Against odds: Glaucoma patient rebuilds life

Against odds: Glaucoma patient rebuilds life

“I had seen this colourful and lively world for 26 years and then suddenly the light went off my eyes. I was stunned. I stood there unable to move. Life virtually ground to a halt for me,” Ansar remembered those dreadful days while speaking to Deccan Herald. 

Three years later, Ansar is a busy reflexologist in Kochi with a steady stream of clients, including some from the tinsel world like Mohanlal, Hariharan and Prabhu Deva.

Reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. By applying pressure on these reflexes mainly at the feet without using tools or lotions, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps
promote the natural function of the related areas of the body. 

 Becoming a successful blind reflexologist is no small achievement when one watches Ansar still groping his way along the busy roads of Kochi giving tense moments to any onlooker. He gets on safely to one of those infamous speeding private buses of Kochi from his home in Aluva, gets down in the city some 15 km away and walks nervously with the help of a friend to the clinic where he works.

According to the youth, it all started with dust allergy and the medicines he took for it. Glaucoma is associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye. It was during his study at the Vyasa Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore that the tragedy struck him.

 As fate would have willed, Ansar had already taken a PhD in alternative medicine from Kolkata, completed a course in reflexology from an institute in Mumbai and dabbled with ayurveda a bit. These experiences came in handy when he realised “that the choice before a blind man was either to turn to begging or find a job which can accommodate impaired vision.” A few things happened in quick succession which gave him confidence. First came the “white cane” provided by the Blind Association with which he began to take steps inside his home and premises. The second turning point was the role played by the parents of a small boy who had turned paralytic and on whom he had done reflexology before he turned blind.

“The parents wanted me to resume the session. I was circumspect as I was not sure whether I would be able to feel the sensitive points on the foot to do reflexology without seeing them. My businessman-friend Jomon asked me to try out my skills on him. I tried and Jomon was ecstatic. “There is no difference in your work with or without your eyes, go ahead, he told me,” Ansar recollected. There has been no looking back for the youth ever since as he soon joined the Taj Residency at Marine Drive in Kochi for offering reflexology to clients. Initially, foreigners were his clients as they were familiar with it. Soon, many VIPs in Ernakulam joined his client list. Ansar says that reflexology resolves mainly stress-related illnesses, sleep disorders and even obesity. 

 Ansar left his job at Taj (Now Gateway Hotel) to cater to more local clients though his old clients still seek him out. However, what came as a blow to him was his inability to see the face of his mother for one last time when she died. “My sadness can’t be expressed in words. But I lived through it and got over it,” he said. Later, he married to a girl from Ottapalam in Palakkad district and has a three-month-old daughter now. “I am financially
better now. But life is a struggle and I prod on. I want to tell all those who are blind to learn reflexology as it best suits their condition to earn a livelihood. Otherwise, we have no other option but to beg,” says the determined youth.

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