I am Blind, since forever until 1 day Ijust couldn’t bear it anymore.
I am Shaina. I was born I don’t know where, but I have been taken care by Ms. D’souza. I really don’t know if she is my real mother, I haven’t seen her but holding her hand as a child gave me real satisfaction. I felt really safe, she was my helping hand whenever I needed help.
She took really good care of me as a child, she even appointed a braille teacher for me when I was 6. I loved the book, learning all the alphabets and numbers by touch of my fingers. I don’t know how this letters look like in real, how you write an A or W, but learning them was a first step of mine in learning this world. Easiest were the number counting, for 1, take out 1 finger, for 2, 2 fingers, for 5 show your complete hand, for 10 both your hand, but it was difficult to go further. I thought let’s use my feet, but it’s difficult to curl 1 finger, and it’s even more difficult to show your feet to everyone. It was a fun activity and I really enjoyed it.
As I grew up, I came to know I lived in an orphanage which was taken care by Ms. D’souza and earlier by his husband, who died in an accident. So it was all in Ms. D’souza hands to maintain and run the orphanage,and I thought that I am a real burden for her, ‘cause she has to give special attention to me, from guiding to door to door, to managing a braille teacher, which costed her a lot. So I decided, to take care of myself on my own. From next day onward, I kept open my window and and had my bed placed just below the window so as soon as sun rays fall on face, I could wake up. I walked by touching the walls, counting the doors I have crossed as, as after two doors from my room is wash room and after 4 doors is the staircase downwards to dinner room. I did this activity for almost 2 weeks, I woke up earlier than anyone, even before Ms. D’souza. By the end of month, I no longer needed to touch doors, I just counted the number of footsteps to reach anywhere, 30 steps to staircase, 12 steps down, straight, turn left into Ms. D’souza, and knocked on her door, it took her almost 2 minutes that’s 120 seconds to open the door and she said,’Who?’.
‘Good Morning, Ms. D’souza.’ I said.
‘Shaina, is that you. How did you came down’.
Then I told her the story my 1 month adventure in navigating my way into the orphanage. As I used to go back to sleep,and wake up back when everyone wakes up back so that no one comes to know I am trying to learn my way in the house. I started studying more than I was taught, by the end of month, I finished of the book of basic braille. I knew patterns of every letter, number, I can understand words now, and no longer needed a teacher anymore. I told all this to Ms. D’souza. She hugged me really tight, she kissed me on cheek. When we all were on table for breakfast, Ms. D’souza burst open telling about my story to everyone, she was very happy in her narration , I don’t know if she was crying but, I wish not.
Soon came the time to leave the orphanage, I was 18 now, and got admitted in one of the colleges in Mumbai, in Sociology. I scored really good marks, and sociology was one subject told about a place of people like me or deaf or dumb or other challenged people in society. It’s not all bad being a blind. I had lived my life being a blind till now, and I had challenges and I overcame them, now I don’t feel all so bad being blind. When I was leaving the orphanage, Ms. D’souza gave me a photo frame, and said, ‘When one day you can see, take a look on this photo, this is my me and husband’s photo, taken before his accident.’
It was the most beautiful gift I have received, but I can never see it, because I would never have eyes to see. When I moved into real world from orphanage life changed, and it changed for forever.
(To be continued in EYES - PART 2 OF BLIND - EYES)