Handicap? What Handicap?


Jean has got a fantastic blog post in her blog “Cheerful Monk”, which has inspired this post.

It was in 1987, that I had my second hip joint replaced, two years after the first one had been. The surgeon, a childhood personal friend whose parents and my parents were friends and I, were both just about the same age and the chemistry between the two of us was very strong.

It was also a time of high personal income taxes and one tried to find ways to reduce the incidence of taxes in whatever way possible. I came to know that one could claim a special rebate in the personal income tax if one was physically handicapped.

I was in Bangalore at that time and the surgeon was in Bombay. I rang him up and asked him to provide me with a certificate to the effect that I was physically handicapped to avail of the benefit of the rebate in income tax, as advised by our tax consultant.

His answer was crisp. “Handicap? What handicap? Don’t insult me. You are not handicapped any more. I have removed your handicap. I shall not give you any such certificate.”

Reading Jean’s post reminded me about that incident. Since there is one of my regular readers out there recovering from a hip replacement and another expected to go in for one soon, this post is written with the hope that they will be reassured that they too can say “Handicap? What handicap?” soon enough!

Conrad, my apologies. This is not about the mentally handicapped. Time enough for that, another day!