Daily Recco, January 4: The Black world of the sightless

On World Braille Day, watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black to know how Louis Braille was the beacon of light in the dark world of the visually impaired.

 |  2-minute read |   04-01-2021
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On this day, over two centuries ago, a man was born who despite losing his eyesight at the age of 3, had the vision to make life different for those without sight. So strong was his vision that the system of reading and writing he invented for the visually impaired remains virtually unchanged to this day. The system is known as braille, and is named after the inventor Louis Braille. On World Braille Day today, as the world observes the importance of independence for the visually impaired, we remember another visually impaired academic and activist — Helen Keller.

Today’s film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black (2005), is inspired by her life and was recognised at the fifth spot in the 10 best movies of the year 2005 from around the globe.

Black is the story of a middle-aged woman, Michelle McNally (Rani Mukerji), and her teacher Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan), narrated as a flashback from her childhood. She loses her sight and her hearing at the age of two. As a deaf-blind child, her world is all black. And her teacher is the beacon of light in this black universe.

While for the rest of us the alphabets begin with ‘A, B, C, D...’ in Michelle’s world, it is ‘B L A C K’. Her connection to the outside world has two arms — Debraj and Braille. While her teacher teaches her words, their meanings and interpretations, she communicates with the world by writing letters on her Braille typewriter. It all starts with her braving the challenge of studying at the university when she gives her examinations by typing the answers to the questions on her Braille typewriter. It takes her 12 years to graduate, as she’s too slow when typing answers to exam questions, but her never-give-up spirit ensures that she does.

On the day when the man with the vision — who gave the sightless their first stroke of independence — was born, watch Black on Amazon Prime Videos. The movie sure will give you the inspiration you need to get through this week.

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Writer

Rajeshwari Ganesan Rajeshwari Ganesan @rajeshwaridotg

Assistant Editor, DailyO

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