As a child , I used to get very anxious whenever I got sick and was prescribed an injection by the doctor. My mind kept imagining the moment when the syringe would be brought near my arm and the extreme, agonizing and intense pain which I will have to bear after that. I used to pray that my parents forget the date of my next vaccination. I still have in my mind the distinct image of myself tightly clasping the hands of my mother whenever the terrible needle was being injected in my arm. Continuous reassurance by her failed to curb the intense anxiety that I would feel at the sight of a needle.
One evening my father had invited one of his old friends with his family for dinner. He had gone to college with this friend but after college they went their separate ways. I had heard about them from him several times but was meeting their family for the first time. The couple had a son Gaurav who was ten years old and their daughter Ekta was just six or seven. The children were very well mannered and cheerful. We got along well. My mother came and asked me and my brother to take them to our room and play with them. They went with us to our room. The boy was like any child of that age- hyperactive, candid and addicted to video games. The girl, though only seven years, had a calm, composed and serene face and seemed to be a happy go lucky child. We were playing in the room as if it was a football field.
The girl was wearing a long skirt and was carrying herself with grace and poise unlike children of that age. Then, suddenly, her brother, who was running around in the room lost his balance and fell on her.She slipped on the floor. It looked as if her right leg had come off. I was barely able to stop a scream. Then I saw that it was actually a prosthetic limb which she had in place of her right leg.
The girl didn’t cry or utter a single word. She just pulled her “leg” with her small arms and tried to fix it back herself as if she was simply wearing her shoes. After that she said ,”what should we play now?”, as if nothing had happened. I was still shocked and was repeatedly looking at her. I came to know that she had met with an accident two years back. Her right leg had been completely crushed and had to be amputated. She used to wear only long skirts or trousers whenever she went out so that she appeared normal. Her mother told my parents that she never said no to an injection (she had to take many injections after the operation). In fact, she never got depressed and was brave enough to inject herself with great skill and precision. I couldn’t help admiring her. How can a person so young have such big issues to deal with and still remain happy and cheerful.Does she not inspire everyone who meets her? Doesn’t she set an example for others to emulate. She looked at my face which was in a state of shock and surprise. I remember her innocent expression even today, how she got up immediately and without getting perturbed , said in her enthusiastic voice “Let us play “.
That night my father, mother, I and my brother sat together for a long time. We discussed about the little girl and the terrible tragedy which she went through at that early age . Her indomitable spirit was beyond my comprehension. The inspiration which I got after meeting that girl has left a life long impression on my mind. The day my swimming teacher asked me to dive for the first time from the 15 meter high diving board, I did not think twice. Just went up the stairs and jumped.Unlike my fellow sky divers, I did not hesitate even for a moment when I had to take the next step and jump from the training aircraft. The determined look of that little girl has made me fearless for the rest of my life. She taught me the biggest lesson of my life. I stopped being afraid of any kind of adverse situation, any type of anticipated failures and of course from injections since that day.
– Piyush Mordia