Thursday, November 28, 2013

T is for Trying

I stood there, adamant, tears of frustration in my eyes. For days now I have been locked up alone with this woman. Day after day she pushes me, forces me - to see, to listen. 'I CANNOT', I want to scream. Try as I might I cannot. I cannot be part of this world. I have not been a part of this world ever since I remember. This woman refuses to believe, to understand.. How does one see without eyes? Listen without hearing? 'You will', says she.. 'I cannot', say I.

We stand in an impasse.. Both angry, both frustrated, both determined.

Suddenly I feel something cold sloshing on my hand. She takes my palm. W.A. T. E. R. She writes with her finger. Water.. That cold thing on my hand is 'water'. 'Water' I repeat in my head tentatively.. Water - that deliciously cool thing sloshing on my hand is water. And I've learnt a word.. Water. Jubilant, thrilled, excited I run to the ground thumping it with my hand. My teacher takes my hand gently and writes G.R.O.U.N.D. Ground. Another word! Then another and another and another. I am delirious with joy running around, feeling things, making her write them out, trying them out in my head, tasting them on my tongue... I am alive, finally. I am part of this world after all.

A scene from the film The Miracle Worker on Helen Keller's life


Note: That is an imaginary recreation of an interaction between Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan - two of the bravest, most inspiring women ever. For days Ann had been struggling to make Helen relate objects with words and failing. She asked for both of them to be left alone in a cottage where she continued her struggle with Helen. Finally, that day she made a breakthrough. Helen learnt 30 new words by the time the day was through and never looked back.

Linking to ABC Wednesday.


  1. Helen Keller's story is truly inspiring!

    abcw team

  2. Wow, that is quite an imaginative retelling of what would have transpired between the teacher and the pupil. Lovely post, made us actually see the events in front of our own eyes.

  3. This is REALLY creative. I've seen the movie, long ago. Have you read Berowne? He reimagines stuff and posts on Abc Wednesday too

  4. Yes it is, Leslie. Thanks for visiting.

    Thanks Jairam. It's interesting to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

    I haven't seen Berowne. Off to check out his site. Thanks for the pointer.

  5. I often think there is not much that I have to complain about when revisiting the life of Helen Keller. Great thoughts,

  6. Imagination well worded. Great post.

  7. Wow... this is truly inspiring and hats off to you for capturing what would have happened then through your eyes and words, so well! Well done :)

  8. Great post and is definitely an inspiring story.

  9. Wow that was such a powerful description! I could see the scene before my eyes. A lovely scene about strong women - very nicely written Tulika!

  10. Right Anne.. We need to remember that.

    Thanks Indrani, Shilpa, Carver.

    Aparna.. Yes they really were inspiring.


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