Today’s conversation series with yet another inspiring and interesting person. We have Thameem Ansari here with us. He is 36 years old now but has lost his arm while he was 17 and its about his inspiring journey.
Lots to learn.
Thanks, Thameem for being here today.
Ashwin: Thameem, Can you share us your story? Tell us what happened and how?
Thameem: Hello Everyone. I am Thameem Ansari. I lost my right arm in a small accident back in 2003.
But that did not stop me from moving forward. I have been doing small time jobs and businesses until 2019. Due to Corona, when the public transportation facility stopped all of a sudden, and that is when I thought of buying a cycle.
Since then, I have changed 4 bicycles and now I ride a focus bicycle which gives me the mobility. I ride a lot now.
Ashwin: Thameem tell me about your native place?
Thameem: I come from Thoothukudi district, Thiruchendur Taluk Vadakathur town.
Ashwin: How did this accident happen?
Thameem: Back in the 80’s there were no hard labour laws to prevent child labour.
Half of the day I was at school and the rest of the day I used to work. I was working for a minimum wage of Rs. 2.50
I started my career at Milliga Cycle Store and then moved on to Sathya Jeeva Industries. I worked for almost 10 years and was one of the most trusted employees there.
Ashwin: Why did you go for work after school? What was the situation?
Thameem: My family situation forced me to work. Additionally, we did not know the importance of education at that period.
Ashwin: You did not know the value of education and was forced to work due to family circumstances.
Thameem. Yes. Correct
Ashwin: You said your hand got stuck inside a machine. Can you explain. As a doctor, I want to know more details about the incident.
Thameem: There is a big polishing drum in our work place. The chances of getting hurt by the machine are quite low. But it was due to my negligence. My job was to feed 10-20Kg steel spring wire to the machine. While feeding the machine, my hand got stuck inside the gear box as the coil was in full tension.
Ashwin: I understand. As a doctor, we have seen many such cases and the purpose of this conversation is to help similar people like you to get inspired by watching this video.
Your life should be a motivating factor. Many get depressed even for smaller incidents.
Thameem: This was a new beginning for me. Before the accident, all I knew was my home and my company. But now, know more and if all goes well, the whole of India will know me.
Ashwin: I like that confidence.
How did you feel when you knew you lost your arm? Born without an arm is different than losing an arm in an accident. How did you overcome the situation?
Thameem: I just had the feeling for one night. Just one night.
Ashwin: How did you overcome such a big incident?
Thameem: I was living with my grandparent and nephews and that gave me the courage to overcome such a tragedy.
Ashwin: One has to face all the obstacles in life. It is quite surprising to me, because people in the current era get depressed easily even for small things like hair fall, dark skin and so on. They live with complexes and feel inferior.
So, you had worried for just one night. How did you take on life from the next day?
Thameem: It took about 3 to 4 years for me to resume life normally. I had to undergo treatments and 2008 was when I started working again. I started working at ING Vysa. That is when I applied for a PAN Card. A few of my friends requested my help to deliver these PAN cards and I happily did it. But then my manager Ms. Vasantha insisted to charge for the service. I started charging Rs.150 for the delivery of PAN Cards. I got many orders for delivery and I started doing the service as a company. Created a company with bank accounts etc and starting doing PAN agency services under the undertaking of UTI.
Ashwin: This is beautiful. People get worried and depressed for small things in life, but you took this as a new beginning and started your life. How is your life now?
Thameem: I’m doing good. I wake up 4:30 in the morning and go for cycling. I do about 40 kms a day and I come back for a small rest. Then I start my day.
Ashwin: Are you happy now?
Thameem: yes. I am. I am healthy and fit now.
I saw a doctor’s video back then and got a chance to meet him. He insisted me to have my COVID vaccines injections.
Ashwin: Oh, you are talking about me?
People always follow persons who have succeed in life in terms of wealth, power and authority. But the true heroes are people who live their life every day. Those who cross their day to day struggles and still live their life happily are the real heroes and I strongly believe in that. But due to circumstances they are not known to the world.
Even in my last video we had a person called Poorna Chandran who had a spinal cord injury and lost mobility. He had so much positivity and courage and such people are real life heroes. I was astonished.
That is how I see you too.
But what makes you go through the day-to-day struggles. How do you start your day?
Thameem: Every day night, I plan for the next day. Since I am running a PAN agency, I sort out the dispatch batch and confirm the first appointment. I want to complete the first appointment without any hurdles. I set my alarm everyday but I never ever have snoozed it once.
The day when you snooze and go back to sleep is when your failure starts. Let’s not start failing early in the morning.
Ashwin: You do cycle now. How does that help you out?
Thameem: When I rise in the morning, I complete my nature calls and worship. Our style of worship has physical activities involved. After which I go for a small walk and jogging.
Then I start cycling. The main reason for my cycling habit is DGP Shylendra Babu sir. I got inspired by watching his videos and that is how I started my cycling journey.
Ashwin: Very nice. You consider cycling as a sport. What is that you are trying to achieve?
Thameem: I want to participate in the Paralympics event and represent Tamilnadu on behalf of India. I have been practicing for the same.
Ashwin: I know that you come from a struggling background and now that you have explored boundaries. But there are people who are still suffering, who are fearing their lives. What is your advice for them?
Thameem: Struggles are there for everyone. It all begin with a small pen. But now I have a computer, laptop all bought from my own money. If you can buy a pen for Rs. 2 and sell it for Rs. 5, then do it.
Asking to support you in terms of your goal is different from asking to support you for a job.
Ashwin: But people are not satisfied with what they have. It seems funny, but I have to say this. They always are behind material things and compete to buy the next better things available. Yet they are not satisfied.
But we all have that is needed to succeed in life. Yet they complain.
