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“Ability is not related to body, but the soul”- My take by Author & Traveller Raees Hidaya

In My Take this week, we have Raees Hidaya, an author and traveller from Kerala. 31 year old Raees became a quadriplegic at the age of 17 after he met with an accident. Raees claims to be a humanitarian who works closely with people and reaches out to them during their time of need.

I live in a small town called Malappuram in Kerala. Since childhood, I loved travelling and meeting new places. Like every other kid of my age, I was enjoying those times to the fullest.

I remember I was preparing for the annual day celebrations of our school when I was in class 10. After buying products needed for a show, I spotted a lorry that offered me a lift which later met with an accident on the highway. My spinal cord was injured and at the age of 17 I became a quadriplegic.

My life had changed in just a few hours. It was a huge shock to me. Until then, I had never been to a hospital. But I had to spend so many days inside those four walls without knowing what the future beholds. I started hearing only names of medicines and medical terms. I was an ardent reader who loved books. Even that had stopped. I thought my life came to a standstill-Raees Hidaya.

Later, I was shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College where I started recovering slowly almost after a year. I met many people who are alone in life and has no one to reach out. In spite of the many struggles, they had a smile on their faces. Their lives were truly inspiring. I met new people there who gave me hope and soon realised that I'am blessed to have a supportive family and bunch of friends who stand by me. Slowly I started picking up things from where I stopped. From watching movies to reading books, I started doing everything.

Path to empowerment

The next few years of my life was spent on knowing people closely. In this world, where everything is fast and no one has the time, I realised that every human being needs someone to talk to. I'am all ears! I want people to come and talk to me and relieve off their burdens. I'am a patient listener. Moreover, I think reaching out to fellow human beings is our social responsibility.

The Malayalam book Quarante Thanalil has inspired me a lot. I read this book a few years back, but I still look up to certain verses from the book.

I authored the book Kunju Velichangalude Dweepu which was published last year. It is a collection of life stories that I have come across. I started off writing with my blog Kakkapponn for which I got some good reviews. I believe that I see, hear and experience things differently. There are very few people who have written about people's lives. Meanwhile, I always wanted to write about humans. It has always fascinated me.

An ardent traveller

As a child, I used to travel a lot with my grandfather who is my biggest inspiration and role model till date. He has never looked at the destination. Rather, he enjoys the journey. He loves listening to other people's life stories and I have been following his footsteps as well.

I travel in my stretcher. I don't travel to see places but my main aim is to meet new people and listen to their stories. I always loved doing that. I look out for different kinds of people. In fact, even a random person on the road interests me.

After years of experience, I realised that people do not want a solution. Instead, they just need someone to hear their problems. Humans have a lot to tell and talking is one of their basic needs. In a world where people do not have the time to listen, I want to do it.

"I believe that ability is not limited to the body, but it is related to the soul. If you want to do something, you can definitely achieve it. There is nothing that can stop you. My family comprising of my parents and siblings are my biggest blessing. My family taught me to believe in humanity and I'am doing so".

Also Read: "Stay positive to beat all odds" - My Take by Jomy John Joseph, disability rights activist

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