Marriage or Charity? –Part I
Raj, a well-known architect in my city, is married to a blind college professor, Swapna. Every time people mention Raj, they always extol his greatness. No, they are not praising him for the architectural wonders he can create. They think he’s great because he was “big-hearted” enough to marry a blind girl when he could have had any “normal” girl he wanted. I was genuinely puzzled by this. Once, my dad, who’s good friends with Raj, and I went to his office. Once the two of them had finished discussing plans for some extensions to our house, I asked him the question which was uppermost in my mind. Did he feel that he had done something great by marrying Swapna? To my surprise, he threw his head back and roared with laughter. “Not you too, Diana,” he managed to choke out. I looked at him, bewildered. He hastened to explain. “I feel lucky and blessed,” he said quietly. “Lucky that Swapna consented to marry me despite knowing my shortcomings; and blessed because she’s such a wonderful person who just gives and gives. She always sees only the good in people. She’s independent, smart and funny. And she embraces life and has great insight into everything. Her not being able to see is a minor aberration, not a great disaster.” That day, my respect for Raj increased manifold.
A few years ago, a man used to come to our house once a month to pull up the weeds in our garden and trim the shrubs. He was deaf and dumb. He was married to a perfectly normal lady with whom he had 3 sons. All the 3 boys were deaf and dumb. The lady was from a village and not very educated. Still, she persevered to learn sign language to communicate with her husband and sons. The kids are studying in a special school for the Hearing Impaired and are doing quite well. When the lady talks about her husband and sons, there’s pride in her voice and not a hint of regret in her face.
These are just some examples that not all people whose spouses are Specially Abled are aspiring for Martyr of the Century status. And not all are walking around with a savior complex. Hats off to such individuals who take the time to look beyond the special ability and see the person inside; May your tribe increase.
To catch more on relared subjects try Prejudices Against Persons With Special Needs – Why Is It Happening?, They are differently abled not disabled, Life of a girl with special needs in India