THE BLIND SIDE
A big heart is rare to find. | Ajita Singh
We always believe that what we have is insufficient. “Maybe, if we just have one more of those yummy ice creams, it would satiate the craving.” But does it, really? For the first time in my life I saw a movie which made me cry right from its very beginning (And I am just going to accept the fact that I am a sensitive and an extremely emotional person). It’s funny though, how I find it difficult to watch people cry, to see them sad, to see them hungry or to see them forlorn and lost. I look at my own country and each time I travel by train, I wish that I had magical powers so I could clean up and provide homes to the homeless. I see the kids begging on the street and it takes half a second for my eyes to become misty. I refrain from giving them money. Because those pieces of paper just make you lose your wits. It makes you want all the things you probably don’t need. But it felt good to hand over a cup of an unfinished drink or an uneaten apple. The poor little growling stomach will be happy for a while. In my life, everything has been about me. How I wanted to do design? Or how my job opportunities look bleak at this moment? Each day I tell myself to be patient. Some days I think about the shoes I want to buy. Or how it would be nice to wear something and impress my boyfriend. And at times it feels as if the life starts and ends there. Like only you and all the materialist things which give momentary satisfaction exist. I am thinking now and it’s just a simple but true story, about a teenage homeless black (no offense!) boy who gets adopted by “white” parents, that is springing up these thoughts. I am digging out my blind side. The boy goes through multiple foster homes and chooses to be homeless too when he reaches his teens. But that has only turned him into an amazing human being. He carries around an extra t-shirt in a polythene bag which he washes and wears. He stays at the school gym so he can provide himself with a warm roof on his head. During Thanksgiving when everyone sits in front of the television and watches an American football game, he sits on the dining table and eats his food. His school does an aptitude test on him and surprisingly he scores a 98 percentile on protective instincts. Not something that would come to the mind easily after you see someone twice your size. But something makes him… and he makes him himself. We know that he has a big and a tender heart. What he did not have, was the best environment, a family who’d cater to all his needs, a school where he could learn and a bed to sleep on. It’s a touching scene – his foster mother (played by Sandra Bullock) gives him his own room and tells him about the bed she chose for him. He asks her if it was all his. She agrees. He tells her that he has never had one before. She thinks he is talking about having a room to himself. But he proves her wrong by saying - “a bed”. The mother goes into another room and tries to control her tears in the movie, but I just let them flow. Despite a troubled childhood with his biological mother being a drug addict, he is a beautiful human being. I do have a bed tonight to sleep on as I write this. And if not the bed I am on, I have at least 5 other beds to choose from. And tomorrow I might wake up at 10 o’clock in the morning and have breakfast served to me on the table and somewhere deep in my heart I know that half the world goes hungry. The struggle has been undertaken by my aunt at whose place I reside as of now. It has been of my parents who will do their best to support me in the coming years as they are doing now. We are lucky, most of you who I know, are. But being ungrateful is just not called for. You either take the easy way out or the hard way. The hard way has a lot of sacrifices to be made, a lot of hardships to be faced. Someday, I’ll have to make that choice, but as of now I know that my mom and dad took the hard way. And they took it happily. It would have been easy for them to shun their duties towards us, to let us go. But they made a choice and the choice was to provide for their kids, HAPPILY.
The movie revolves around more than just the boy. It also revolves around having a heart big enough to provide a place to sleep even if it just for one night. It revolves around the family accepting an unknown stranger into the house. The first night, there are doubts about whether he would steal. But the morning just shows all the bed clothes folded neatly over the sofa where he had slept. What does it say? It’s a choice we make, it’s the faith we have and it’s the power to believe in the surprises nature offers to you. I will watch this movie at least 10 times and cry double the number of times I watch it, but the slow absorption of what the story has to offer to me will come only after probably the 100th view. I applied to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and I know they’ll hardly consider a small inexperienced resume of mine as of now. But I still want to give the benefit of doubt. I believe that someday I’ll do great work. This movie is about helping the undernourished, the underprivileged and believing in what you are out to do for someone. The boy today is an All American Football player. He believed in himself and the family believed in him. It made me so aware of the person I am and how I want to be in future. The idea is to stick with it. The idea is to believe in it. And the idea is to believe in your power. But these ideas need to be capitalized upon. For me, tonight 11.44 PM was the start. A start to what I believe in, the belief in the fairytale world and belief in the fact that good things will always come by your way. I am about to be right in front of the race, of making this world a better place for you and for me. What I need to explore, is THIS KNOWN SIDE.
I wrote this piece after watching the movie starring Sandra Bullock. And I just did not have the heart to name it under a different title.