"Love can be limitless if people recognise, accept and celebrate a person with a difference" - Jasmina Khanna
Mumbai based Jasmina Khanna shares her deepest thoughts on love and relationships vis-a-vis disability in the guest column this week.
Some weeks ago, I watched a video of a couple Candy and Max. Max has cerebral palsy and Candy has no disability. When I watched this video for the first time it touched my heart and brought a smile to my face. What amazed me was the fact that Candy had fallen in love with Max, the human being. She did not think what the world would think or say about their relationship. It didn't bother her that she was a carer to her boyfriend, a concern that was raised by Candy's parents. The best thing I noticed was a sparkle of happiness in the eyes of Max. One could see the joy of love and togetherness between the two. The spirit of compassion and hope for each other could not go unnoticed. Excitement could be sensed between them of being companions for life as they prepared to get married. Truly love does not have any limits.
Acceptance of a person with disability is considerably meagre in society by large. Disability and love don't go hand in hand. In the case of a person disabled from childhood, as they approach adolescence or adulthood, people around them tend to develop their mindsets in such a way that a person with disability starts thinking that he/she doesn't deserve to fall in love. They are made to feel that to be involved intimately is a felony as they are disabled and have certain limitations.
Even if the relationship or marriage of people with disabilities is supported, there is a tendency to set up a partnership between two disabled individuals. For instance, if the guy/girl is visually impaired person, then the primary eligibility criteria for the future partner would be that they should be visually impaired or have some kind of a disability. Another mindset is that if the prospective partner is not a person with disability then the would-be bride or groom should belong to economically lower background. Thus thinking that they are supporting two deformities of the society one of disability and other of poverty thereby doing a good deed.
The most essential criteria are commonly ignored while seeking a life partner for a person with disability. It is seldom that factors like mental compatibility, emotional bonding, attractiveness or likeness for each other are thought for. These are basic elements every human looks out for in a would-be life companion.
It would be wrong to comprehend that all people with disabilities can get into a relationship or marriage. Due to the severity of the disability, it may not be possible for every individual with disability to have a relationship. It can be arduous for people with mental impairment or severe physical impairment to have an intimate relationship. Being humans as they too are hence somewhere deep down in their hearts look out for companionship. It need not be an intimate relationship but one of companionship of calling someone special. A person who is other than blood-related with whom one can have an emotional bonding and share all the joys and sorrows in this voyage of life.
There is no disability in society than the inability to see beyond. Love can be limitless only if people have the ability to recognise, accept and celebrate a person with a difference. This can bridge the gap between disability and love.
An avid blogger, Jasmina shares her views frequently at Jastalkingaloud