Where there is a will there is a way. And 14-year-old shuttler Bombay International Jehan Daboo is an apt example of this.

Jehan, who is in Class VIII, is a promising badminton player but suffers from a hearing disability. That however was no impediment yesterday as he fought tooth and nail before going down in the third round of the U-16 MSSA inter-school tournament being played at the North Indian Association courts in Matunga yesterday.

young talent: Bombay International's Jehan Daboo during the MSSA
badminton tournament yesterday. PIC/suresh kk

He lost to 8-21 to Krish Raheja of ML Jasudben. He has not lost hope and heart though, and promises to return a better player next year.

"I lost because I was a little nervous and was unable to read my opponent's deceptive strokes. But I will work hard and come back next year and perform better," Jehan told MiD DAY yesterday.

Badminton may not be Jehan's first-choice sport, but he's begun to enjoy it.

"I love playing team sports like cricket and football, but I cannot do so as I am not allowed to play any contact sport. But badminton gives me a sense of freedom," he said. 

That fact that both Jehan and his parents have never let his abnormality -- that has affected him since birth -- dictate terms, has helped.

"I do not consider myself abnormal and I'd like to be treated as any other kid my age," said Jehan.

Despite his condition, Jehan's  parents insisted on enrolling him in a regular school rather than a special one.

And Jehan's hearing disability has in no way hindered his attendance at school or training sessions or
interactions with friends.

"We have never treated Jehan as an abnormal child. And this gives him the courage to pick up normal habits from his peers. Also, his coach Hufrish Nariman doesn't give him any special concession. When he was five, we got the Cochlear implants done and since then he has improved tremendously. He has this amazing attitude to bounce back after a defeat," Jehan's mother Vahishtai said. Hopefully, he'll do exactly that here next year.