Monday, August 17, 2009


Arjun was an 11 year old boy studying in class five. A puny boy with a round face, he always wore a pleasant smile on his face. Though a bright kid in the class, he was seated in the last bench. One may ask what is wrong with that except that this boy was affected with polio in one leg and used a crutch to walk. Though amiable in disposition, the other students never mixed with him. When all the others were playing, Arjun would be sitting on the bench alone watching them play or reading a book. Some of the mean students hurt him by calling him names like one legged horse, a halt or a crutchy. Some even derived sadistic pleasure by dislodging his crutch as they walked to make him trip. Arjun never lost his cool on such occasions and made light of them by laughing along with them.
The class teacher one day asked, “Arjun, why don’t you sit in the first bench.You are short and not visible.”
Arjun said, “Sir, I would like to sit in the last bench as it is convenient to keep the crutch against the wall away from the legs of others. I can see the black board clearly.”
The teacher had a look of worrry but remained silent though not satsified with the reply. There was an annual sports meet falling within a week and names were invited from the willing participants for events like running race, long jump, high jump, marathon race, lemon and spoon race, musical chairs, obstacle race and sack race. The boys huddled in groups, discussed amongst themselves and filled the forms with the events they wished to participate. Arjun was sitting alone in the last bench.. No one came near him or invited him to join. In the last hour of the day the teacher collected the forms as each student went to his table. When Arjun limped his way with his crutch and handed over his form, the class broke into laughter.The teacher was angry and hit the table with the ruler and asking”What is there to laugh about, you silly boys?”
When Arjun gave his form, the teacher told him in kind tone”Dear boy, it is not compulsory for all to participate in the sports. If you wish, you can watch the events along with others.”
Arjun replied,”No, Sir. I wish to be like anybody else a normal person and I have given my name for sack race. My friends will all be handicapped with their legs tied in the sack.God has already endowed me with a handicap. I think sir we are all evenly placed.Please permit me to join.” The teacher rubbed his eyes with his handkerchief as he accepted the form. There was a pin drop silence in the class.
It was the sports day and sack race was the last event.The entire school was there watching the event. They knew Arjun was particpating in the event.Fifteen boys along with Arjun ran the race. No special handicap was given to Arjun even though he took the help of his crutch. The whole crowd watched with bated breath Arjun leading the pack unafraid of his falling down. As he breasted the tape, the whole crowd gave a standing ovation and the thunderous applause took along time to die down. As the Principal rose from his chair and went near Arjun to pat him on his shoulders, there was again a deafening applause.
“How do you feel Arjun on winning the race?”asked the Principal.
“I feel normal like any other boy and happy to be part of this meet” replied Arjun. All his class mates thronged around him and shouted “hip hip hooray Arjun.”


  1. Nagarajan - Abudhabi on 8/16/2009 11:38:47 AM
    Another one. I'm awe stuck by your arresting style of writing. It is so gripping all thru, just could'nt divert from the story, in between. Have you written long stories / articles ? Like to read more of your lines. Request from an ardent fan.

  2. Vasanta.R. - SanFrancisco on 8/15/2009 8:15:44 AM
    Parthsarathy, your article about the handicapped boy has come at the right moment.President John F. Kennedy's sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who carried on the family's public service tradition by founding the Special Olympics and championing the rights of the mentally disabled, died recently. She was 88. As celebrity, social worker and activist, Shriver was credited with transforming America's view of the mentally disabled from institutionalized patients to friends, neighbors and athletes. Her efforts were inspired in part by the struggles of her mentally disabled sister, Rosemary. When her brother,Sen.Robert Kennedy, was in the White House, she pressed for efforts to help troubled young people and the mentally disabled. And in 1968, she started what would become the world's largest athletic competition for mentally disabled children and adults. Now, more than 1 million athletes in more than 160 countries participate in Special Olympics meets each year.

  3. VasantaR - Chennai on 8/15/2009 8:05:02 AM
    Cudos to you, Parthasarathi! You have shown to us readers that the handicapped boy, Arjun, had achieved through his own efforts what the school, faculty and classmates failed to do in the first place! There is no doubt that, as a society, we need to provide first a congenial atmosphere and then an appropriate education for special needs children. To do so, without showing pity or condecension to those with special needs , the schools' systems across the nation must develop a better method of communicating and working with the special needs children, their parents, the community and government.

  4. Wonderful Dear Partha..!

    Touched by the Boy's determination ..:)

    I so cud relate to this story as one of my close friends is handicapped,but she is very strong and determined..Not like this class,but other students from my class did support her ,we did participate in all competitions and We created many roles specially for her in skit Performances...No one ever made her look down ...Kudos to them ...

    I have seen many ppl giving Weird looks ,unnecessary attention ,starings while any handicapped person passes by their way ...It hurts them real bad...

    Let us treat them like any other human being,or with bit extra love..If we can make a conscious effort to give them equal treatment,that will be a great achievement in first help

    Thanks for this story !

  5. Good one sir!

    Simple and straight. Enjoyable read.
    Happy climax is always liked by all!

  6. dear partha,
    hearty congrats for the love n care shownto the less fortunate of the family.they are really more talented the normal people.
    here,we are the active members of an association which distributes the wheel chairs to the spend time with these special people make us humble.
    we need arjuns,as eye openers to bring awareness that these children need special care n attention.
    let us offer the beautiful smile,the soft touch,and the best word to them.........and they give the key to Alice's wonderland.:)
    great work, will be blessed....

  7. Really admired the self-confidence of Arjun. He was not handicapped at heart.

  8. Now this story really needs a round of applause:)Really liked it:)

  9. i keep the best blog for the last...almost retiring for the day and ur story really touched me hard..reminded me of a school friend, yea never saw the possibility of him participating in sports.

    Its the kids true spirit that made him see sports in an entirely ne wlight and open something new to the world.truly Kudos!! i wish this were a true story.

  10. A wonderful story that goes straight and touches the heart... This is an inspiration to all "fully endowed" people who sometimes behave as if they are handicapped....

  11. truly heartwarming story. kids do teach us a lot.

  12. Even if we have problem in one area of our life, it's possible to win in some other way.You have told it in a beautiful way.I like this heart warming story.

  13. Very Well Determined Boy :D Let Him Be Blessed With What All He Asks For :D May God Bless Him Always :D