As a blind person I was always told to shut my mouth, as I was blind and it was not possible for a blind person to know anything or to even utter a syllable. Those were the days when I was small! So I went in to my shell of silence, I started enjoying the bliss of solitude. It was an indescribable bliss. A bliss which I found in myself, sometimes I would hear the sound of birds, crows, and also had an imaginary friend, to enable me to escape from my silence at the times when I really felt lonely, bug most times I was content hearing the sounds provided by nature, and finding beauty and happiness in them.
I then tried to walk on the grass and find my way in the silent gardens.
I started enjoying the sounds of silence, but also the sound of nature, the winds, the birds, the wind chimes ringing from people’s homes, especially in the hills of Darjeeling when I was twelve years old. Then I realized that I needed some sound in this dreary silence. So I started clicking my fingers and clapping my hands and also making clicking noises with my tongue. I was surprised when I could actually identify whether I was near an obstacle and whether I was facing danger such as a pit, a hole, and so on!
After growing up, I learned from some wise friends that this was called echolocation and was invented by a wise blind man in the US called Daniel Kish. So finally, I was convinced that my clicking was not just for fun. It was actually something that blind people did to identify their surroundings. I started doing this more and more, and gradually I began to identify obstacles by their height like cars, trees, plants etc.
It is a beautiful unique aspect of orientation and mobility, which I now take pleasure in imparting to my students. I often tell them what led me to this and it is indeed fascinating.