Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Like a lot of you, i have spent a fairly 'normal life' ie., growing up, a decent education, lot of friends, kick starting a career and being successful at it - the usual humdrum. The occasional good looking client, night out with friends, office politics, email battle with colleagues, long coffees with girl friends, a great husband, a loving family - all in all a fantastic life!

I had it all going for a 32 year old!

Then a day comes.. with a switch of a button - change.

I came back from a holiday from Cambodia(yes, that was a tick on my bucket list), completed a stressful and decently successful client visit(for those in the BPO/ITES field, you know what this means) , knew that i was pregnant, knew that i would get promoted - all poised to only BIGGER things in life, well i had no idea how BIG a card life dealt me.

It started out with a fever, and then to multi organ failure, to a coma, to a tango with death(not going into details, as this is stuff i could make a movie on and earn copyrights!) and finally surviving it with a two year stint recovering, however losing all my limbs in the battle(if you are shocked, that was exactly what i was aiming for). I was affected by a rare bacteria Ricketssial with morts(a doctor told me that the only time he heard of this bacteria is in his exam paper!! trust me to find a bacteria so rare) which usually results in death, and along with my pregnancy related complications, it resulted in thrombosis(clotting of blood vessels)of extremities.

The two year stint involved meeting all kind of doctors, trying every medicine, prayers and offerings to all gods in the world, until we accepted amputation was the only way forward with life.

These years though difficult and painful(mentally and physically), opened my eyes to a very different world. I was upset, hurt, angry at everyone who could walk or even itch and the constant battle of WHY ME! In time, and with wonderful constant support of friends(I love you guys!) and my family i have now reached a state of liking who i am(with or without limbs).

However while i dealt with my inner demons, the world just stared at me for being disabled! A world at times, that would not make eye contact as they look away as you catch them staring, a world that feels they have the right to know what happened and follow it up by how sad or upset they are or how god could be so unkind...your so young(like if i were older that would be ok?!!) - a world that constantly make you feel different, though i feel i am the same, limbless but my soul, my intelligence, sense of humour, my idiosyncrasies - all me!

I walked into a lift recently, with a child and her father. The girl looked at me, and bless her, children have the best reactions, pointed out at me and said "Papa, see her hand". I smiled. The father, pulled the daughter away and had his hand practically over her mouth and trying so hard to distract her, and trying so hard to ignore the situation.

While i understood his predicament - it got me thinking.

We need a world where our children are taught thats its ok to be different. All the parent needed to do, was tell the child, yes she is different, would you like to say hello. The child then begins to accept people who are differently abled physically or mentally are just 'different' - human and real - no less!

44 comments:

  1. Lovely start Shalini. .. like the way this is written. I am your fan now..expecting more blogs ☺

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  2. I am touched, by both the incident and the courage and willpower within you that truly makes you a survivor. Really proud to know you Shalini... even though just as an acquaintance. Very nicely written. I look forward to reading more.

    Madhumitha

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  4. Wow,Wow,Wow!!!

    While you have fought your own demons, Your ever warm smile, your sparking eyes have always given me strength everytime I see you and the very thought of you lifts my spirits and makes me want to take a few more steps ahead. (ok, You don't need to know every detail, other than what You already know of me, ��).

    Sometimes I would think why did I not know you this better years ago and come to think of it, I am happier that did'nt happen and I know this "New, Improved, better, Wittier, much stronger and Beautiful Shalini!!! From where I stand, I can only see that you have more of everything now...More friends (I mean FRIENDS), more love, I mean really loads of it, more of enthusiam,Energy, optimism, and courage-oodles of Courage!!!

    I am not going to resort to niceties (Don't think suits you or me anyways right?!!) and just say "Cheers and let the fun continue!!!"... Loads of Love...

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  6. Amazing! Even though I have never met you formally, I have always been awed by your willpower. Great writing! Proud of you Shalini! :)

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  7. Excellent Shalini. Very inspiring. Looking forward to reading more and learning more from you. Keep inspiring. God Bless.

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  8. You are a survivor Shals and I've always believed that you have a bigger purpose in life. Keep writing. Cheers

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  9. Shalini... that is a brilliant piece of writing! And to use your words... it is definitely all you! true inspiration!! God bless!!

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  10. Fantastic take, Shalini. Your struggle is both, a grave reminder of the uncertainty of life as well as a lesson in dealing with change. It's been said before but cannot be said enough, so keep writing...perhaps not for us/the rest of the world, but simply because you can.

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  11. Shalini so good to see you being you again....very well written, truly an inspirational piece.

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  12. Truely ur such a inspiration, the struggle, the courage & will power within u is so unbelievable...may u achieve all ur goals & fulfill all ur dreams..

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  13. Shals, this is for u... I have had this desire my whole life to prove people wrong, to show them i could do things they didn't think i could do. The world will soon know u for ur abilities and not disabilities.

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  14. You have an admirable spirit, Shalu!! Keep writing. And come to Write Club, Bangalore.

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  15. You have always been inspiring - now and back then! I wish you all the best.

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  16. good one shals....admire ur strength and attitude,would love to hear more...cheers

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  17. You truly a very special & inspiring lady, back then and even more now... stay blessed

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  18. Whether you're physically able or not,the person and the soul you're hasn't changed and will not change.You are the strongest willed person I know and way to go Shals...you've been an inspiration then and now...nothing seems to have changed :-)

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  19. So happy to see you inspiring others! Hats off boss! You're not just different, you're a super power...

