by Chandroo D.
Ever try to go blind one day and feel around with your hands? (No naughty thoughts please!)
One night in the dark, while in my bed, I was checking my emails on my Blackberry mobile. For some reason the mobile went haywire. So I decided to reboot it. I switched it off and then tried to remove and reload the battery in pitch dark. Not an easy task! My feeling with the hands were replacing my eyes as I gradually tried to remove the back cover. I managed that easily. I then tried to remove the battery but failed after many careful tries. I required a visual perception to pry the battery out with a finger nail at the right point.
Giving up hopelessly, I woke up and walked up to my bedroom door like a zombie with hands outstretched looking for the door handle. Found it after a few hits and noisy scratches on the door. Fumbled with the door handle to open it and then - Bang! The mobile fell from my hand and woke up my dazed and shocked sleeping beauty.
Beauty: “Whats up?”
Me: “Trying to be blind”
Beauty: “Goodness gracious! All I need now is to lead a blind and deaf person around! Switch on the lights!”
Me: “What did you say, my dear?”
Beauty: “Just don’t trip, break your legs and be cripple also?”
I thought this would be an experience to understand what being blind would be like and how difficult it would be, but realized it can also be very useful to awake my other senses. Coming out of my bedroom with my eyes closed, the first thing that hit me was the fragrance of the lilies in our living room and then the jingling of the hanging seashells swaying with the wind in the balcony. Amazing how the other senses took over my eyesight. I was, in reality, transferred into a state of dependance that was new and unusual.
Fumbling forward blindly (still with my eyes closed), I managed to open my front entry door to pick up the morning newspaper. Luckily, the neighbour’s dog wasn’t around to snap at me. Walked towards the living room and tripped on to the sofa. Problem! How in the heck do I read my paper now?
How would I drink my morning tea, if I am not able to see what I am drinking? While having my tea I would probably not set it down on the table knowing I’d have difficulty finding it!
While walking, how could I watch out for something that I couldn't see?
How do I find a way not to be a dependence on family and feel like a burden?
These and many question suddenly pop up, if I were to really go blind. My lifestyle definitely has to be changed accordingly. An electronic walking stick or a guide dog and learning Braille would be the order of the day.
There is another technique I could embrace. I could learn to master Echolocation, by making sharp clicks with my tongue or even coins then use the echoes that bounce of nearby objects to assemble a picture of the environment in my mind - just like bats and dolphins do. The main reason most of us do not echolocate is simply because we never tried it being so dependent on our eyesight. Our senses are strong - we just have to listen to them. Throughout our lives, connections between various parts of our brains are strengthened or weakened depending on how much we use them.
One thing is for sure that If there is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read, it is the language of Love! And that is when I wish there is always a beauty around me.