Arpita Roy has come a long way since a 2006 crash in which she lost both her legs. She is now a Yoga teacher who even tried a headstand for her social media fans.
Arpita Roy vividly recalls the evening of April 22, 2006. She was sitting behind a friend on a bike, mentally forming a list of stuff she wanted to buy in Kolkata. The city of joy was a 30-kilometer trip from her home in Barrackpore, and her life was permanently changed in an instant.
The bike crashed with a lorry, causing her to fall to the ground as the massive vehicle ran over both of her legs, leaving her a 20-year-old double amputee. The next thing she knew, she was hearing screams and saw a countless people looming over her head.
Arpita Roy was completely conscious but couldn’t pinpoint the source of her excruciating worrisome agony until someone pointed to her blood-soaked thighs. She struggled to walk as she battled off dismal thoughts. Fortunately, a hospital was located on the opposite side of the road from where the accident occurred.
Arpita Roy received pain killers but was advised to be transferred to a better hospital in Kolkata due to her precarious status. When she arrived, the physicians recommended surgery to preserve her legs, but it was postponed for 12 days due to the family’s financial difficulties.
A sad event like this would have shattered everybody’s spirit, but the lighthearted schoolgirl had inner strength and the objective of being financially independent so that she could not burden her family.
15 years ago, Arpita was able to stand up and walk with her mechanical limbs, as well as to conduct yoga like a professional.
Arpita Roy banked all her hopes on robotic limbs as she might walk again. But the way back was harder than the crash and the amputation, she says.
While performing the operation, the surgical team had to perform grafting, which involved removing flesh and skin from one of her limbs to cover the damaged region. Because of this treatment, the physicians advised her to stand for an hour every day to ensure her posture was correct.
A strong-willed individual Arpita overcame the agony and began walking a few months later. She started working in a call centre in July 2007. She worked there for 2.5 years before getting married. Her first few days at work were difficult. It was daunting to be surrounded by so many people after being at home for over a year. She would even cry on some days, but she could always count on her brother’s unflinching support.
If her physical agony was being exacerbated by the phantom pain, her mental trauma was not far behind. Arpita’s life was marked by stares, sympathies, and stigma. It was the last thing she wanted to be treated differently.
So, instead of being embarrassed when people mistaken her mechanical limbs for polio or injuries, Arpita told her storey.
During this time, physical activities came to her aid, allowing her to discover her true purpose in yoga. She began a fitness regimen to ensure that she was always the appropriate weight to fit into the mechanical limbs. Her voyage was made easier because she was in good shape.
She began to practice yoga in 2015, which demands flexibility, good knees, and, most importantly, legs.
Another liberating decision she made to overcome her worries was to make her social media debut without editing her photograph or hiding her limbs beneath a lengthy skirt. The great feedback she received on her posts encouraged and challenged her to do better. She even attempted a headstand for her audience.
Arpita Roy feels she has made a significant achievement, including becoming a Yoga teacher, since the crash. Her life motto of counting her blessings rather than worrying about losing her legs has taken her this far.