19 October 2017

The lunatic has escaped the asylum!!!

Dad was sitting in his bed. The nephews were done with their firecrackers. I was wondering what to do. That is when I got a bright idea (and I take a lot of liberty when I call my ideas “bright”) to see if I can handle myself if I were a patient. The idea was to pretend that I could not move my legs and had to get myself everywhere in dad’s wheelchair only using my hands.

The initial moves within the room was easy. Dad had an incredulous look on his face but he was okay with me trying out different things. (just like in my childhood). Then the obstacles started coming. To get to the balcony, I had to negotiated an inch and a half high separation ridge (which also makes the door way watertight when you close the door). I was just not being able to push myself thru it.

It became a cerebral problem for me. What the weak forearms could not solve, I had to solve by using my wits. As I was thinking about the problem, I flashed back to our eighth grade physics teacher (we called him “Lambda”) explaining to us why pulling is easier than pushing.

And that is really how I stumbled onto the solution. I had to back into the ridge and then with a fraction of the energy was able to pull myself up. Over time I also realized that if I could do this one wheel at a time (needed a wide doorway for that), I could make the problem even easier.

Imagine the scene – totally delighted with myself, I was spinning around from room to room (I was not screaming “Wheeee” though). Then the nephews and niece showed up. That is when it got really interesting. Fortunately, they did not want to try it themselves. I was not in a mood to share my new toy, anyways. But they took a bet with me.

The bet was that I had to get out of home, get inside the elevator, go downstairs, open the complex gate and go out in to the street. No putting my foot down. Only the wheelchair and my hands.

The biggest challenge was squeezing myself into the elevator. The wheelchair barely fit in – the door was so narrow. And then I had to back myself in – because there was a difference in the level of the elevator floor and the building floor.

Long story short – as you can see from the pictures taken by my eldest nephew, the lunatic did escape the asylum. What is more, once on the streets, he put on as high speed roll. Worse, he went “Wheeeee”!!!

Posted October 19, 2017 by Rajib Roy in category "Family in India", "Vacations


  1. By Rajib Roy on

    Bhowmic-miss, I know exactly where you are coming from. And I absolutely love and cherish the fact that ever since that first geography class in 1980, you have never ceased to care about me and be concerned about me till this day. You have no idea how proud I am of my luck that way.

    That said, see if you can think of the above in my own way. That might make the sight of me in this picture, or for that matter, any other, more tolerable. One way to think about it is if we, the able-bodied ones could walk – but a few steps – together with the differently-abled ones, maybe that can put us on an elevated platform to truly empathize.

    That said, it was not all that noble thoughts that drove me. I did not think of the wheelchair as a “crutch” so to speak. I could move in it – and that brought that gullible kid in me out – and then I saw a lot of problems to be solved… that brought out the school kid in me!! In defense of all my wonderful teachers – including you – I did solve all those problems 🙂

  2. By Harry Goodnight on

    Takin- I can balance on only 2 wheels (The big ones) in a wheelchair for hours. Learned how to do it working in a spinal injury unit. If you try it be careful!


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