When I slept on October 4, 2020, I could have never imagined that I would be waking up to the worst day of my life. You see, I had a chronic back issue, and the last few days had hurt as hell. Well, things were about to get much worse.

As I woke up in the morning, I realized that I was unable to stand on my feet. It slowly dawned on me that I had no control over or sensation in my lower body. I had to be admitted to the hospital and undergo an operation the very next day. However, there was no end to my persistent problems. With no immediate recovery in sight, I had to use a wheelchair for the next few days. Despite many an attempt to stay upbeat, negative thoughts continued to linger on.

I am actually both a travel enthusiast and a bookworm. For a person who has traveled to almost a dozen countries, not being able to get out of a wheelchair is as torturous as it can get. However, I knew that if I could not live my own life well, I could live others’ life through the pages of books. The idea that even if I could do nothing else, I could still read and write was enough to keep me motivated.

Kushank Kumar made the most of his time on the wheelchair

Amidst that excruciating pain, if I could name one book that accelerated my healing process, that would be Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. The book actually made me realize that I was not alone. It made me see how homo sapiens, or humans, had overcome all adversities over thousands of years. In fact, if I were a dinosaur, I would have never placed my bet on humans coming so far. If the entire human race had come through it all, why couldn’t I?

The next book I need to mention here is Stephen King’s On Writing as the book helped me fulfill my long-term goal of being a better writer. While reading this story might give you the impression that I fluffed my chance at writing, the book is not to blame for that. In fact, it is more than a decent read. Oh, and in case you are interested, feel free to check out the stories I wrote on my blog during my days on the wheelchair.

I was bedridden, but not alone. After all, I had so many books to keep me company. And so I made the most of that time to read a lot of books. However, the following lines touched my heart like none other:

All the blood he has bled,

All the tears he has shed,

All the days he lived in pain,

He didn’t let them go in vain.

By the way, with lots of support from my doctors and physiotherapist, I have now recovered quite a bit and am hopeful that things will get even better from here. I plan on running a marathon in a year or two.


To check out some of Kushank’s write-ups, check out his blog here. You can also find him on Facebook and Instagram.

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