Indian boy Ashfin Faisal couldn’t hide his emotion after hearing the death of the world’s leading theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking who passed away on Wednesday.
“He was my inspiration,” Ashfin told his father Faisal Muneer.
Like Hawking, Ashfin – who is turning 10 on May 1, has a genetic disorder that has left almost 75 per cent of his body paralysed. Ashfin also did not see Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) – a motor neuron disease, as a disability but a condition that has made him more determined in life.
“Ashfin has accepted his disability – I actually call him as Stephen Hawking in the making. He is very determined and he hopes to become a diagnostic doctor in the future, so he can help and inspire other people,” Faisal told Khaleej Times.
“My son is a fast learner and he likes to read stories about Hawking. His teachers (Ashfin is a Grade 3 student Woodlem Park School, Ajman) tell me that my son is always ahead of his class in all subjects,” Faisal added.
“I can find my son quite similar to Hawking who was ahead of his time in giving us theories of our universe. But more than the intellect, it’s the gracious attitude in life that I’m most proud of my son. He has this contagious smile that will always remind you to never give up and face the challenges with open heart and dignified attitude,” he underlined.
Another person with a strong spirit is artist and motivational speaker Sharan Anil Budhrani, 27. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was just nine years old.
“We didn’t know what muscular dystrophy was when the doctor told us about it. My mother cried. I didn’t know what to say to her and I didn’t know what was happening. I was just nine years old back then,” he told Khaleej Times.
“Moving fast forward, I became an artist. I did not dwell in misery but focused my energy in the arts. Stephen Hawking’s condition was worse than me – he was not able to move most part of his body. But I still have my hands which I use to paint a lot of beautiful things,” added Sharan, who is an artist at Mawaheb from Beautiful People, a Dubai-based art studio for determined adult ones.
“I am also a motivational speaker, and whenever I give speeches I would always say: ‘Be grateful for whatever you have; accept everyone for whoever they are; be compassionate and kind towards others; always remember that whatever you do comes back no matter what; and more importantly, follow your passion,” he added.
“I have participated in several art exhibitions and received recognitions. My next goal is to publish an autobiographical book some day,” Sharan concluded.