Monday, May 21, 2007

Lessons From The Retarded

I sat down at the restaurant with my sister. She had long asked for a treat. Having competed 5 years of college and getting ready to launch myself into the next level of my life, research, I thought we would relax at this posh restaurant for dinner.

It was a brightly lit place. The menu card was elaborate and you had to spend ten minutes on going through it and another ten minutes on deciding what you wanted to eat! After successfully ordering the chosen menu we sat and talked about the things that were going around us. About the couple nearby who looked as if they were on a war front, about a family who had tasted half of what was there on the menu card, about the lonely man who was sipping a bottle of fizz…

Just sometime later, in came a family of four. There was this particular kid, six years old who was mentally retarded. They sat down near a family of three. There was a kid too in the family of three. But he was just as we were.

I saw the way the special child struggled to get on to the chair. His parents had to help him and keep his hands on the table so that he did not lose his balance. He had a inquisitive look on his face. Immediately he started to fumble with the menu card and tried to put it in his mouth. When his father did the ordering, he too wanted to say something. He was pointing at the nearby kid who was having ice creams. There was a look on his eyes that said, hey, am the normal guy here. Why are you guys behaving strange and not like me?

Looking at him, so many thoughts stuck me. Here is a kid who did no fault, but punished. As much as he wants to be free of all the restrictions, as much as he is restrained. We, the normal ones, do all possible things in life and get away with it. When there is so much freedom unbound, we act restricted and we act incapable.

What is our purpose? We live a life of certainty and dependence. Certainty has made us lazy. Everybody is certain that tomorrow will definitely come and we are going to live through it! Yet we lose out on the purpose of our life. We are capable of finding our purpose. What is his purpose in life? His existence is to prove to us that we are gifted. When you look at him, he makes you realise that you have so much in you and yet you are not capable of carrying it out. What is the difference then?

The special people are really those who can, but who don’t. He was born retarded, but many become retarded. Live you life and make the difference.