People often say that life is movement, if you are moving means you are alive but a deep thought can sum up life into moments not just movements. Moments define times, experiences, happiness, sorrows and the entire life. It won’t be wrong if I say that moment is life’s soul.
When I was small, one day in my school there was my science class that was going on. As usual everyone was quite, listening to the teacher and was waiting for the bell to ring soon. My teacher was actually speaking on human body and how it functions. I still remember how she introduced the entire class to the five different senses of human body. The five sense organs and the five different senses they perceive: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. She explained everything very nicely and made us learn too. But at the end of the topic, one of my class mates stood up, with a blank expression on his face and asked, “Ma’am what will happen if one of the senses stop working, will other four senses try to compensate for that and what about the people who don’t possess all the five senses?”
Like any other day, rest of the students started smiling and looking around at each other. The teacher gave a very peaceful kind of smile and just said,” God develops their other senses so sharp that they have an extra sense, their sixth sense.” Nobody understood that day that how come the science class suddenly converted into a moral science one. No one paid any attention. The class bell rang and everyone became busy in their hustle bustle. That time even I didn’t understand what she said.
And the life progressed further. It got some more busy. I discussed all kinds of scientific processes related to chemistry, physics, metals, nonmetals, respiratory system and so many different things related to our curriculum. But I never gave a second thought to what the teacher said that day, never tried to understand it until last year. It was not the case that I never saw someone who is differently abled. But it is said that whatever the mind doesn’t know the eyes cannot see. It was not lack of knowledge, but mere absence of awareness, a mere absence of interaction.
So last year I went to Hyderabad, there was a conference to attend. When the conference got over I went to a shopping mall. After entering I was looking at the clothes and deciding which one to take. After some time of searching, I liked a dress there but the problem was the size. I was not getting my size of that dress so I was searching for it in the collection. When I was looking here and there, suddenly I was interrupted by a voice. There was a guy who was a staff there asking me what I was searching for. So I replied that I need a medium size for that dress. But the guy didn’t move from there instead he was making some signs on his palm. I was a bit confused I was like what’s wrong with him. Then again he started making those signs on his palm and started saying do u want small size of it? Again I said no, I want medium. He again showed me his palm, and then I understood, actually he was making a ‘S’ on his palm. By the time, another staff, a girl came and asked me what I want and she told that guy with her hand to leave. All this while, I was dumbstruck, standing there in shock and thinking how hard he was trying to help me out and doing his job.
When I came out of this thought I stopped that guy and I told that girl that it is fine and he was actually able to help. Again he asked me showing his palm. This time I said nodded to ‘S’ , so he then spoke and made ‘M’ on his palm and I said yes to it. He went in search for ‘M’ size. And I went into deep thoughts of mine.
That day for the first time I realized and interpreted what my teacher meant by her statement. Actually she was right; they actually have their special sixth sense to understand things sometimes far better than us.
In five minutes, he was back with the ‘M’ size. He handed it over to me with a smile on his face. His enthusiasm to help people there was too much. I took a pen and paper and wrote thank you on it and gave it to him. He read it and said thank you in return for letting me help and he left to help someone else.
I felt really nice and I proceeded towards billing. It is really very unusual in life that we slow down our speed and look into the special abilities in the person who may appear to us with some disability. He was so quick and alert to pick up what I wanted. And the best part was his enthusiastic behavior to help. It is true they are not disable, they are actual able to, they have the abilities to understand and sometimes even better than the people who possess all the senses.
That day also gave me a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of responsible behavior. Why because, it was not pity that came up in my mind seeing him but it was surprise, in fact it was respect that came up. I felt proud of myself that I took his own help to help him to be more confident in life and also to feel completely normal about himself
That conference, that shopping experience, and that dress gave me ‘my inclusion moment’ of life. And this moment of life gave me an entire new wisdom, a bit more of mature behavior, of being a better human and a complete sense of happiness. So basically it is not like I made him inclusive in society but he made me more inclusive in my own life.
This short story is an entry in the ManipalBlog.com writing contest 2014, in support of India Inclusion Summit 2014 to be held at Bangalore on November 29th and 30th. To know more about the idea of an #InclusiveIndia follow @IndiaInclusion on twitter or visit their Facebook page at India Inclusion Summit.
About the author: Ms. Shruti Singh is a 3rd year student at the Manipal college of Dental Sciences, Manipal.