Saturday, February 25, 2017

WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE BETTER-PLACED IN LIFE





No matter how difficult life, at times, seems to be, most of us are better placed in life.
Take my case: I have a nearly-perfect body… I have no speech or hearing problems, my eyes can see, legs can help me walk, I can use my hands well, by muscles and bones have no issues… Inside, my heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancreas are, so far so good… which means, I couldn’t have asked for a better deal… My skin may not be fair like that of a European or American, nor is it black as that of an African… But, hey, I do have skin on my body, at least… Whether white, black, brown or yellow, what the heck? Well, there is hair still on my head… and, even if I did not have that, at least there is a strong head steadily planted over my shoulders?... My family is loving, caring and faithful… Financial state is not bad… God has given me and my family members fine talents and, more than anything else, He has given us the wisdom to recognize and realize them… Yes, there is hope and faith in abundance… There is this sensitive heart, which can feel for the less fortunate… and reach out to them, in my own way… And, hello, this: I am able to value friends and relations in life… I can trust easily… can keep my promises… can be very, very committed and hard-working… I can survive with little in life, am able to know the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’… Gratitude comes easily… tolerance and patience, too… I can forgive and forget quickly… Can convert my anger, fear, envy and insecurity into something sublime, just like what they call ‘waste-management’… You can see I am doing it right now, right here in my blog!

Why am I talking about all this – a kind of taking inventory of my strengths and talents?
Because, as a strange co-incidence, I chanced upon two videos this morning, both relating to people with speech-and-hearing disability. Strangely, I had watched, read or heard about them long before… and, today, while watching them, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and made conscious of strength lying dormant within…

The first video is about our National Anthem sung by school students who cannot speak or hear. Many of us have watched similar videos in movie halls and on television… yet, today, this video brought in me a fresh surge of gratitude and strength…




The second video is about a fine dine restaurant in Powai by the name ‘Mirchi and Mime’. Months ago, when my son had told me about it, it had not stayed in my mind… Today, I chanced upon it on FB, and, suddenly, everything was falling in place to make a fresh meaning… I learnt, through Wikipedia, that this restaurant was founded by Henley School of Business graduates, Prashant Issar and Anuj Shah. Drawing inspiration from "Signs", a Toronto-based bistro which functions on a concept of hiring differently-abled people, Issar and Shah set up the restaurant in March 2015. Mirchi and Mime only employs people who are hearing-and-speech-impaired. Diners are requested to place their orders by mimicking hand-gestures associated with a particular food item. Items in the food menu are accompanied with photos of these hand gestures. The food menu matrix, which lists all food items in a single page along with the images, was designed by India's National School of Designing (NID) and the staff were trained by Dr. Reddy’s Foundation.




Trust me, I strongly felt like visiting this restaurant, today itself!

Inspiration can come to us, everyday, in hundred different ways… and, it can leave us more charged, more humbled and hopeful about life… Like, just last evening, I met this young girl who had volunteered to write exam-papers for her less fortunate fellow-students. How do you explain this compelling desire in a young-one to reach out like this? Every second student is capable of being a writer for a less-fortunate one. Yet, the desire to do it springs only in a few hearts…

I get my inspiration from simple, yet gritty souls like these… And, I get it because, by all means, I am better placed in life.

GERALD D’CUNHA
Pic.: Chetna Shetty
Videos: YouTube

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