He seemed to be an introvert, someone who spoke very little and observed carefully.He was shy but sharp, big on ability but small on show, non-confrontational and quiet. To the left, a person with long hair sits leaning against some pillows, a laptop resting on their lap and earphones on.The room is in shades of orange and red and an open window shows the night sky. As a part of my work, I started interacting closely with people with disabilities and naturally even more with the visually impaired community.
I was jobless, I felt directionless in my personal life.I always jokingly say that I had believed, because of my incredible parents, I was out of the line of fire of the closed gossipy cultural community that I belong to, but I ended up in the blind community, which is more closed and, god save us, more gossipy.In fact, I remember that we were both at a common event where I had not introduced myself to him, because I had thought that his questions to the facilitator of the program were irritating and quite disruptive.Nights were scary and mornings brought no enthusiasm. Ashutosh was not the beacon of light in that darkness, but he just held my hand and showed me that the darkness can be lived through in comfortable and happy ways.Instead of the warm emotion and empathy I felt I deserved at that point, he said, ‘Shut up and look at yourself. This is just a phase and I can tell you are going to be big in life, no one will be able to stop you, no man, and no heartbreak.’ And this was not just pep talk.