station.

“You’ve come in the opposite direction. You need to take U turn.” A pedestrian said.

As Mr. Avinash didn’t know Tamil, he suffered a lot to understand.

“Where can we take the turn?”

“No, sir. He asks us to travel in the opposite direction by turning.” I said.

From there on, he opened my window and let me ask the way to many people.

”Second signal.” One guy said.

“Third signal and take right.” Another guy said after crossing.

“There is a bridge, climb and get down after the third signal.” One more person.

“You need to take left from the bridge.” From another person.

People were communicating and I was translating to Mr. Avinash. It seemed he noticed something on the road.

“Even though we travel several times on the same road, we fail to notice several things, and notice only when we need them.”

Finally, a man explained the proper route with great patience. I felt really sad for troubling Mr. Avinash. That stranger tried his level best to support his words with gestures.

“He says a different route. All the others were wrongly guiding us. Everything is coming on our left. Useless fellows!”

Avinash found the railway station on our left. We met two college students. We stopped the car and asked the entrance.

They were also going to the same railway station. But, they denied me going with them for they used to cross the railway track.

“You could have gone with them.”

“I wanted to go with them actually. But, they were not interested. They thought I couldn’t cross railway tracks.”

“What is wrong with them? Walking is not your problem. Right? These people don’t know your capability. In fact, they don’t even want to.” He said and proceeded with the car. Finally, the car halted near the station.

“Ask someone and leave me with them sir. You need not come inside.” I said.

As we expected, we found a young man going to Beach railway station from Egmore railway station. He willingly came forward and agreed to help me.

“I don’t bring my mobile. Can I give my number? Can you save it?”

“You say sir. I will keep it in my mind and save it after reaching the station.”

Mr. Avinash gave his number and left me with him.

I started walking with that lad.

“What’s your name sir?” He asked while I was memorizing Mr. Avinash’s number. Simultaneously, a guy came from the opposite direction and hit me. Result, I got confused with the last four numbers.

I told about myself and he was telling about himself. He waited till the train’s arrival. I told him to go but, he let me get into the train and went.

I reached my home and called my cousins to join me for the next day’s rally. Unfortunately, they had works.

Next day, my father came till Park railway station. The other four were coming from their places. Mohanraj said that the train had departed from Beach station. I waited with my father. Train came; my father left me with them and went.

We got down in Egmore railway station. This time, Mohanraj was carrying the kid and I was following him by holding his shoulder. Deepa took care of the rest.

She asked Mohan to buy a biscuit packet for Charan and insisted him not to buy anything except Marie Gold biscuit. He went and came back with the packet.

“What did I say?” She asked him furiously.

“What did you say?” He repeated the same question.

“What biscuit is this?”

“Good day!”

“Didn’t I ask you to buy only Marie Gold?”

“Yes. But, that is not available.”


“Good day! Have a good day!”

“How will he eat?” She went furious. We were simply enjoying the wrangle.

“Then? What will he eat? Let us train him.” He replied.

“See Vinoth What’s your friend doing here!”

“You need to know lot about him Deepa.”

“Let us hear about him afterwards.” Chandru said and asked me,

“Tell us about your driver.”

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. hi vinodh,
    nice article.
    is there any rule that we should not carry our mobiles during car rally?
    i have never participated so only asking.
    and now days, we have google talking maps on android mobiles using which, i use to guide drivers while commuting to my office.
    during car ralleys, we have to use braille. but, can't you use google maps to guide drivers to drop you for example in egmore station?


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