Should I feel defeated, inferior, jealous or elated to speak of Vidhi (name changed), a Jain by birth, born to a middle class family from Haryana. She went to a government school but fought her way through student life with just one eye. Topped her school and sailed through college life in flying colours. Her congenital defect of being in frail health was due to an auto-immune disorder which was evident from her eye defect that could not be rectified. But before substantiating more details on this person, I must add some interesting information about genes that can affect or break a person’s hopes. Fame/ success cannot elude a person for his defective genes if the person is industrious and indomitably strong-willed.
Why this genetic destiny?
The following facts are excerpts from “The Gene - An Intimate History” by Siddharta Mukherjee, these are added to clarify the importance or lack of importance for genes but a field that needs to be studied in an evolving manner, as this branch of science is ever evolving as long as mankind exists. So do read with a keen sense of bonding with the human kind of facts.
Daniel Kevles, a historian wrote on Galton’s arguments for Eugenics. Galton had been unable to discover genes but would not miss out on the creation of genetic technologies.
Maudsley went a step further said – Normal fathers produced schizophrenic sons. Ordinary families generated extraordinary children. The child of a barely known glove maker from the Midlands (England)- born of parents not distinguished from their neighbours-could grow to be the most prominent writer of the English language- William Shakespeare, was one of the five brothers rose to extraordinary eminence.
Newton- a sickly fragile child
John Calvin- severely asthmatic
Darwin- had bouts of Diarrhoea and catatonic depression.
What’s an inadequate brain?
In 1924 Feeble mindedness came in 3 distinct flavors : Idiots, Morons and Imbeciles.In 1930s the Nazis embraced genetics as a tool for racial cleansing…. Thus goes History to eliminate Jews gradually and so on.
In brief, the family history of genes does not stop a genius from becoming famous or however frail in health or fortune. The genius in a person always strives to realize dreams/ambition. Single-hearted devotion to persevere and never become despondent. That is why sometimes you notice when life for some, although not so well-planned, yet the destiny of some leads them up the ladder of success despite the least use of intellect. Others are destined to keep working hard due to an exceptional intellect also lag in terms of comfort or luxury or have hardly any leisure at hand and even fail to make an hour for themselves. They slog and sweat yet remain dissatisfied with life. So we are fortunate to meet persons like Vidhi.
A winner at academics
Vidhi stood out at academics as she was a bright student who was complemented by her two siblings, both are medical practitioners. All three do face a harsh world even today but are stalwarts in their respective professions.
Vidhi is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary whereby she could read gaps and loop holes in global finances with just one glance (pun) at the figures. Adept at handling offshore accounts of donors and streamlining expenses which did offer ample scope to pinch funds but Vidhi was always upright and honest.
Climbing the ladder of success was easy. She flitted from one branch to another or one firm to another. Finally landed a job with a global charity chain which always kept her on her toes.
She got married to an accountant, not so ambitious but straddled with her through the marriage till the birth of two kids. The husband not too adept to face the overwhelming success of an accomplished wife yet bound to the institution called marriage. Vidhi took it all in her stride.
Her postings abroad
She stuck to her indomitable post with an open mind, frail body and a crumbling marriage. She travelled to almost all important cities in Asia, Africa and finally Boston, to Virginia and presently in Washington.
Global charity moves
Her official visits to all charitable links made her put up with the ups and downs of her personal life. Her exasperating routine gradually made her lose control over her own physical inadequacies. Gripped a few times by the commonest of diseases that dragged over months at times but she had to get cured. This was followed by a liver transplant and a meditation exercise gap that soothed her mind and body. Her nagging family problems that multiplied also kept her busy visiting hospitals compelled her to start working from home. She is a fighter and still continues to fight a failing health but takes level headed decisions at home and office.
Vidhi is bound to her fate like any Indian woman. She smiles, she is there, dependable for her children. She knits their future to form a perfect pattern in life for them. Couldn’t feel more blessed when she travelled thousands of kilometers only to meet us with the same warmth and concern. I don’t have to read history to learn about great souls.