Ex-soldier confronts fate with his mouth painting, inspires crestfallen comrades.
I say, "When life throws an axe in your path, use it to cut down all the weeds, sow the seeds of mettle and grow juicy fruits." Such thoughts germinate in mind when we come across people who display their vibrant qualities to fight with adversities of life. Meet the brave heart of Indian Airforce, Mridul Ghosh who has never bent his spine for anything.
Bravery In The Burning Blood:
On 4th June 1988, a place called Gruah in West Bengal, India witnessed the birth of a steel soul with iron shoulders. He is Mridul Ghosh, a boy who took up the responsibilities and confronted with life's vicissitudes at a very early age after the passing away of his father. He had to shoulder the responsibility of his family but his heart desired to serve the nation. He joined the Indian Airforce and rendered his services. While he was discharging one of his assignments in 2010, he met with an accident that injured his C5 and C6 vertebrae.
He had undergone treatment for three years and was discharged from duties in 2013. The body that proudly presented itself to the service of the nation till then, was locked in the wheelchair with four paralysed limbs. The life that was valiantly fighting at the borders till then was confined to bed. Mridul's village has hardly any ameniies, nothing from electricity to the medical facilities. So, he shifted to the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre in Khadki.
Life turned upside down and Mridul was surrounded by walking aids and wheelchairs. “Shifting to the Paraplegic Centre was very favourable to me. The Military Hospital is close to our centre and we get immediate medical assistance.", says Ghosh.
A Reason To Live:
When the world around him went topsy turvy, Mridul found nothing but darkness. His desire to serve the nation shattered with one mishap and he found life as hopeless as it could be. However, he did not let his hope down. He kept himself going and decided to pick up his favourite hobby that which he left in the past due to the responsibilities he had to shoulder - painting. He had a passion for painting but could not own it due to lack of a guide or tutor. However, at the rehabilitation center, he found that it was the right time to embrace his love for painting again. He found that painting is a way to pour his emotions and thoughts out. But then, how can he paint with paralysed limbs? He surfed the internet and got the details of Mouth and Foot Artists Association, contacted them and the journey began. The association sent trainers who tutored Ghosh in mouth painting. Mridul started adding colours to the darkest days of his life and has been painting his thoughts ever since then. He has developed over 100 paintings till now and these colours got him out of depression and gifted him a new life.
"I felt like I have nothing left to achieve. But the art of mouth painting gave me new hope. These paintings have given me recognition and satisfaction. Today, I am one of the members of the Mouth & Foot Artists Association,” he said.
Ghosh got himself engrossed in painting his mind on the canvas and used it as a gateway to flush his pain. The trauma that he has been through ever since he met with the tragedy was wiped out with the colours he splashed with his mouth. Yes!! Mouth!! Being quadriplegic, he couldn't use his hands and legs to paint. So what? When God has gifted other body parts, he thought he could make use of them. So, he picked up the paint brush with his mouth and it is the mouth painting that gave him recognition, self-confidence and he felt complete. He also participated in a painting competition organised by National Geographic Channel on "Celebration of Democracy" whose results are awaited.
Spreading The Waves Of Inspiration:
When life hits you hard, you learn great lessons out of it. And those lessons, if forwarded to those who are sailing in the same boat and are about to drown into the troublesome sea, then you will become a saviour. This is what Ghosh has exactly done. Sudam Bisoyi(29)- a Naval Officer, Bhim Karki (27) and Prashant Kamble (29) -the Army personnel turned paraplegic due to different on-duty mishaps. As taking up any other activities or sports is challenging, Ghosh inspired and encouraged them to take up painting as a hobby to pass their time and shoo away the negativity. When people who visit the centre notice them and recognise their work, it further fuels their zeal.
Seeing Life Through The Paintbrush:
Ghosh gave his life a new perspective with painting. He now sees the world through the strokes of his paint brush.
"Government should make such centres for civilians too, where they can be encouraged and relief can be provided to their families to cope with the loss.", Ghosh opines.
The bottom-line of Ghosh's story is that nothing is impossible when you have the fire in you that keeps you going. If one organ of the body stops cooperating, there is a whole of universe that backs you up. We wish Ghosh and brave hearts like him an ocean of power!
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