Wheelchair3 mins 8.8K 3 mins 8.8K
We were on our way from Miami to West Caribbean. It was a bright sunny day. The cruise ship, Celebrity Reflection, was on the sea. Holding a drink in one hand and a book in the other, decked up for the day, the ship slightly turbulent, I was carefully walking towards the lawn on Deck nine through the crowded hallway. It was a rather long walk on high heels. I was going to have a me time for about half an hour before heading for the next event in the auditorium. I was rather keen to witness the drama that was expected to unfold during the third round of ‘Made for each other’ contest organised by the entertainment staff for the passengers, first two rounds turned out to be quite hilarious.
As I walked, a wheel chair bound gentleman came from behind, brushed past me at a rather unusual speed knocking my glass off and spilling wine on my white shirt. The shirt turned red. His stunt turned all heads towards us. The gentleman was oblivious; he left as fast as he arrived. Someone handed to me a ball made of tissues. I pressed it against my shirt, blotted as much as I could, thanked him and headed straight towards my stateroom. I was going to miss the show. The need to remove the stain from my shirt was more pressing.
I concluded that the gentleman was rather rude. Multiple felonies. First, he was wheeling too fast through a crowded hallway. Second, he was careless. He didn’t notice me and went about his way. Third, he didn’t bother to stop and apologise for spilling my wine on me. It left me sulking. I returned to my room to find the Husband-man sleeping in bed. I woke him up and excitedly narrated to him what happened. With his eyes half open, he said, ki korbe change kore nao (what to do, just change), turned around and went back to sleep.
Evening arrived. We walked up to the Grand Foyer for the Live band and Dance. And what was there to surprise me? The wheel chair bound gentleman from the morning was on the dance floor. He put the floor on fire. On his wheels, with his lady in tow, our Wheelchair man, no less than seventy, was dancing. She was tapping her feet, standing very close to her man. The couple was perfectly in sync. Together they covered the entire dance floor. The other couples made way for them. His gestures his smile his glances towards his lady love melted me. My disapproval (call it disgust) from the morning dissolved. I watched the couple with admiration. Their vitality hypnotised me. Once again, I realised age was only a number. I realised why the word ‘differently-abled’ was coined. For about one hour they danced and I watched. In between my husband got bored and left informing me that he would be in Martini Bar. The couple got tired, I presume, but they didn’t stop dancing. Together they made a lovelier sight thereafter. Towards the fag end of the band, Wheelchair-man made his lady sit on his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck. He then rotated slowly around his own axis. Lionel Richie’s soft slow number played in the background. “Hello, is it me you are looking for, I can see it in your eyes. I can see it in your smile”.
My eyes turned moist. My faith in love got reinstated. Once again….
For the rest of the six days we were in the ship, I saw Mr Wheelchair several times as he zipped past me with the same zeal. I stepped aside and maintained a safe distance. And greeted him whenever our eyes met.