Now, this was no less than a small form of humiliation for somebody who had spent three years of her life away from home. Contrary to my much usual way of arrogantly getting back at something like that, I put up a fake smile and replied, “I’ve stayed out of home for three years. Don’t worry, I will manage!” and blatantly walked off. When I came back from the wedding, I thought to myself that how ridiculous it was that I had to actually prove to somebody who I don’t even meet more than twice a year, that I can take care of myself.
This was not the first time, that I was in a situation like that, where I had to prove my physical capability to a third person. The first time, I did it in school, when my teachers were reluctant to let me go to the ground with others and then now. Not much has changed in these twenty years, in how the ‘normal’ people look at the ‘differently abled’ or ‘handicapped’ as they like to say it. As a third person, I absolutely understand that you might be concerned about the differently abled who appears to be physically less competent than you, but you ought to remember that this physically- less- competent human being has learned to live his life that way, and has successfully done so, even before you met him for the first time, a few moments back. I mean I know you have all the heart to help or ensure no trouble to the ‘handicapped’ person in front of you, but why would you do it at the cost of hurting the person’s self esteem, like really?
I then happened to attend the engagement of a non- disabled close friend of mine who again, had to prove herself, for good. She got engaged after being in a relationship for five years. The engagement took so long to happen, because she had to prove herself to her prospective in-laws. She had to prove to them that she was capable of fitting into their family and all that jazz. She had to work hard to clear the’ eligibility test’. Contrary to this, a physically challenged girl doesn’t even reach the stage of impressing her prospective in-laws. That’s because she doesn’t even clear the ‘eligibility test’ of the man who she might want to be in a relationship with..
This is simply for the reason that we live in a society where you’re used to staring at a physically challenged from far in public; you pity them from a distance, but don’t want them to be a part of your life. You’re used to passing a few comments about him/her when they pass by you at a public gathering; you want to assume that they might not be able to do all the mundane things that you do, but don’t have the courage to face situations which they’ve handled single handed-ly.
How do I expect a guy to ‘accept’ a physically challenged if the society he has grown up in thinks that physically challenged cannot even walk a few steps alone? He’d obviously be labelled not less than a criminal for wanting to settle down for something, that the society thinks he is not worthy of. How do I believe that love exists, if you’re going to judge me based on my physical appearance? If somebody rejects me because I have two crutches despite of knowing from within, that I understand him like nobody else ever can, then I might as well say that love, my dear, does no exist. I’d rather call it a natural selection process, where one sex chooses another ‘competent’ member from the opposite sex to spend their life with.
And after going through all of this, I have my guy friends come and tell me, “I am proud of you. I am so happy to know someone like you. Hang on there, you’ll get your boy!” Hell yeah? If you yourself are going to reject a girl because her nose resembles the shape of an uneven slice of some fruit, why give a fake condolence to somebody else?