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A few days ago I saw the inside of a hospital from a wheelchair. A first for me, and definitely ‘enlightening’.

The way people look at you when you’re in a wheelchair. Some meet your eyes with concern, some with indifference, and the very worst, those who look away.

I realized I’m one of the lookers-away when I’m among the walkers.

I didn’t have much wrong with my leg (I hope, I’ve to wait for the tests though)…but for the first time I not only thought about but Realized what it is to not have the use of my legs and feet, those parts of my body I largely ignore other than the odd pedicure session, or the wearing of  heeled shoes when in a dress.

I take my mobility for granted. I felt a chill at the thought of living without it.

This was a reminder to be grateful, I think, and to actually see the little things in life and celebrate them, to take nothing for granted, not my body, nor health, not even life.

For the last week, I’ve spent a lot of time simply being grateful.


Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Arti says:

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Hope you are well and by now, off the wheelchair. But the insight still stands … thanks for sharing. We ought to be grateful every day of our life.

  • K.C. Woolf says:

    I hope all will be well!

    It’s quite enlightening, isn’t it, seeing the world from a wheelchair. As a student, I used to do some volunteer work that included accompanying people with disabilities. During one of the preparatory courses, we had to fulfil a list of tasks (like shopping in a supermarket, going to the bank and the post office, …) in a wheelchair, to get a hands-on idea of the problems they are confronted with on a daily basis.
    I’d always thought I was quite empathetic, but that day I realised I didn’t have a clue.

    And we were the lucky ones: afterwards we got up and walked home.

    Thanks for reminding me to be grateful!

  • monideepa says:

    Dear Damyanti,

    Praying for your good health and well-being. You will be well and bounce back soon, I know. Hoping for good news.

    much love,

    • Damyanti says:

      Thanks Moni. Though the news isn’t all great, it is certainly good, and sometimes we have to be happy with that 🙂

  • Damyanti,
    Please give an update of your condition. I am concerned, and hopeful for good news.

  • This is a good reminder to all of us on several fronts. First; things are not always what they seem, secondly; that we need to accept people as people even if they’re “different”; and third; it doesn’t take much to be hurtful of those stuck in such a position..

    I got this same educaton once. When I was 14 I lost the use of my legs for several months. It was eye opening to experience the way people react to you when you’re set apart from them somehow.

  • Marian Allen says:

    Hope the tests come back with nothing much wrong! Let us know, ‘kay?

    I’ve sprained my ankle a couple of times and had to spend time in a wheelchair and on crutches. It does give you a different outlook on things!

    Pen Palatable, I don’t think I could have done what you did–what a wonderful gift for your friend, going so far to understand what his condition might be like.

    HUGS, Damyanti!

  • John says:

    Moments like that in life can be good for those that stop to think and appreciate, its good how you have noticed recently what is part of your life and being grateful for it.

  • I wish you well and pray for your swift recovery. My best friend was a quadriplegic – a swimming accident. For over twenty years, he spent the greater part of his life confined to a wheelchair, a situation that I must be devastating. Once, I tried my best to feel what his plight was like. So, I decided to remain motionless for as long as I could, to get a sense of his helplessness. For nearly twenty-four hours I laid prone on my bed, imagining what life was like with no use of one’s arms or legs. Since that time, I never took for granted my mobility. I do wish you well with your test results.

  • Pray everything is all right. We do tend to take health and good times for granted.

  • bronxboy55 says:

    I just want to echo what the others have already said, Damyanti. I hope all is well, and that you’re back on your feet soon. We need to be reminded periodically that we have much to be grateful for — thank you for that reminder.

  • Petra Hefner says:

    What a great reminder. I have to admit that I’ve been taking my legs and feet for granted. Oh, how I hope and pray that you will be on two healthy legs feet again soon! Blessings!

  • Priya says:

    May I ask what happened? Did you get hurt? Or is it a pain “from the inside?” Am I asking too many questions? Well, at any rate, do let us know that all’s well.

    As for the appreciation of the small things, I sincerely doubt that you neglect being thankful for the good and appreciative of the minor, yet essential.

    PS: Leave the wheelchair asap, won’t you?

    • Damyanti says:

      Priya, I wasn’t in the wheelchair very long. One injection set me right. Thank you so much for asking, and maybe I’ll bore you with my health issues over email 🙂

  • Sorry to hear about your problems and hope things turn out okay.

  • Hope everything is okay!

  • Damyanti:

    Oh, my gosh. So sorry to hear about your health issues. I certainly hope the test results are good.
    You deserve nothing short of clear skies and clearer paths during your exploration of our world.
    Please keep me, and all of your readers, posted!!!
    Sending blessings your way-

  • Damyanti..I am so sorry. I hope all tests come back clean. I’ll be sending out good thoughts and prayers your way. Please keep us up to speed.

    • Damyanti says:

      Thanks Stuart, both for your prayers and for the shout-out on your blog. You’re one hell of a friend, those who have you for a friend in their everyday lives don’t know how lucky they are…thank you so much.