A special moment: A story by Vandana Bhasin

Aparna was seated near her window, observing the children racing for their school bus, dressed up in smart uniforms. She reached for her cup of milk and gulped it down her throat so her tongue doesn’t retort.
Aparna! Let’s go beta,” called her mom from the kitchen and Aparna started moving the wheels of her chair, or her chariot as her father called it.
Life hadn’t been easy for Aparna.
She wondered how could people not be grateful for being physically independent. Things like walking, running, driving, being able to see, eat, hear and talk; all that we take for granted, is actually a blessing; an asset that we fail to value.
In fact, she herself had been one among the ungracious crowd until a year ago, when she lost her legs in the accident. She had become lifeless since then, with no interest in people and things around her. She just wanted to feel her legs.
Her parents had been running from pillar to post, consulting every specialist and surgeon but her legs wouldn’t respond to any treatment. Aparna had lost all hope of her recovery.
“Mom, which doctor are we visiting today?” asked Aparna despondently.
“We are visiting a facility today that I’m sure you will like,” smiled her mom.
After driving through city’s traffic for two hours, they reached a place situated amidst the nature with tall trees and vibrant flowers fencing the facility.
Aparna peeped out of the window and smelled tranquility in the air. A faint smile soon glorified her sullen face.
While her mother was talking to the custodian of the facility, some voices in the distant tickled Aparna’s ears – some chirpy and playful, some screaming each other’s names. After interacting with the custodian for a few minutes, her mother gently pushed her wheelchair to show her around. Aparna was curious to see where were all those noises coming from.
Within a few moments, the atmosphere around her changed completely. There were children all around. Some who couldn’t see were singing, others who couldn’t sing or walk were using colors to express themselves on the canvas. Few were practicing yoga and meditation to calm their senses and some culinary enthusiasts were adorning the chef caps in the kitchen despite their physical infirmities. There were children playing on swings and in the playground, practicing tennis, badminton, and basketball.
That moment changed Aparna’s life.
She had cocooned herself for last one year, relinquishing all hope for revival and living. But this moment was like a rain shower that washed away the dust on her thoughts. Her mind could clearly fathom the opportunities that lay ahead for her.
Her life had not ended. There was more to life than she could see till now. She could hone her creativity and open the doors to another world.
She had read, ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.’
This was that memorable moment!