At every step- life is a new struggle for him.
Everybody looks at him with an eye for mercy. When the normal surrounding of normal people saw him-there were whispers all around.
‘Oh, so he is not like one of us’.
‘Oh, this guy will fail in the struggle for existence,’
‘Oh, this guy will never be able to lead the normal life’
Leave aside the outside world-because they are only to criticise you-only to find your fault. But how does it feel when the wound comes deep within from your heart. When somebody, whom you have long been considered an inseparable part of your life-tells you someday that you are no longer the guy she is looking for.
All is for a cause over which you do not have any control.
All is for a cause which is nothing but a cruel joke of the creator.
‘Cruthcman’ by Ashok Pal is a story of that man- the man who always saw mercy and pity at the eyes of the strangers! To the world he is unfit for the rat race of struggle for existence.
Because he is physically challenged!
It was all smooth sailing for little Akash- caring parents, conducive environment- all prescription were there for a successful would be man. But is not that ‘man proposes, god disposes’ thing often comes true-so it was the case with our little protagonist. He had a high fever on 15th August-and
“Three weeks passed and there was no sign of improvement in me. I was still not able to stand on my feet. That was when my parents became worried and decided to show me to a more qualified doctor. At first, the doctors were not able to diagnose the condition, but when they did, it was far too late. I was struck with polio with both my legs.”
Akash was too little a kid to understand what went wrong. He was lucky enough to have gallant parents, but life was no more smooth sailing for him. There was curiosity everywhere-as if he is a caged animal of the zoo and is there to add up entertainment to the school children and to the neighbourhood people. There is no escape from the social animals. If they spot anyone different their combined howling is enough to make the day of that ‘anyone’ miserable.
“One day when I was at school, one of my classmates shouted, ‘Look at Akash, he has four legs.’
‘My mother says only animals have four legs!’ another shouted. Within no time I was surrounded by group of my classmates.
‘I think he is a dog with no tail’ another piped up.”
Our protagonist was brave enough to fight this nightmare- to complete formal education. Social rejections were enough to shatter his world like glass-but his brave parents were with him in this fight for existence. Yes-existence it is!
Power of human individual does not lie in his muscle strength- does not lie in his ability to look stunning- but lies in his will power. He was truly there to prove that if body is a garden then human wills are gardeners.
“If by mistake any one teased me, I just smiled at them and showed them my crutches, saying ‘see, this is god’s sword which he has gifted to me, I am so sorry that you don’t have one.”
Ashok had made the mental trauma and the determination with which our protagonist fight backs all alive by simple words- narration is the biggest asset of the book. at any point you will feel that the emotion of either Akash or his parents artificial-they are spontaneously coming and making the fiction an absorbing reality. There are elements of surprises-as we will discover later on, but more than that the narration will steal your mind.
Youth advances in his body and mind after adolescence and our protagonist was in love. Beautiful Soniya came into her life. But as the life gives him rude surprises-shocking surprises at every corner of his journey-this love story was not to be a cakewalk. Well, it is not exactly simple love, sex and dhonka type matter. But she became calculative. To her the reality is that there is no point to marry a disabled who is dependent on others-and how can he life the burden of another-
“Reluctantly, Soniya looked into my eyes, ‘I don’t love you anymore, Akash….’
Time had frozen; there was pin drop silence in the room. I glared at her in anger. Her head was bent downwards. It was tough for me to digest how heaven had turned into hell in minutes.”
When one door closes-another door opens up. Our protagonist’s life was not an exception. It is now his turn to learn to be the new Dhirubhai Ambani. Getting admitted in one B+ School, he was blessed with two priceless possessions- getting the friendship of Nakul and Darsh and he started to fathom his own potential. Their innovative business ideas started to create ripples in and out of the campus. at the same time there was women all around- Akash had a random Yahoo chat friend, Nakul for a married lady and well, Darsh….?
Let this be a surprise element for the reader. One thing is certain-reader is going to discover ample humorous and spicy elements in this love section. Let me confess one thing- reading that section made me nostalgic about the good old days of Yahoo chat with strangers-the excitement, blind dates, the sins, guilt feelings …
Let us get tight lipped now.
But there was a common focus-for all of them-securing the safe harbor of a JOB- where they know they will be exploited and they know they will be a ‘joker of boss’.
In the real world the trio felt with hard to deliver-with countless obstacles. Life is not the ship at the safe harbor, but a ship at the sea under storm.
Where will destiny take them? Will they be drifted away from their target and eventually sink. Or will life give them opportunity to discover their true worth?
Discover in this matured tale which tells about the colossal obstacles that has to be faced by a disabled person. And please bear in mind that the writer is himself a victim of polio. Who else can tell the tale from a new perspective?
And let us not forget that human will has the true potential to overcome every obstacle that may come its way.
Because body is the slave of mind, not mind is the slave of body!
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