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  20. This is a great blog and a fantastic start to many more impactful messages from you. I am proud that I've known you as a friend and colleague. Have always been inspired by your amazing leadership qualities. Keep at it Shals, you always have and will always inspire people...

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  21. Only you can say the way you said above Shals. Ones got to live with whatever they have and set an example for others. Wishing many more blog post from you... You Rock...

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  22. It must be real hard for someone who cheered many with ease... But I salute the resilience in you Shalini... Always have, always will...

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  23. Great come back Shalini!. I am sure, now you have forgotten the words like 'Taugh, challenge, difficult...' etc.etc.. You will achieve and reach the place that you have aimed at! You have no control over what others think..so, never worry about it. Keep up the positive attitude and move forward. All the best to you!

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  24. U r just Amazing Shalini. U r a great inspiration. Wish u the best in life

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  25. Hi Shalini, I learned about your story from my sis in law, Binu your school mate. In fact, your blog was shared to me by her. To spring back from a downward spiral like yours, one needs to have a lot of grit and trucks of love from one's loved ones. Be cheerful. Something I'd like to add to your conclusion is that we need to understand that the parents are just grown up children of the same system.And very few acquires social intelligence through observations and experiences. I'd say the lack of caring education system is making those parents remain as children. Smiling Regards

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  26. Hi Shalini, you have no idea how you have inspired me for Life! I'm PC's friend and when I heard about this from him, I almost instantly fell in love with you spirit! I can't even imagine what a situation like this can do to someone, but you're a true fighter. I know it must not have been easy but just the fact that you are where you are talks volumes of your courage and will. I feel blessed to have known of you - cause my life has really changed after knowing of you. You and PC have been in my prayers ever since and will continue to be forever... I pray that you both be blessed with love and happiness to last a lifetime and beyond! God Bless.

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  27. Shalini, you make people a little more grateful and a little less despairing.
    Thats the gift you carry within you.
    The acceptance of a person who is different, starts when the society and those around us realise that the common denominator of all is the fact that we are all humans. That awareness must stem within individuals, before it traverses to families and society at large.
    I am grateful to Life for having heard about you. Great going girl!! Keep fighting the good fight!! Cheers. :)

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  28. very inspiring and attitude very humbling... keep up the spirit.... you have a bigger purpose..!!

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  29. Shalini...hats off to you for emerging out of ur circumstance knowing who u r and that u can have so much impact despite all limitations. Pray u will continuously be strengthened and be a hero.

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  30. Brought tears in my eyes Shalini. And indeed a post that people can learn a lot from... Hats off to you and your willpower... God bless you my dear!

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  31. You are the best.... you have been an inspiration for me. ... you will always be my hero

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  32. Great to see you come back so positive.... A salute to you and your family/friends who have been with you in your tough time. Very inspiring messages and shall share with all my team members.... Regards bharat

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  33. Your a fighter gal!!!...v inspiring!!!

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  34. You are a fighter! Love you always...

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  35. Shalini, I always knew you were a tough cookie. What you have achieved just takes my breath away. Hats off to you. Whenever I need a pep talk for myself, will just come back to read this page. You will inspire millions. You are making a difference. Hats off to you and PC, both

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  36. Well said shalini...never had a moments doubt that you wud come out of your tough time wid that big smile intact...kudos to you and your wonderfully strong spirit....you've always been in my thots n prayers all along....lotsA love!

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  37. Amazing Spirit Shalz. Loads of love

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  38. I have friends who are differently abled. They inspire me. Your story is the most inspiring. I want to meet you and write about you. I am a writer. Please sms your phone number or email address:
    Nemichandra
    nemichandra@yahoo.com
    9900103598

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  39. Hi Shalini, Learned about you from a Whatsaap message shared by my NGO, 'The Association of People with Disability' (APD). APD is one of the oldest and largest NGO's in India. It was started by Ms. N.S. Hema. She became a victim of Polio as a young girl and lost both her legs and left hand, leaving her right hand mangled. She started APD in 1959. It is currently helping about 30,000 poor and disabled from the slums and rural areas of Karnataka and Andhra. In 68 years APD has rehabilitated lacs of poor and disabled. We'd love to have you come and give a talk to our trainees in Lingarajapura, Bangalore. I'm sure they will be inspired by your struggle and triumph; nothing like listening to a motivating person like you in flesh and blood. They will be able to relate to you. You'll do a great service even if just a few get fired up with inspiration from you. More will be inspired by them in a continued chain effect, one candle lighting another. My mob. 9980797735. My email id is vinodjsingh@gmail.com. I'm a 76 years old retired man working with APD. I closed my business in NY and came down to give back to my country in 2007. Please contact me. Regards, Vinod Kumar

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  40. Hi Shalini: Here is the link to the website www.apd-india.org.
    Regards,

    Vinod

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  41. Sometimes I feel, I have real problems in life and its simply difficult to cope up with but after knowing you, realised that indeed your problems are just in your thoughts and not real, you just need to be smart enough to conquer those.

    I truely can't relate to your sufferings in the past but can inspire myself and others by telling a story of this real tigress.

    #Brave_Heart<3

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