It’s the incident of 1996. I had to go to Dr. Purnaben Patel’s maternity home to check a new born baby. The maternity home is near to my hospital. When I met child’s parents, I came to know that they both were blind. Father Manharbhai and mother Dayaben immediately questioned, “Is our daughter perfectly okay? Will she be able to see properly? It’s obvious that they were worried and concerned. Both husband and wife were blind but they still had a positive attitude towards life. And also they were highly enthusiastic. They were all alone meaning they did not have a joint family. Professionally they both were music teachers and hence kept their daughter’s name Payal. They felt that it matched their profession. After that they had to come to my clinic for vaccination and minor problems. Hence, friendship developed between us. Dayaben never faced any problems with regards to breast feeding like the other mothers of normal kids face. She never had any specific questions regarding Payal. They were always eager to hear how Payal’s growth and development was and how does she look. Many a times I thought that the small baby has to be given different-different drops and some only four to five drops. Other drops were such that they had to be given in the dosage of 2.5 ml or 4 ml, then how they both would have been managing?
It seemed that Payal was definitely blessed by God. Her growth and development was extraordinary in comparison to the other kids. She learned to hold things, smile and walk at a very early age. Both the parents could not see Payal. So they always tried to feel her by touching her body, her head again and again. They had kept many toys in the house that produced sound. Though they were unable to see, but they tried their best in dressing Payal, making her wears beautiful clothes, making her ready and keeping her clean and tidy. When Payal was one year old, they came to see me. I asked them, “Why have you made Payal such big anklets?” They said, “What can we do? Now she has learnt to walk. So we try and catch her from the direction from where the sound of the anklets is coming”. The kids of the parents who can see properly many times tumble, fall off, get hurt or even get burnt. But this never happened with Payal. When Payal was almost three years old and at that time after the check up when it was her turn to leave, she would stand near the door of the consulting room, let her mother father leave and then would bid me good bye and then run away. She had started taking care of her parents at a very small age. Five year old Payal would give a long and lovely description of anything that she saw. As if she wanted her parents to see and feel the beautiful world with her own eyes. We doctors have the experience that the children of this age actually ask to many questions to their parents.
Manharbhai converted the weakness given by God into a challenge when Payal was only eight years old and she has fancy dress competition in her school. Payal did an acting of a blind person and stood first in the competition. It is not an easy task for anyone to showcase his own weakness before the world through his own child. I have never seen both the parents sad except when Payal was 14 years old and was bitten by a dog and she had to take injections of rabies vaccination. Till 15 years of age, they had all the papers of Payal properly and neatly filed. Even if I ask them a five year old paper, they would just move their fingers and immediately, take out the required paper. Almighty has given us so much but still we keep on complaining about our lives and also constantly have dissatisfaction. From Manharbhai and Dayaben I have learnt a lesson that whatever we have got let’s use it and make our life most enjoyable and beautiful. Once when we were having a conversation, Manharbhai very casually told that if God gives us eyesight for few minutes, then we will surely love to see that how our darling Payal looks. After Payal was 15 years old, they changed their house. I did not get chance to meet her thereafter. Now she must be a girl of 20 years. I am also eager to meet her.