Someone shakes me, calling my name repeatedly. I open my eyes to find my mother’s anxious face over me. I look at my legs frantically and heave a sigh of relief as I find them intact. It is my right arm that is in a cast!
“The usual nightmare?” mother asks, helping me to sit up.
I had been haunted by the same nightmare ever since the accident that brought my ambition to play in the university cricket team to an abrupt end.
“Let’s go to a dance programme tonight,” father suggested later in the day. “It’s Mayuri. And afterwards, we’ll have our dinner at your favourite hotel.” I had heard of the famous dancer, the daughter of father’s friend, but had never met her.
Never enthusiastic about dances, father was doing it only to cheer me up.
The hall was jam-packed. At the end of the two-hour programme, the entire audience gave a standing ovation to Mayuri and her troupe.
“Let’s go meet her,” father said.
She was in the dressing room, still in her costume. Patting me affectionately, she said, “I’m sorry about the accident, but such things happen. As the scriptures say, believe that whatever happens is for our good. Now let me show you something.”
Sitting on a chair, she tugged at her right foot and the next moment she was holding an artificial leg that came off her amputated knee!
“Like cricket to you, dance was my life. Just as I was beginning to get noticed, I met with a terrible accident and my leg had to be amputated. I was so miserable that even the thought of committing suicide crossed my mind. It was then that my dance teacher took control, got me fitted with an artificial leg and made me continue my practice as if nothing had happened. And the rest is history. In comparison, your injury is minor and, God willing, you will hold the bat again in a few days.”
Neither am I going to allow an accident to rob me of my ambition, I said silently while leaving.