Skilled Hands – By Kalpana Aroda
Edited by – Sunwoo Jeong
Most of my childhood was spent in a government “bungalow”. My family used to have chairs that were made up of thick nylon threads, knotted around the chair frame. These threads were weaved in a unique way which gave the chair enough strength to hold the weight of a person. The surroundings of our house gave off an essence of a jungle as large trees and plants were seen everywhere around often having occasional visits from monkeys on our roof. We used to sit on these nylo chairs outside of our home, enjoying the scenery and the beauty of nature. The usual Sunday consisted of breakfast under the morning sun, throwing a little food here and there for squirrels to enjoy. As time progressed, the knots on our chairs were slowly deteriorating, but since the frame was still usable, my father decided to get the chair re-knotted. My siblings and I anxiously waited to see the hands of the man who would fix the chairs, go into action. However upon arrival, we were very surprised that the person who had come did not have the ability to see. Despite the disadvantage, he had the talent to weave the thread around the frame in unique patterns. I have no recollection of many words from the man while he was working, but after a few hours, we were able to see our new chair, beautiful with unique knots in patterns made using the combination of different colors. We were so surprised to see that an individual without sight was still able to portray his imagination onto the chair. Now when I think about this experience, I carry the regret of not talking to the man to find out where he had learned the particular skills. Despite not being able to talk to the man, this incident left an impactful influence on my life. As my daughter recently befriended an individual without the ability of sight, I am able to see both of them enjoy the same things as her condition has not deterred them from how they communicate, interact, enjoy each other’s company. Every time I see them playing and spend time together. Despite the different situations that each individual is born with, I am able to see the beauty in each and every person and how effort and will directly corresponds to success. Even though one may have conditions that mars him or her from doing something, I am always recalled to the worker who made our lawn chairs and I am motivated to teach others that each individual has the capacity to do good and influence those around him or her in a beneficial way. Life is indeed beautiful in all situations.