Will To Live
Copyright 2018 by Sujitha J.
this man salvages life in his fight with deadly diseases.
electrified crowd stood in awe hearing Azeem Bolar sizzling on the
stage like a pop star and bellowing "Rig it up! Come on
Bengaluru! Say with me. “Come what may, Why should I give up?”
at the immaculately dressed Bolar delivering a powerful speech,
joy fizzing through like a bottle of champaign, you would never
have imagined that Bolar is battling a life threatening disease and
his body is breaking down bit by bit, part by part.
a condition Bolar is inflicted with, is a rare disease that would
weaken body parts by blocking blood flow to them forming clots
in the blood vessels.
can’t see, my eyes are gone; my limbs are num. I can’t
feel the ground, I don’t have balance,” Bolar says,
explaining the effect of his ailment.
his weaker hands, lifting a teacup feels like lifting a mountain. He
struggles to breathe and remember things. “My face is getting
numb; my mouth, cheeks and chin stiff. I can’t speak
without difficulties these days. Pain hits my head like a crowbar
and radiates all through my body. I can’t sit for too long,”
thinners and immunosuppressants are holding up his life. Bolar said
he would cease to exist if he stops them for a week.
with the heart valve condition, Bolar had a rough ride with life. He
was knocked down by a series of ailments, starting with Juvenile
arthritis at 13 from which he recovered. At around 23, when young
Bolar was chartering his career path, the onset of blindness left him
the late twenties, he encountered the double strike of Meningitis and
cerebral malaria. At tis time, a mild stroke left him with a limp on
his legs. Stroke struck once again with debilitating ferocity at 34,
paralysing Bolar on the left side and blinding him completely. With
Vasculitis making him too weak to walk at 45, he was confined to the
responded to blindness by learning screen reading software and
mastering mobility skills. He switched gears in career, training
to be a counselor, NLP practitioner and psychotherapist. All these
as he weathered Vasculitis for around 37 years.
will Never Give-Up!” Bolar thunders.
by Meningitis, with piercing pain on my head, I still tried to get
up. They said it was rare to survive Meningitis. But I did. While I was
hit with stroke, unable to walk, I crawled, exercised for
hours and kept moving. When the speech therapist and the
neurologist wrote me off saying I can’t walk or talk again an
account of several clots on the brain, I told myself. Who are
they to say that. I will do it."
he did it by training to walk and talk again, until Vasculitis bound
him to a wheelchair. Still he is not not short of taking short steps
and moving around his house with the help of a walker.
is now a counselor with an IT company which he visits two days a
spoke with Bolar a day after he had the lenses removed from both his
eyes on account of cataract. Still dozy and dizzy as the blood
thinners were withdrawn for the surgery, he passed: “Hum, who
is this? Sujitha? Tell me what?”
he turned animated when the phone buzzed with a name. ”Sujitha!”
He hurried. “It is a distress call from a counselee. I should
had done hundreds of counseling sessions without charging a penny.
“Those who can pay, they pay me very well. But when someone has
a problem and they can’t afford, I don’t charge. Why
should I charge them? I am a giver. That keeps me going."
our conversation on the sixth of August, Bolar prided on a precious
possession That showed me how he cherishes human connections.
"Yesterday, a little girl tied friendship band on my wrist! That
is so special to me! I will not let it go just like that."
strength with love
amazes with his strength despite the diseases. He offers his best
with love, making him the therapist, the curer.
am there." are the first words his clients hear when calling
for a counseling session. He hears the counselee’s troubles, opens up
his compassionate heart, holds a mirror to their
minds and offers a helping hand and an emotional touch.
have brought people who were injecting and snorting heroin out of
the habit. It is often, they try to fill a void in their lives
through Substances. I address the emotional need in them and give
love and compassion that helps and heals them,” he told me.
may change, not the spirit of adventure
the prime of his youth, when health was still to evade him, Bolar did
Hotel management in France and London apart from touring various
nations observing the industry. He had ever been boisterous biking,
swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling among sea sharks in the Red Sea,
snow skiing and so on. But when Vasculitis shackled his
adventurous spirit, he accepted it stoically .
very week hands and limbs, I shave, shower and dress myself. I used
to walk with walker to the bathroom before. But due to an issue in
the prostate gland, I am forced to use diapers now. There will come a
time when I will not be able to do my things. But why worry? I don’t
like to Regret.
at the time of writing this piece, An alteration in the dosage of
immunosuppressants is slowing down Bolar a bit, though it is not too
strong to stop him.
cataract surgery, my eyes are still paining,” Bolar tells me.
Sometimes, he feels a splitting pain on the head. An excruciating
body ache made Bolar cancel a couple of physiotherapy sessions, but
he is in no mood to relent. In fact, he is getting ready to
resume the sessions sooner. And why not? For Bolar, giving up is not
a choice. “If I do, I will fail before my own eyes,” he
believes its Mind Over Matter. If I think the conditions in my
life to be too big to debilitate me, , I will be defeated. I think
I am too big to demolish them. Priyanka, Bolar’s
physiotherapist shares. Bolar had overcome partial paralysis post
stroke quite well. Muscle strength in both his limbs are equal which
is a rarity for a stroke patient. It means, he had worked hard on
with trials throughout, there is no trace of depression on Bolar.
Even today, he wakes up at 5.30 AM clockwork to perform his prayers.
He is a wellspring of happiness and humor.
please wait.” He sheepishly said. My girlfriend is speaking.
should listen now.”
was hinting at the screen reading application with a female voice on
his phone even when ending the interview.
am a visually impaired budding journalist, blogger and
I came across Azeem Bolar, the subject of this biography, while
I was interviewing him for my teacher’s project.
him, my life changed and I believe, you will not be the
after reading about Bolar’s life.
was born blind. As a girl child, a child with
a girl hailing
from rural India and a first generational learner in my family,
I have faced and still facing a lot of challenges in life. I
have done masters in English literature specializing in
blog at https://sujithaj.wordpress.com/
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher