A Girl on the Wheelchair

20th July 2020

Pamela rode down the street in her Volkswagen Caddy. She tried to hasten, to get to the meeting on time.

She was at the doors of the majestic building, ‘Magnum Towers’, that hosted her office on the 15th floor in less than an hour. The receptionist, waiting at the entrance, helped her to take the lift.

“Hi, Ankur! Are we ready?” she asked her secretary as she hoisted her bag on the conference table.

“Yes, ma’am.” Ankur was already keying in furiously to open the presentation on his laptop.

Her team was waiting to discuss that day’s presentation with their important clients, Rodrigues and Sons, who were perhaps the best builders in Asia.

She didn’t need rest, did she? She erased the thought as quickly as it appeared on the blackboard of her mind and set to work.

“Well, Mr. Rodrigues….” her no-nonsense voice trailed off and remained so till she finished and clinched the deal.

She looked down at her watch. She stopped working exactly at lunch hour.

Without her command, her thoughts ran from the present to the past 15 years or so.

She examined herself mentally before the mirror in the washroom.

How much had the words ‘ON TIME’ meant to her from the time she had known them? A LOT.

She wanted to be on time for her classes, parties, functions, and even while she was at home. She despised anyone who made her wait. She felt could achieve so much by being ‘ON TIME’.

“Pamela, please listen!”, her exasperated mother would almost shout, “The programme always starts half an hour late. We needn’t rush. Please allow me to get ready properly.”

But every time the pleas, sarcasm, and remarks thrown at her were as if carried away by the wind before she could hear them.

It was then something happened…

“Oh no! not just something.”





12th Jan 2015

She was rushing home after work, her ecstatic self in frenzied thoughts about her impending engagement with Paul. She was in her seventh heaven, talking excitedly to him over the phone, about his promises to her, their attire, the big party given by both sets of parents, etc.

I want to be on time. It’s my big day!


She found herself in a hospital instead of being the party hall.

21st Jan 2015

She looked up groggy to find her mother beside her in tears.

“Let’s go back to The Residency Hotel, Ma. All the guests will be waiting for me there. Did you get everything ready?”

Her mother cried louder.

She looked around for Paul in his handsome maroon suit, which they had decided he would wear.

“Where’s Paul, Ma? Did he come? What happened?”

She saw herself wearing the drab hospital clothes instead of the beautiful gown that she had spent a fortune on! She tried getting up to wear the invisible gown, but her legs fell limply to her side.

“OH, MY GOD!” She could only wail.

The shock she got made her numb, physically and mentally.

“Is it the insanity to be punctual almost cost me my life?” she cried on her mother’s shoulder, after what seemed like ages.

It was the most bitter pill she couldn’t swallow. Yet, it made her life all the more bitter.

Paul’s visits turned less frequent over the months.

11th June 2015

“Well, you know, Pamela,” he spoke when he video-called her, “It might take months or years for you to get to your feet. I am ready to support you but it isn’t fair on my parents. How can I force them to accept you? We live in a society that doesn’t take these things practically. And…”

“Yes, I understand, Paul,” she choked on her words before he could finish.

She didn’t want to listen more.

Paul had left her for good as he couldn’t support ‘A Girl on the Wheelchair’. Wasn’t she ‘His Girl’ till some time ago? Anyway, she needed a companion, not a supporter or someone otherwise as her better half.

A realization, that she could do so much for herself without a supporter, dawned over her.

22nd August 2015

She met a physiotherapist who affirmed her belief by working on her limbs.

“You need to be mentally prepared for some pain, Pamela, as we are going to take you through rehabilitation,” said Dr. Narayan. “But the end result will be pleasurable.”

He was absolutely right.


Over a year, she could walk, slowly but surely. She finished a two-year online course in Interior Design and set up her own office. She had been ‘ON TIME’ at different milestones of her life to achieve so much, single-handedly.

20th July 2020

“Madam, our next client is here.” Ankur’s gentle voice over the closed doors of the washroom brought her back to the present.

She paused before coming out.

She had gained respect over rejection, dignity over dejection, strength over sympathy, and affection over advice.

She was proud that she had never learned to be ‘OFF TIME’ and just to be ‘A GIRL ON THE WHEELCHAIR’!


We don’t spam!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.