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December 2000 

As I was the first boy in the family after two sisters, I was petted by all.
With all my wishes fulfilled and tantrums excused I never new the value of
things and relationships were taken for granted. Gymnastics was the only
thing that I took up seriously and it did give me enough of laurels. I got
involved in gymnastics when I was 12 years old and did it for 8 years, in
S.P.A a wonderful organization. I retired from gymnastics about 2 years ago
and still love the sport. It taught me much more besides gymnastics, it also
taught me to work hard and persevere no matter what.

However, I had no idea how bad things could get and I was about to find out
and my life would never be the same. From April 18th, 1998, my life
completely changed. One Friday evening, just "out of the blue" I lost my
concentration during the practise session and I became totally paralyzed
(Quadriplegia) from the neck down within less than an hour. I just couldn't
move myself.

I fell from about 6 feet height on my neck and immediately my whole body
became immobile. I could only move my eyes (not my head) and breath only a
little. This condition remained for 4 months. Lying in the ICU I could just
look at the tiles of the roof. I couldn't sleep. Two holes were drilled into
my head and a traction weight was tied to it so that my head did not move by
chance. I could swallow some fluids with great difficulty.

This phase of life was a test for me. I was injured but I had to keep my
mind intact. With no movement, sound or activity around me it became
difficult for me to pass each second. I stretched my imagination in every
direction. I relived every moment since my childhood went through everything
that was in my mind but it was all too less to kill my time. But I could
manage with all these memories.

A new battle began the day I was in my wheel chair. I've never lost hope and
I still believe that one-day I will be normal again! In the meantime, I'm
trying to do the maximum I can to make my life as normal as possible. I just
don't see any point in sitting around the whole day and mourn. I could
hardly move my hands but I am adamant that I would move the chair myself one
fine day. This attitude of mine would carry me a long way and I'm sure it
would inspire many others.

Today, it is almost 3 years since the fateful day and I have learnt many
things in life but not enough. My day involves meticulous planning, lots of
exercise and of course entertainment. I always say that life is a song -
sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a
dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. And finally life is love
- enjoy it. I am not going without having my share of it. One of my
favourite quote is "They can conquer who believe they can."

Nazir F. Kaderbhay

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