"We all have infinite ability stored in us. Our ability never restricts us, our thoughts do. If we think we can we can, if we think we cannot we cannot."                   Navin Gulia

Receiving - ‘National Role Model’ Award from the President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

The similarity between me and Navin Gulia is the use of words "Infinite Ability". He used it in his own quote and i used it as the title of my first ever poem which got published in British Medical Journal's Medical Humanities. The similarity ends here only. He is a real example of infinite capabilities. The Indian Military Academy cadet met with an accident and was declared 100% permanently disabled with spinal cord injury. Unable to move, unable to breath, doctors gave him three days to survive and he did.

Navin is the recipient of numerous awards like President's National Role Model award 2006, Godfrey Phillips "Mind of Steel" award 2010, Limca Book People of the year 2005, Karamveer Puruskar 2009 to name a few. He drove 55 hours without sleep, crossing seven of the highest mountain passes in the world to reach Marsimik La 18,634 feet, the highest motorable mountain pass in the world.

In 2005, he started ADAA-Apni Duniya Apna Ashiana (Our World Our home), for helping, assisting and guiding the lives of under-priviledged children from the weaker sections of the society.

To Hell with Disability 

I remember I started running every morning and playing football when I was in 3rd grade, boxing when I was in 7th grade and athletics when I was in 9th grade. Running in the morning mist, chill, biting cold of peak winters or running through the countryside in scorching sun or in the pouring rain or running up a mountain, I loved it, I cherished it, I savoured it.

One fine day I was trying to inch my wheelchair along the hospital corridor smelling of medicines. Partially working hands, aching muscles, hurting thumb, it was only a task/job. I didn’t dislike it. My wheelchair and me are buddies, I have loved being in it. Together we took on the world and everything it had to offer. If a person on two legs passes by I really don’t Gape at him but when I go in a crowd, a few poor leggies gape as if they are just witnessing an alien invasion of planet earth(not that aliens would really surprise me) and I do pray that God should give these poor people some excitement in their lives so that they have something better to gape at.

People have two legs and cannot even maintain any decent physical fitness, are bothered about a guy wheeling around in a wheelchair, having a ball of a time. Laughable.

At 22 I was in the army. In a wheelchair I went to college, flirted with girls, fell in love a few times, had a few heartbreaks, jobs, bread and butter, adventure sports. A few mountains to climb, a few oceans to swim and a few jungles and deserts to explore… how the hell could life have been any better.

A lot of people, patients, doctors and scientists, are obsessed with finding a cure for Spinal Cord Injuries(SCI). I don’t know, I find it a very dumb and dull topic. Here the world and people are suffering from extremism, terrorism, frustrationism, emptyism, depressionism, purposelessism etc and here we are bothered about a certain physical injury called SCI. I think people should desperately need a cure from many other things and attitudes before even bothering about a cure for sci.

If you/society wants me to be weak so that they can empathise with me, sympathise with me, pityise with me, sorry you are at the wrong place, I am not going to oblige.

If you/the society is looking for an opportunity to show empathy, sympathy or pity, so that you can feel great inside, to hell with you. I show you empathy, sympathy and pity. A drunk person who was finding it difficult to walk straight said to me sometime back ‘I will pray for you’ and I immediately said ‘and I will pray for you(that God gives you some sense)’. Although I know God doesn’t give you anything. He has already given you the ability to be sensible, If you still choose not to be sensible, he is not to blame.

I am rude, I am straight, I am a bully, I would love to get in the middle of a bunch of sleeping Lions and kick the air out of them. A friend for friends and a tearing tiger for those who ask for it, that’s me. Now that we are over with the introduction, let us talk business.

“I am not decent/gentlemanly with problems/obstacles in my life. I kick them out of my way.”    Navin Gulia

Reproduced with permission from Navin Gulia's official website.

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