Tina's faces a Challenge

By Nanda Ramesh

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Tina lived in a big house, in the town of Tissa, located at the foothills of Himalayas. Her house was next to a river flowing down the mountains. Everyday she could see the hills and river from her window. Tina loved her house and surroundings very much. She thought of herself as a very lucky girl.

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Tina's family consisted of her parents and her little brother Tarun. They also had a pet cat, Peelu. Tina and Tarun loved to play with Peelu all the time. They would chase her all around the house.

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But most of all Tina loved to climb the hills near her house. She enjoyed the colourful flowers that grew all over them. She loved watching the birds that frequented the hills. She walked around watching the birds feeding on the hillside for hours on end until it was dinnertime and she had to head back to the house.

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One day, Tina noticed a lot of construction activity near her house. They were building a new road and bridge across the river to the other side of Tissa . Everyday, while coming back from school she would stop to watch the activity. She was fascinated about how they build a bridge. Once, while she was watching them moving some large rocks, one became loose and rolled over her leg. Tina was hurt very badly and had to be rushed to a hospital.

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At the hospital, Tina was in constant pain and cried a lot. The doctors found that her leg was broken. They cleaned up the wound and bandaged it. They gave her some medicine to sleep. When she got up, there was some very bad news for her. The senior Orthopaedic doctor, one who treats broken bones, checked her reports and felt that they would have to amputate her legs below the knees as they were too badly broken. She will not be able to walk after this procedure.

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Tina returned home a few days after the doctor amputated her legs. She did not know what to do now that she was unable to walk. All day she just sat staring out of the window at the hills that she loved so much. She will never be able to walk among the flowers or hide in the bushes listening to the birds, she thought. She felt very sad and lonely.

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A few weeks later, her father had a surprise for her. He came into the house pushing a Wheelchair for Tina. Now she will be able to go around the house and even out of it. She could finally enjoy the things she liked most, the hills with its colourful trees.

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Tina quickly learnt to use the Wheelchair to move around the house. However her arms would soon get tired. Going outside too far was very difficult as pushing the Wheelchair up the hill using her hands was impossible. She again became very unhappy. She sat in the Wheelchair with Peelu on her lap most of the time. Peelu was unable to understand why Tina was not playing with her any more.

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Anuj was Tina's best friend. He watched as Tina became a quiet and sad girl from the bubbly and happy friend he knew so well. He had to do something to help her, he decided. He went to his father and asked permission to spend an hour everyday in the evening with Tina. This meant that he won't be able to help his father in his shop. But his father did not mind and allowed him to go as he felt it was more important for Anuj to cheer up his friend.

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So, Anuj came to Tina's house in the evening that day. Tina and her father were most surprised to see him at that time as they knew he helped his father in the shop. Anuj explained that his father had given him permission to come every evening to give company to Tina for an hour. They were very happy to hear it. Anuj then asked Tina's father if he could take her out for a stroll among the hills in the Wheelchair. Tina's father was afraid that Anuj may not be strong enough to push the Wheelchair up the mountains. But he had seen Tina's eyes light up when Anuj suggested the walk in the hills. So, he agreed to Anuj's request.

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And so it was that from that day onwards, the people of Tissa would see Anuj pushing Tina in her Wheelchair up and around the hills every evening. Tina could now see her birds and flowers again. They would stop under large colourful trees and watch as the birds pecked around looking for food. Tina started to bring along a notepad and paint box so that she could draw and paint the nature that she loved so much. Then she could bring back images of the birds and flowers to her house. This way, she could enjoy them any time she wanted in her house itself.

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Soon, all her friends started coming along with her and Anuj on their trips to the hills. And the days when Anuj could not come they themselves would push the Wheelchair so that she did not miss her outing. Everyday, Tina had many good friends taking her out all around the hills that she liked so much. She was able to enjoy their company along with the trees, flowers and birds.

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All the sadness on losing her legs vanished. Pretty soon, she also became an excellent painter and people would come to their house just to see them. Most of all she had a great time everyday with her friends who came to take her out. They had many nice adventures together and Tina soon forgot that she was in a Wheelchair! She again thought of herself as a very lucky girl indeed.

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