Do you really understand others?
A lesson in understanding others
Ever feel stupid? I just did.
What happened is this.
I was shooting a film for one of my clients, with a group of specially abled kids across Delhi and Mumbai.
I expected loads of problems shooting with youngsters who are speech and hearing challenged.
How wrong I was.
In my corrected opinion, they are the most misunderstood people I have ever met in my life.
They have all suffered at the hands of a society that treats anyone who is different with disdain.
Many people look upon them as ‘disabled’, but after interacting with them at length, I can tell you this much… they are not challenged, they are special.
They are the most talkative, bright, enthusiastic, excited lot I have met in a long time.
They are fun people, full of energy, questions and curiosity.
They are intelligent… far more than they are given credit for.
They are sensitive and caring.
They do not bicker or fight amongst themselves.
They do not point fingers or play blame games.
Most importantly, they are friends who take up for each other as one… encouraging each other, supporting each other and stepping in to help each other where it was required.
I was surprised by the ease with which I could shoot with them.
They understood what needed to be done, discussed among themselves, and delivered the shots I wanted to capture, much better and faster than most normal people would.
I was so overwhelmed by this experience that I wanted to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
So, without checking or knowing sign language, I placed my hand on my heart to thank them.
I have been getting a funny look back, everytime I thanked someone in this way. So I decided to check why.
Turns out, that a hand on the heart doesn’t mean a thank you from the bottom of the heart, but instead signifies ‘Mine’.
So, in effect, since yesterday I’ve been looking people in the eye and saying ‘Mine!’
No wonder they looked back at me with the ‘Is this guy OK in the head?’ kind of look.
I guess I’m now branded among them as a pervert who makes passes at the girls AND the boys.
Serves me right for not taking the effort to understand them, before I expected them to understand me.
But then isn’t that the way the entire ‘normal’ world is thinking?
Makes you wonder about who is actually normal, and who is actually challenged!