Afraid of the dark

Asif was proud of his eyes and had the best chance to witness serene sunsets of Jumeriah Beach. Post a grueling sales day, the beauty of twilight was his humble abode. Not only the divine calm he was also enthusiastic to enjoy the thrill of speed, accelerarting, peaking above 180 km /hr on the highway.

Life looked perfect and growing to the new horizons and right up his alley. He became accustomed to draw the long bow, as everything was turning to be the best outcome and destined to prosper. He conquered the challenges of life with the prompt readiness and indomitable courage. One who is blessed with the glories of life, someday for sure will have to sustain through the gloomy days as well. He has clueless about the pain of others, until the tragedy struck a blow and weighed him down to face the demons.

On 7th Dec 2016, he acquiesced to be the mute spectator of his own tragedy. He lost the light of his life and in an atmosphere of uncertainty became blind due to 7 unsuccessful consecutive Retinal Detachment surgeries. One, who was known for seeding the positivity, has now become a blob of negativity and refuses to see any ray of hope to rise and shine again . It was tough in the beginning but he hit it off immediately with the pellet victims who are going through the same pain and fighting the uphill battle of blindness. There is heart to heart connection to feel their immense sadness and doesn’t find himself alone victim of this brutality. He began to appreciate their abounding patience and found them above the “flawed behavior”.

They are only left with courage, prayer and hope as allies but most of them live with the awareness that there will be no rescue. Now they cannot own the world they live in and the fears are lurking and hitting them very hard both economically and emotionally. The authorities are flying blindly high and have hardly spared anyone, the youngest victim being 5 years and the oldest one is 59. He was numb with misery. The figures are alarming ,68.4% of the pellet eye injured victims suffer from visual impairment of various degrees, among them more than half 42.37% are ending up with the “severe blindness”. And around 92.92% are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorders.

His extreme distress increased when he couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief and plunged his heart in pity when he found that even the renowned VR surgeons don’t assure 15%-20% of vision improvement, even wonderfully highly advanced procedures have failed badly and sometimes most of the pellet eye injured victims have to undergo more than 5 such critical surgeries and surprisingly taking the patient closer to the verge of blindness. And he concluded only miraculous intervention can do some wonders and save these poor souls.

On 22nd April 2019, Dr. Shah Faesal requested in his FB post to provide a financial help to 19 year old female victim for her treatment. I believe 90% of  pellet victims have such horrible tales and background. This pain at the grassroots level needs audience but at the same time, we all have to find and muster courage to stand up against the injustice.

Once he requested a man in power to analyze the consequences of their brutal practices but he was astonished to find him extremely amused by our sufferings and very politely he avoided his confrontation.

Much to his dismay…

Now at the sunset, the doleful silence takes over, haunts him with dread of darkness, plunges into perpetual gloom and the psychotic restleness ripples through.

May the new dawn let all pellet victims flourish peacefully!

(The author is working as a trade marketing manager in an FMCG company)