The Other Senses: An Inspiring True Story of a Visually Impaired
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144 pages

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Preeti was barely six years old when doctors diagnosed her deteriorating vision as a condition due to optic atrophy. Those were difficult days but with the support and encouragement of her parents she learnt to get the best out of her disability. She looked for possibilities, focused on every positive she could dream of, always playing her best shot at facing challenges and failures with dignity and without shame.
Sprinkled liberally with failures and obstacles, her story is a journey through a fairly difficult life with lots of courage and never-say-die attitude. In her memoirs she shares all the fun she had living life queen size and on her own terms. For she firmly believes, ‘When life gets cloudy, the trick is to look at the silver lining.’



Publié par
Date de parution 18 octobre 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789351940364
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.



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Preeti Monga

Lotus Collection
© Preeti Monga, 2012
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher.
First published in 2012
The Lotus Collection An imprint of Roli Books Pvt. Ltd M-75, Greater Kailash II Market, New Delhi 110 048 Phone: ++91 (011) 40682000 Fax: ++91 (011) 2921 7185 E-mail: Website: Also at Bangalore, Chennai, & Mumbai
Layout: Sanjeev Mathpal Production: Shaji Sahadevan Cover design: Bonita Vaz-Shimray
ISBN: 978-81-7436-908-6

Dedicated to all who have made me and this book possible.

O n a chilly Saturday evening in December 2007, we arrived at EDM Mall in East Delhi, where we were to watch a much talked about Hindi movie. Jumping out of our newly bought car, my husband Ashwani and I raced cheerfully towards the multiplex, when we plunged headlong into another of our humorous, on road, episodes.
The piercing breeze charged our energy and sense of excitement, as we sped into the warm ambience of the multiplex. Once indoors, Ashwani swiftly handed me over to the lady deputed at the security check counter near the entrance, and hurried through with his own, in order to return at the earliest to escort me to the auditorium. It was nearly time for the film to start, and as we had been caught in an unexpected traffic jam, we raced, arm in arm, at full speed towards the elevator.
As we reached, lo and behold, it suddenly came to a grinding halt, nearly tripping most people in mid-passage! Taken by surprise and disappointed at the evident delay, we began scouting around for an alternative, but before we could move away from the elevator, we noticed that the security guard from the counter we had left behind was approaching us with an expression of acute concern. ‘I have switched off the elevator for madam,’ he said, pointing in my direction with the greatest sympathy, ‘I saw that madam is holding you and walking as if there is something wrong with her legs; I thought that she would not be able to jump on to the running stairs’. At this, chuckling, we reassured the kind and thoughtful gentleman that all was well with my legs, and to wipe off the confused look on his face, informed him of my blindness, which made holding hands a necessity!
This is not the first time my long, shapely, and reasonably fit legs have fallen under suspicion.
It is, however, intriguing, to note why or how people suspect the reliability of my legs. On one occasion, we were on a trip to Ajmer in Rajasthan. I was switching escorts between Ashwani, Prithvi, my nephew, Rachna, my sister-in-law, and my brother, Sandy. When we reached the celebrated and historic Ajmer Sharif shrine, here too the ability of my legs was once more questioned, and this, while I was energetically climbing up and down the ancient stairs to touch various objects in order to be able to see them. It must be a bit puzzling I expect. As it is said, I don’t look blind! There must certainly be some degree of truth in this, because on the following day, we were at Jaipur City Palace, where I once again became the cause of a heated argument between fellow tourists and the security guards. I had obtained special permission to enter the cordoned-off area to be able to see with my hands, the world’s largest silver water pitcher displayed there. Spotting Prithvi and me sort of messing around on forbidden ground with the silver pitcher, a group of tourists jumped the rope barrier to join us. They were immediately stopped by the security guard, which sparked a verbal battle. ‘Are those two your relatives, or have they bribed you to allow them in?’ They screamed, without giving him an opportunity to respond, ‘We too wish to go and touch that thing there; why are you preventing us and permitting those two in?’ The guard at last got a word in, informing them of my inability to see the pitcher without touching it due to my blindness. Paying no heed to the poor guard’s explanation, they argued on, ‘Even we want to touch and see it; you simply must allow us too. Anyhow, we don’t believe you; she looks fine to us, and there is something fishy going on here.’ Finally, my family stepped in and salvaged the situation, while I surveyed the beautiful silver pitcher, guided by Prithvi, marvelling at the huge piece of art, and tracing my fingers over the exquisitely carved handles and lid.
I can’t move on without relating just one more of the many hilarious incidents that I have experienced. The other evening, I was travelling back alone by air to Delhi from Ahmedabad, when the young ground assistant of Jet Airways, deputed to help me, trotted off briskly with my hand luggage tugging at the arm of the driver who had brought me to the airport, rather than mine. Later, when the confusion had been sorted out, she sweetly muttered to me, ‘Madam, I was completely baffled when I saw the two of you standing as you have such a wonderful dress sense; I could never have imagined that it could have been you who needed assistance. I thought the man with you was blind. I profusely apologize for the goof-up.’
The matter gets even more comic when people like Mr Khushwant Singh also managed to fall into the trap. The story goes like this: I happened to visit Mr Singh and to avoid the obvious confusion, I took the precaution of mentioning over the phone that I was visually impaired.
When we arrived at his Sujan Singh Park house in New Delhi for the meeting, we walked apprehensively towards the beautiful ground floor apartment along the well-kept driveway, to the handsomely carved front door. My companion was already a little scared at the idea of having to accompany me to meet Mr Khushwant Singh. For my part, I was deeply honoured and extremely excited at just the thought that someone of Mr Singh’s stature had found the time from his very hectic schedule to see me. Well, my excitement was further heightened when the door opened, and our high-profile host himself greeted us with an enthusiastic ‘Come on in!’ Before I could say anything, he gallantly slipped his arm into that of my quaking companion and off they went through the entrance hallway. Realizing what had happened, I was somewhat taken aback, utterly confused, and a little concerned at this strange occurrence, aware of my little friend’s trepidation about my current mission. Then, as I heard Mr Singh say to the little lady he was escorting away, ‘I am so happy you could come and join me for a cup of tea, Preeti,’ the mystery was resolved.
As have many others, Mr Khushwant Singh had also taken the bait, mistaken Aditi for Preeti, and was only ever so harmlessly playing the perfect host by trying to make ‘Preeti’ welcome and comfortable! Aditi, for her part, had been gripped by a turbulent fear that engulfed her entire being, having from the very outset viewed this venture as a visit to the lion’s den. Her fears had after all been confirmed, she must have thought, and gripped by a paralytic shock because she could not even find her voice to correct the mistaken identity. Once I recovered from my initial surprise, shaking with amusement, I called after the almost disappearing pair, ‘Mr Singh,’ I giggled, ‘Preeti has been abandoned right here at your doorstep. It’s I who needs to be gu

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