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Beyond Boundaries...

Beautiful stories written by YOU about a person or event that changed your life, gave you hope, made you dream...
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manan
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Post by manan » March 5, 2010, 8:24 am

There occur some moments in life when we are awestruck by the spirit and courage of the people around us. I am sharing one of those moments of mine.

What is the first reaction that we have when we see any person with physical challenges? Most often it is a feeling of sympathy and pity towards that person. However, it is not until you talk to them or see them doing something awesome that it dawns on you, that these guys actually have a character of steel within them, incomparably stronger than our own. It is then that, that feeling of pity evaporates and is replaced by awe and respect. It is then that you realize that this person is an icon of grit, determination, courage and passion to look up to...

Quite some time ago, when I was in college, there was this friend of mine. We had first met in a pretty unusual way. After college, I was waiting for an auto to go home. Today, it was taking pretty long to find an empty one. My hands were tiring from waving incessantly. Another auto came by. I could see it was occupied and so did not wave to it. Quite to my surprise, it screeched to a halt just past me. A boy's face popped out and he asked me to get in.

At my first glance towards him, my brain responded "I am not sure but I think I have seen this guy, he is probably from my college". So I thanked him and got into the auto. He asked me where was I headed for. Incidentally, the place I wanted to go was en-route his destination.

The auto started on its way ahead. We exchanged introductory greetings. And I was right, he was from my college but in another department. So, now we had lots in common to talk about while moving towards our destinations. Out of the talk, somehow came up the topic of helping people.

He was saying that, "People should always help each other in whatever capacities possible. For example, I often see that when college ends and students hurry to catch an auto, they do not bother to call out their fellow mates who are also waiting for an auto, and ask them where do they want to go? Who says that you should call out only to your best friends and not someone who belongs to your college and whom you know by face at least."

What he was telling was simple and obvious, yet very relevant. His way of talking reminded me of school days, when during the moral science periods we were taught some very basic and simple acts of benevolence, but we never bothered to inculcate them in our practical lives till date. I actually felt guilty for having acted in the same manner myself quite a few times.

Time went by as we talked and his destination arrived. He got down from the auto, and the next visual that my brain interpreted left me temporarily dazed. His one leg was crippled. He had to use his hand to hold the crippled leg by knee and then bend to move the leg forward with his hand. I could hardly recollect my senses back to realize that he was waving me good bye. I somehow managed to wave him back with a smile.

We had hardly talked for some 10-15 minutes but he had left a permanent impression on me by the time we parted ways. He had talked of helping people, He had. Until now, through my narrow brain, I used to think that these guys can 'Only Be Helped'. But 'Him' talking about helping others and my recollection of thoughts as a so-called 'Normal' guy who had acted in the opposite direction in the earlier times made me realize the shallowness of my character and the depth of his. Thanks to this anonymous friend of mine, he changed some of my perceptions forever.

Days passed by. Now whenever we used to meet in college, we used to greet each other, sometimes even have a talk if we had time, though I never mentioned to him what he had gifted me with on our first encounter. A few days later, we had the annual technical festival of our college. Given the pride and prestige of my college and the scale of the festival, it was considered to be the best in the country. So obviously, it was a huge crowd puller. It was to take place over 3 days during which there would be many competitions and exhibitions. I spent the first day watching some competitions and decided to check out the exhibitions on the second. The exhibitions were scattered over the campus but the main attraction among them was the central exhibition at the college grounds. It had the best scientific projects from across the country on display. It had gained such fame that the minimum time it took for a person to enter the exhibition after being through serpentine queues was about 2 hours. In order to discipline the thronging crowds into proper queues, quite a few volunteers had been deployed at the spot.

After having had my share of the 2-hour ordeal in the afternoon sun, I was finally getting close to the entrance. I could hear the volunteer guarding the entrance shouting instructions to the people on how to move through the large exhibition inside. Upon drawing closer, I saw the volunteer. He was none other than the new friend of mine, confidently guarding the door not allowing more than 10 people inside at a time. He dazed me much more this time than he had last time. Like magma erupting from a volcano, thoughts erupted in my mind.

I wanted to go upto him and bow to him. In my mind, I already had. I wanted to ask him, "What are you made of?" The confidence that was radiating from him was disarming. I started wondering how can a person like him have this level of confidence. Did he actually ever think that he had a physical challenge? Was he even aware of it? Probably not. Nor I think were the event managers who had given him this responsibility. A job which would have even a full fledged 'normal' person in sweats, because it demanded facing people and showing command, was being performed by Him.

I became so lost in my thoughts that I actually had to be nudged by the person standing behind me to wake me up and move ahead in the line. I was completely overwhelmed and at a loss of words to say anything to this great human whom I had befriended just a few days ago, so that when I actually came up to him, all I could manage was a smile and a wave of hand.

Till that day, I had almost always attributed spirit and courage to the physical realm of a man with a well built physique who could stand tall with a broad chest to face the world in the eye. But here I was, standing dumbstruck, looking in awe at the personification of spirit and courage well Beyond Boundaries...
The art of living lies in learning to make a bouquet out of the flowers within your reach!

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Lion~*
Everything In Moderation
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Post by Lion~* » March 5, 2010, 9:15 pm

I so enjoyed your story Manan! Welcome to the Peak!!! :)
Till that day, I had almost always attributed spirit and courage to the physical realm of a man with a well built physique who could stand tall with a broad chest to face the world in the eye. But here I was, standing dumbstruck, looking in awe at the personification of spirit and courage well Beyond Boundaries
I've seen many physically able... mentally unstable! No one stares at them in grocery lines. I know several bodily challenged who like your friend, are filled with spirit and courage! Who love in rich depth and constantly push the boundaries of what others think they are or aren't capable of.

Who we are comes from our soul... not our flesh.

Thank you very much for your beautifully inspired story! I look forward to reading more from you!

:) Janice
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart...William Wordsworth

Follow your honest convictions, and stay strong. - William Thackeray

The bottom line, especially for my character,
is the issue of unconditional love.”
Matthew Weeden

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Fiddle Foot
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Post by Fiddle Foot » March 7, 2010, 3:01 am

He healed a blind college girl. This is a touching and important piece of realization about measuring value in people. I once knew a Veteran who was more man with his half, than his sympathizers even if they should be doubled. His daily quip was "I'm going mountain climbing today!" and it took me a couple of times to get it. Good job, you even made an old fossil think
The best twenty dollar bill you'll ever put in your pocket, is one you find just blowing down the street. Somehow, It gives you a thousand dollar boost that lasts all day, and you get to keep the twenty as well.

M Paul Burress

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