I you do not want problems; you will be satisfied. If you want more, then comes the problem along.
I have been seeing a lot of people, and most get lost when they are hit by a disease like cancer or heart attack. But that is not the end of life. Your life is an example for them.
I used to get down at Koyambedu bust terminal and the conductor calls out everyone to get down since it’s the last stop. But I used to say, this is where life begins.
Ashwin: Do you have friends?
Thameem: Yes. I have. If I call them, they speak.
Ashwin: Do you think friendship is important?
Thameem: yes. It is. But every one is busy minding their lives.
Ashwin: Thameem, you said you lost your father in 2014. Did this affect your life?
Thameem: yes. When he was there, I did not think about my family. But when he passed away, I came out of the handicapped association and started taking care of my family.
Ashwin: People are running behind jobs and busy with their lives. They fail to appreciate the love and care parents have to offer and they realize it only after their demise. This is on the rise and I can clearly see that.
What is that you have to say for such people?
Thameem: Let them do any sort of evil things to you. But you can be good to them at all times. You can help your brothers and sisters or their kids. Ego is the only thing preventing. If you let go of ego, you can be free.
Ashwin: You said you did not want people to pity on you? What is that about?
Thameem: While I travel by bus, I had issues finding seats. If it is crowded, then its ok. I always try to find a seat because It is hard for me to keep my balance. Even the government has allotted seats for handicapped, but normal people do not want to share them with us.
I would like to mention two of my close relatives here. Rasik and Siddique who has been helping me out since I had this accident. Whether it is food or any other sort of help, they have been doing it for all this time.
Ashwin: Relatives are there to help. Without expectations, there are family members and relatives who can lend support and help us in circumstances.
Thameem: There are two types of relatives. Those who are rich from the start would keep themselves distant. Those who are poor are the one who lend their support.
Ashwin: People who struggle and suffer have big hearts. That’s a good take.
One should not forget people when you attain wealth. That’s the point right. Treat them well and equally.
Thameem: I have seen a lot of video of yours. You are very open and what you do for people is great. Why do you do it and how it started?
Ashwin: Generally, I live to give to people. I share love, compassion and this is has been a habit right from the start. At a certain age, you get matured. We all run behind money and our jobs and I am not denying it. But how long will you run? We live with fellow human beings and other living things. Only giving can create a harmony.
I find people get suppressed and rejected. Good people fail to get recognition. I wanted to prove to other people that you can be good as well as succeed in life.
My father was a too good person but he could not handle this world. My mother was also the same, but they both could not handle it. People who are good are the first ones to get hit. I wanted to change that. That’s why I started giving.
After all we are going to live for another 40 or 50 years and let’s do the good things and help others too.
Thameem: Thank you so much sir.
I accidently saw your video and instantly liked it. I never thought of meeting you in person. Even till this morning I had the doubt if I am going to meeting you.
Ashwin: Why was it so?
Thameem: I never thought I will meet you. That too in this short period. I couldn’t believe myself.
Ashwin: Thanks Thameem:
I always say this and I strongly believe in it too. If something happens in life, it does not happen by accident. There is no such thing called as coincidence. Our thoughts have the power to perceive and attract things that we think about.
The more we think and want to do something, the quicker it happens. I guess you wanted to see me and that’s why it happened.
I wanted to bring real life heroes like you to this conversation series. And that is why I came to meet you.
Thameem: To me, I don’t like watching movies. Instead, I would spend that money for my kids. But I love to hear melody songs. To me, I am the hero.
How old are you now?
Thameem: I am 36 now.
Ashwin: You wanted to say something about video games. What is about?
Today, people especially kids are addicted to mobile phones. Kids teach us the things that we don’t know. But after watching me cycle, the kids want to follow the same.
Ashwin: Due to the lack of physical activities, kids are fixed to mobile devices.
Thameem: A lot of students nowadays go for bike race and it is quite risky. I wanted to pass a message to all those youngsters out there. With just one arm, I could cycle up to 200 kms a day. If the youngsters utilize and train their body, they can achieve a lot more. During my school time, there were a lot of sports , but I doubt if there are such things any more.
You can achieve a lot in sports. Youngsters are all fixed with mobile phones. They are addicted to games like PUBG and Free fire
Ashwin: Video games are good as long as they are addicted to it especially kids. Kids have to play and get along with other kids.
I think people will be inspired from your speech today.
Thameem: I want them to. I want at least one youngster to come out in involve physical activity.
Ashwin: Especially after the corona period, people don’t come out much.
Thameem: People ask me how I travel 200 kms on Cycle. I used to tell them to follow me. I ask them to travel along with me. I clock around 800 kms every month.
Ashwin: I think people will look at you and change.
People seem to be fit and fine, but mentally they have issues. I used to pity them before, and help them out. But nowadays, I don’t take it that way.
Thameem: A lot of people out there have a fit body but they do not work. They quarrel with their parents asking for money. Till date, I have not asked anyone a single penny. I needed support to buy cycle and people like Kandasami, Karthikeyan (RPF) and Ms. Vijalakshmi.
Yesterday someone whom I did not know helped me with Rs.5000 to buy a cycle.
Ashwin: This is a lesson for everyone.
Thameem: If I can do it, you can do it too.
Ashwin: This is a lesson for all those who complain.
You said, you have a feeling when you cycle. What is it about?
Thameem: I feel like I am flying with the birds. It’s a great feeling.
Ashwin: So It gives you the feeling of flying.
Thanks Thameem. I hope this conversation helps someone, somewhere and gives them the spark to change their life.
Thanks Thameem. If you would like to change your life and if this conversation helps you with that, please take this forward.
Make your life beautiful.
Thameem: Do what you can do and don’t expect from others. You can succeed.
Ashwin: If you think this might help someone, please share.