Everyone seeks stories, heroic stories that can inspire but the power of ordinariness strikes hard and solid . The ordinary people we see every day on the streets, in the bus stand, the grocer shop, may have the most extraordinary tale to tell. This is an attempt by bhubaneswar Live to bring forward the stories of these people. People who inspire, people who are larger than life, people whom we brush past each day without caring to look back.
Utkal University, one of the premier institutes for education swarms with the hustle and bustle of youngsters every day. It has molded the career of many, given hopes to many and has witnessed many dreams getting fulfilled. But some dreams did not acquire the wings to soar above ;some were choked in the noise of the crowd.
This is the story of Mr Anand, the owner of a variety shop and the alumni of the University. He has been a part of this city for the last 24 years. He lost his vision at a tender age of three after a bout of typhoid .He grew up in Bhapur , a small village in Nayagarh district strengthening many ambitions .
To give a flight to his aspirations he took admission in Ravenshaw University. His handicap never deterred his spirits; he performed well and came to Utkal University for his Masters in Sociology. He did his M Phil , cleared the NET exam and without availing for a disability quota got the reputed Indian Council of Social Science Research fellowship, yet struggled from pillar to post to find a job with a decent income.
His degrees could not fetch him a job because the society questioned his ability at each step, scorned his dreams of becoming a teacher. The society was indeed too blind to his endeavors. Thus to support his family he started a small shop in the University premises.
Though he cannot see the light of the day but those who visit his shop are often surprised by the precision with which Mr Anand manages his shop but the irony is he has to serve coffee to the very students whom he might have taught if he would have got an opportunity.
A brief chat with Mr Anand on a Sunday afternoon unveiled many facets of his life.The struggles he faced, the biased society which has nothing to give him but some sympathy laced with cynicism, his identity crisis and the beauty amidst the dismal sorrows of his life. When questioned how he deals with his disability, the iron spirited man answers,
“I never see it as a disability, perhaps if I would have had vision I would not be the person I am today.”
True to his name, he radiates joy when you talk to him you just cannot stop admiring him. He is always on his best behavior, working hard to earn bread and butter for his family of four who live in the village.
When asked about his hobby, he shyly grins and says that he loves to play the violin, he did a visharad in music but now the violin lies in ruins. Music perhaps liberates him but now the music too has been silenced under the burden of his broken dreams.
Mr Anand might have failed to achieve his dreams but he hopes that his children have a brighter future. His struggles and hardships speak volumes about him.
We complain and fret each passing day for every little hurdle we face but for this man every day is a challenge. He is a hero because his life is an example of how to stand up and face life after each fall.
Do visit his shop inside Utkal University and let us know how you felt after meeting him.