‘Disability’ is a term which has been defined and redefined many times and in many ways. And we can say the same about ‘love’. Both these terms lack a pre-defined meaning – that is why they are perfect for each other. In ‘love’ and ‘disability’, we find two strange worlds coming together.
Disability is the absence of one’s ability and to love is to constantly try and find ability in disability. Complicated? Yes, that’s what love is. Let’s try to break it down. When someone with a disability, falls in love with another person with a disability, they both try to find out things that they can do together. This is what finding ability in disability means.
I can go on and on, explaining what is love for a person with a disability, because I am a girl with a disability. Unlike most of my friends with disabilities, I haven’t closed the doors of my heart to this emotion. Moreover, I would like to discuss love and disability on an open platform. I feel that this should be the way how a young woman with a disability should talk about these emotions.
For a woman with a disability in India, it is very difficult to say that she is in love. It is because of the prejudice against people with disabilities falling in love. People often say that people with disabilities should not fall in love because they can fall into a trap with dangerous guys. As if girls who do not have disabilities can’t fall into a trap.
If I would have believed in these stories, I swear, I would have died without feeling the power of love. I am an intelligent and a smart girl. I know which guy is bad or good for me. Even if I don’t know that, I will surely learn with experience. I don’t really want moral policing in my life and that too in my personal life.
That was something about me that I felt you all should know before I go on to describe what it means to be in love while having a disability, in a wider sense. How can falling in love while having a disability be really understood? I think it all starts with the self – do I know that I am a girl with a disability? Yes. If I know that I have certain disabilities, do I really love myself? I think so. Sometimes loving yourself is the key to making someone fall in love with you.
Most of the times, people with disabilities do not love themselves. This also applies to people without any disabilities. They always think about the things they don’t have, rather than the things that they do have. Jealousy or comparison is the main reason why we cannot love ourselves. People with disabilities have to learn to not be defeated by these emotions in life. Loving yourself, in spite of your disabilities, can make you a strong individual. I believe that having a love life is a right each one of us has.
I think that there is no question whether people with disabilities can love. Of course, they can, because love is as natural as wind or water. It doesn’t discriminate on the basis of colour, caste or disability. Love flows into the heart of anyone and everyone it likes.
The most annoying question someone asked me was, why do you love your disability? I said my disability is a part of me, but it’s not who I am. A part is always with you, but it’s not the whole you. Yes, I am a girl, who loves to dance, sing and live life to the fullest. I have no regrets in life. I do not say, “Why me?” Instead, I always say, “Dear life, try me.”