Heroes & Inspirations

Love in the time of polio

Struck by polio, Usha Chikkam found love unexpectedly in Rahul, her best-friend. Here’s her story. Courtesy: Inclov

Struck by polio, Usha Chikkam found love unexpectedly in Rahul, her best-friend. Here’s her story.

(This story is republished from Inclov’s blog page, which features the “I Am CapAble” series. Inclov strives to provide equal and inclusive opportunity to everyone looking for love.)

“Do you truly want this? Have you consciously thought this through?”, I asked him, feeling completely puzzled and unsure. “You know that marrying me is very difficult, right?” He looked at me, and with certainty said, “I love everything about you, the way you take care of me, the way you talk to me and the way you love me, and that is why I want to marry you.” That’s when I knew, this was happening for me, it was really happening.

Rahul-Usha-Inclov1I met Rahul two years ago at my office in Hyderabad. At first, I found him rude, and even though we met in the lunch room every day, we never spoke. We worked in different departments anyway, and hardly got a chance to meet. But, when my department shifted to another office, we began talking. On most evenings, he would message me on Skype and we would chat, or he would offer to drop me home and we would talk then. A year passed, and as we grew closer as friends, impending doom lurked in the distance.

On 8th February 2009, when Rahul was asked to leave to Kenya for work, I broke down completely. I realized, that as he would leave, our skype conversations would end, we would grow apart, and I would lose my best friend. This is when he reassured me, that he would be there for me, and we would continue to remain in touch.

I waited, every day. After 3 days, we spoke, but there was something different, it felt different. He told me how much he missed me. I was completely filled with disbelief, and as I showed our conversation to my friend, I asked her, “Can this be right, do you think he has feelings for me?”

I thought to myself, “Maybe he is lonely, or maybe he is simply saying this, I cannot think he likes me; that is wrong.” These were the times, when I had to convince myself that I could be loved too.

Love is something my heart sought, for many years. When I met my best friend in college, I knew that I had found that love. With great courage, when I told him how I felt, he did not reciprocate my love. I fought against this bitter truth for two years. At that point, I just gave up, not knowing if love would ever be a lasting reality in my life. “Will I be able to find a life partner, when I have polio?” is a question that still remained unanswered.

However, the dream of finding the love of my life came alive when Rahul asked my parents for my hand in marriage. Now, it has been over six years since our marriage. I have been able to lead a normal life because of Rahul’s support and love.

He understands that when I am at home, I do not use calipers or crutches to walk, I prefer to crawl and work. This gives me the freedom to be me. He never asks me to do anything that I cannot do. When he is home, he runs behind my two-and-a-half-year-old son.

He never feels tired of taking care of my son or me. I am very lucky to have a person like him. I wish every person like me, has a partner like Rahul.

We all need love that heals.
Love that makes us believe.

Rahul is the one who made me realize that every person on the earth is capable of having a life partner, a good life and kids. He always tells me, “I married you because of your kindness, and I fell in love with your character. For me, we are a normal couple, like every other, so there is no difficulty. There is no such thing as “Love is not for me”.

Everyone deserves love.

-An original story of Usha Chikkam
Written by Neeti Savla.

For everyone who has considered love an impossibility, there’s Inclov, the world’s first matchmaking app focusing on people with disability and health disorders to find love. Over the last few months, the team at Inclov has come across many who are afraid that they are incapable of being loved or accepted. That they are too different.

Inclov wants to break this stereotype with the “I Am CapAble” series. We now belong to a society of modernists, of socially accepting people. Everybody wants to settle down with an ideal partner who caters to their every need and understands them. Inclov is releasing a series of love stories of ten couples over the next ten Sundays, who are unique, both in their abilities and the intrinsic nature of their relationship with their companions. What they wish to demonstrate is different kinds of relationships exist, and against our preconceived notions and fears, all of us can find love. All of us can find a soulmate. All of us can be happy.

Click here to download Inclov Mobile App.

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