Nihal Bitla, a Bhivandi (near Mumbai) resident, suffers from Hutchinson Gilford Progeria, a rare, fatal genetic condition that accelerates aging. Nihal had Progeria at the age of one.
As children with Progeria get older, they get diseases normally seen in people age 50 and older, including bone loss and heart disease. It affects about 1 in every 4 million births worldwide. He told Humans of Bombay
that despite the disorder, his parents gave him a normal lifestyle. “Like any other child, I went to school every day, played with my classmates and did my homework,” he said.
However, there came a point when he felt terrible.
“When I was in the 4th standard and the movie Paa was released, my classmates began teasing me and calling me Auro — I felt terrible at that point, so I came home and told my parents.”
But, his dad asked him to chill and told him he was ‘special’.
“I don’t blame those who don’t understand me, they like me are children after all,” he said with a wisdom of an old man.
After that incident, he doesn’t go to school often but has taken up a lot of other activities and has made many friends. He said:
“I have a lot of friends – we play cricket together in the evening. I’m fascinated with Robots, so I keep researching on them and playing with the Robot toys I have– hopefully someday I’ll make one of my own too. I love to paint as well…so I paint all day and do things that make me happy.”
And what’s else? He wants to go to Disneyland and want to see the Honda Asimo Robot.
“I want to meet Aamir Khan and thank him for the movie Tare Zameen Par which gave me courage–but there’s not much progress on that one yet,” he added.
Speaking honestly, he said that he doesn’t know much about his disorder, but he has the rare power of being young and old at the same time.
“Life can go by quickly and that each day is more valuable than the next. I also believe that everything happens for a reason and I’m happy everyday. The way I look at it I’ve been given a finite time to do everything I love every single day without fear. “
He says that people should know that their time here is special and life is incredibly beautiful in every single way.
And, he has inspired many people with his wise words: