‘Lights Out’: An insider’s perspective to blindness — L Subramani at IIS
Author and Sports Editor, L Subramani on why inclusion is an experience he has participated in despite his visual impairment.
William Bryan once said, ‘Destiny is not a matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice. It’s not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved’. Such is the story of L Subramani. At the age of 16, he lost his eyesight to Retinitis Pigmentosa. The perspectives of a normal kid dreaming of normal ambitions changed. His professor had once mentioned that there is ADAM in every MADAM or there is ANGER in DANGER. Subramani came to realize that in every DISABILITY there is a certain ABILITY. His medical condition made Mani (as he is fondly called by friends) realize his passion for writing. He penned his experience of becoming blind and gaining new perspectives in the highly acclaimed book ‘Lights Out’ that came out in print in the year 2014. In Mani’s own words,’ The direction our lives take is beyond our control. But the direction determines our experiences and perspectives’. An outsider to the condition of disability was now an insider and he started seeing life in a different perspective.
A chance conversation with an auto driver who was shocked to hear that Mani was a writer despite being visually impaired led him to understand that most of the normal people were bystanders with respect to disability as they hadn’t experienced it in their vicinity. This has sparked off an idea of speed meeting (like speed dating in the west) where able bodied could speed-meet people with disabilities which will spark off new ideas and perspectives. The idea of inclusion, for Mani, is an idea of perspective and today he is on a quest to give new perspectives to both insiders and outsiders of disability.
Listen to Mani’s full talk at IIS 2015 here.
L. Subramani is currently Senior Subeditor with Deccan Herald (The Printers Mysore Ltd) in Bangalore. He was affected with Retinitis Pigmentosa aged 16 and had to experience gradual loss of vision in two years, though the drastic vision reduction happened in a six-month period, leaving him totally blind in the end. He is currently involved in setting up a support system for patients having rare disease or who experience progressive or sudden vision loss. He is doing this with the help of fellow RP patients and other social workers. He has pledged a portion of the proceeds of this book to his new initiative.
Follow Subramani on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lsubramani60873
Lights out book on amazon: http://www.amazon.in/Lights-Out-Story-Descent-Blindness/dp/818400351X