Wednesday , 22 May 2019

Abhi and the art of living with a handicap!


Appearances can be deceptive and the spoken word is not necessarily to be believed. What is true for one may not be true for the other is a common saying.

So, here I was, sitting in office, when a queer looking guy called Abhi Nandan asked for the sports department. I looked at him, listened briefly to what he had to say and asked him: do you think you have an advantage of being physically handicapped?

He looked at me intently, smiled and nodded his head saying, “yes.”

Abhi has polio in his right hand from birth. He cannot use his hand the way we do but has not allowed the handicap from enjoying life or feeling one amongst all. “I play cricket for the India handicapped team but also play along with normal boys. It does not make a difference to me because cricket is about enjoying playing and I do it with my left hand,” said Abhi.

Abhi plays cricket for the Dena bank in Mumbai, plays cricket for the BCCI impaired team and is hoping to one day play Ranji cricket for Goa. “I have been living in Goa for the last four years. I play on the indoor cricket pitch of Goa Cricket Association (GCA) and cricket is my living. I live with what I earn out of cricket and I have a good life. I earn a good amount of money through cricket,”saidAbhi.

“I have to fall on my savings during the monsoons but otherwise I am very happy with what I earn,” added Abhi.

Abhi is a left arm china man spin bowler and has a T20 World Record of claiming ten wickets whilst playing with normal players. “I use my left hand to bowl and bat. I do not feel much of a difference in comparison to others. I really do not feel I am handicapped or lesser privileged then others. For me it is just being able to play cricket that is more important,” says Abhi.

Abhi is part of the Sunrisers development squad but does not really feel he will any day make it to the senior tea. “I have done all I can to break into the top team.  If a man does his best and cannot get through it then men as that he cannot get through. I accept my fate and do not regret,” says Abhi with a grin on his face.

Abhi thinks that a handicap for one can be an advantage to another. He does not know what would have been his destiny had he been born with two normal hands. “My right hand is handicapped but I do not feel the handicap. I am not physically impaired. People say I am physically impaired and I have to accept that stamen. Being physically impaired has its perks and I am enjoying them,” thinks Abhi .