Vedi by Ved Mehta

Vedi by Ved Mehta

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Before Vedi was four, meningitis left him blind. But his father, a well-to-do, England-trained doctor, was determined his son receive the best education India could offer a blind child. At Dadas School in Bombay, thirteen hundred miles from home, Vedi at first felt isolated. There was the obstacle of language: he spoke only Pubjabi, the other children spoke only Marathi, and the principal was determined to teach him English. There were the differences of class and age: Vedi was from "a cultured home," and therefore wore shoes and proper clothes, and took his meals with the principal's family; many of the other children were street waifs, and much older. In time, Vedi learned to get along without his family, without familiar sounds and scents and tastes, long before any ordinary child learns self reliance. He also learned to read and write English Braille, to add and subtract, to play like all boys and to get along with schoolmates. With the Second World War imminent, Vedi left Dadas School and returned home. Yet, as his father knew, and as he himself came to know, the education he received afforded him a chance for a meaningful life. He grasped it eagerly. "Vedi" is Ved Mehta's out-of-the-ordinary memory of childhood experiences - trying to find out, struggling to fit in, wanting to be loved, playing, dreaming - during the years that ordinarily make up childhood.

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