father of Gautam narrated this story to us when we met him at his house
to know about his experience and feedback about Nirmal Ashram Eye
Institute, Rishikesh (a unit managed by Sankara Eye Care Institutions) and its services. Below is a narrative as the emotional father narrated his experience.
any other couple, we were overwhelmed and beside ourselves with
happiness over the birth of a cute baby boy. But one day we found out
that alas! Our child could not see. The local doctor told that he has a
condition called congenital cataract due to which he will have
diminished vision which will result in final blindness if not operated.
Gautam could move around a bit but could not move about freely as other
children of his age. This did a lot of harm to his sense of self-esteem
and confidence as he kept himself mostly indoors and refused to play
with the children of his age as they taunted him for being ‘blind’. We
were deeply hurt and were feeling inadequate due to their son’s
At one point of time in his narrative he cried out "Where
is the perfection in my son Gautam? All of God’s creation perfect. But
my child cannot see as other children do. My child cannot socialize and
play as other children. Where is God's perfection?"
We were surprised by the question, anguished by the father's pain, stunned by the pointed query.
“I believe," he answered, "that when God brings a child like
this into the world, the perfection that he wants to see is in the way
people react to this child."
He then told the following story about his son Gautam:
“I took my son to the free eye screening program conducted by Nirmal
Ashram Eye Institute (NEI) in our locality. He was suggested for surgery
at the base hospital. We were transported to the hospital on a Sunday
morning by the hospital vehicle. Reaching the hospital, the staff of
NEI, Rishikesh took good care of us. They tried to cajole Gautam but
given his state lately, he remained silent and withdrawn.”
the Sunday afternoon Gautam and his father walked past the hospital
recreation area where some residential staffs were playing cricket.
Gautam looked at them for long asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"
Gautam’s father knew that his son did not have full vision and that most
players would not want him on their team. But Gautam’s father
understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a
comfortable sense of belonging.
Seeing their predicament the staff of NEI Rishikesh came forward and offered to take in Gautam.
Gautam’s father was ecstatic as Gautam smiled broadly. Gautam’s team was
chasing an impossible score of 80 runs in 8 overs. Though they had
performed well, yet their wicket was falling like nine pins.
In the middle of the batting inning, Gautam’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by 20 runs. In the end of the 7th
over, Gautam’ s team scored again and were 3 runs short of winning when
two quick wickets fell in quick succession. Now with two outs, 2
wickets left and 3 balls to go; Gautam was scheduled to be up. Would the
team actually let Gautam bat at this juncture and give away their
chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Gautam was given the bat.
Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Gautam didn't even
know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as
Gautam stepped up to the pitch, the bowler moved a few steps to lob the
ball in softly so Gautam should at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came in and Gautam swung clumsily and missed. One of
Gautam’s teammates came up to Gautam and together they held the bat and
faced the bowler waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a
few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Gautam. As the pitch
came in, Gautam and his teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a
slow ground ball to the bowler.
The bowler picked up the ball and could easily have thrown the ball to
the wicketkeeper. Gautam would have been out as he was way out of his
crease and that would have ended the game. Instead, the bowler took the
ball and threw it on a high arc to the points fielder, far beyond reach
of the wicket keeper.
Everyone started yelling, “Gautam, run. Run the first run." Never in his
life had Gautam run so fast. He scampered down the pitch wide-eyed and
startled. By the time he completed the first run, the boundary fielder
had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the bowler who would run
out Gautam, who was still running. But the boundary fielder understood
what the bowler's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far
over the bowler's head. Everyone yelled, "Run the second run, run the
second." Gautam ran towards the crease as the fielder missed yet again
knowingly... As Gautam reached the crease, everybody chorused “Run the
third run." As Gautam ran the third, the boys from both teams ran behind
him screaming, "We’ve won, we’ve won."
Everybody ran in to the field and all 22 players lifted him on their
shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "winning hit" and
won the game for his team.