Poem – How Would This Blind Child Know?

I was born the ordinary baby,
Always the centre of attention,
Adoring, endearing and bubbly,
Always enveloped in affection.

An active and perky 3-year-old,
As buzzing as a bee,
The fireman in the play, the overenthusiastic toddler,
Is who I came to be.

But time is erratic and volatile,
You never know what life has in store,
The future is inherently uncertain,
But how would this 6-year-old know?

That year, I was diagnosed with retinal degeneration,
And for the next five, I underwent 8 eye surgeries in my ophthalmological “Chamber of Secrets”,
As the hospital displaced school as my second home,
I got accustomed to the blackening world, the boredom of incapability, and all the other self-imposed limits.

For five long years,
I was deprived of any and all physical exertion,
Stripped of my ability to read print, engage in art, craft or woodwork,
As my lifestyle, personality and identity spiralled into stagnation.

But time is erratic and volatile,
You never know what life has in store,
The future is inherently uncertain,
But how would this 11-year-old know?

As a blind and befuddled kid, I made new discoveries,
That computers and Smartphones could speak to me,
That I could study, compete, thrive both academically and otherwise,
That the sky was the limit and everything was still within reach.

Instead of playing Farm Ville and Miscrits on Facebook,
I started messing around with Android, Linux distros and Windows Phone,
Offering others some tech support on mailing lists and online forums,
Whilst educating myself about the latest in accessibility, AI and drones.

Instead of chatting with friends on WhatsApp about homework, grumbling about exams, and so on,
I began realizing the importance of constructive discourse,
Arguing and articulating passionately about atheism, inclusive education, and human rights,
Until all of our voices were hoarse.

Instead of being the average, outgoing and unruly teenager,
I prefer thinking and reflecting deeply on things,
Researching about the distraught Somalians, discriminated African-Americans, and downtrodden persons with disabilities,
Staying preoccupied with these issues even on Sunday evenings.

Perhaps, if I were still sighted,
I would be the overenthusiastic extrovert that I was as a child,
I might not be the thoughtful and geeky rationalist I like to think I presently am,
And would be the typical teen if I were not blind.

But truth be told, I thoroughly enjoy my life at the moment,
Quizzing, coding, blogging, debating, and most importantly, introspecting,
Dreaming big for my future, for the future of mankind and humanity,
Striving, failing and succeeding, and retrospecting.

But time is erratic and volatile,
You never know what life has in store,
But one always changes to become a better version of oneself,
And that is all that this 16-year-old knows.


This has been my first stab at poetry in a very, very long time. While I did not plan to engage in any counterfactualism, I did want to be brutally honest in sharing with readers about the impact and influence blindness may have had in shaping the person I am today. In any event, whichever path you tread, whatever dream you dream, and whomever you become, I believe that it is important to be the best version of yourself and live life to the fullest in your own quirky ways.

Author: Bhavya Shah

I am a 16-year-old techie, quizzer, debater and Potter+Musk-head from Mumbai, India, and I am Passionate about STEM, world politicss, and disability rights. When I am not burdened by school homework (which I never bother doing anyways) nor busy blogging, you might either find me programming in Python, reading a contemporary classic, or aimlessly perusing the Internet. Also, by the way, I forgot to mention something; I can't see a thing, lost all my eyesight by the age of 11, and I'm totally blind. That's me.

3 thoughts on “Poem – How Would This Blind Child Know?”

  1. Hi Bhavya! I came from the country to The Ohio State University having only light perception. I had no blind training until I was 17. I have much proof that the Bible is true, and can be trusted. I would really like to talk to you about this, and get to know you. My Email:
    jesusloves1966@gmail.com Take care, Bhavya!


    1. Sure, I would love to speak with you as well. I will not be very active on the Internet in the coming few weeks, but you can always message me on Facebook or reach out via my blog’s contact form. Among other things, we should surely converse about our shared love for Mathematics. 🙂


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