A Whining Spirit

It was not a chance visit to the release of the biography of an international wheel chair athlete ‘A Different Spirit’. My cousin happens to have become a good friend of the author Anantha Krishnan, and had gifted me the second edition of ‘A Different Spirit’ on my 31st birthday. I went through the book very quickly and wished to meet this athlete with ‘A different Spirit’. My second thoughts brought me back from my dreams of wishing too much.

Whish a whish and the whish come true happened to me on 3rd Dec, 2009. A book reading session was organized by purveyors of fresh handmade cosmetics ‘Lush’. And I was invited by my cousin to attend the same. As a surprise for the ‘A different Spirit’, Anantha had also planned a release of the third edition of ‘A Different Spirit’ embedded within the book reading session.

ADS returned my greetings well and entered ‘Lush’ with the crowd cheerfully greeting her. I was awe-struck but I usually do not get hyper-excited. I waited patiently to hear from her for after all it was her day and a spirit that was shown to have immense courage in her biography kept my expectations raised.

Anantha read out the first chapter and the biography written in first person sounded like Malathi (so far refered to as ADS) speaking “…as I grew up, I realized that you need legs to run and wings to fly…”. And what do you think a grown up Malathi had to say when she was asked to speak. She with her undoubted faith told us “My disability is my gift from God…”

She might have said this several times. But put yourself in her place and check how boldly you would be able to speak so. Most of us who are better off physically carry a whining spirit. And lo look at this lady (especially I having read her biography) could just have no words to talk to someone who would say “My disability is my gift from God…”

I had the best opportunity to shake hands with her and push among the crowd and the media to get her autograph. But she had already given me something much more than that. Her words kept whining past my ears even as I was riding back home on my bike. Her words kept ringing so profoundly that I did not bother as to where I should direct myself. The 20 kilometers that I traveled to meet her turned to 30 for my return.

For me Malathi, ‘A different Spirit’ indeed became ‘A Whining Spirit’ and I hope it remain so until I feel I have achieved something of the sort that she has done for herself with her life.

Malathi Krishnamurthy Holla, who was once paralyzed in her entire body, has won over 300 medals and is an Arjuna, Ekalavya and Padma Shri Award winner. She shelters 16 children with various disabilities in the charitable trust she and her friends formed by the name ‘Mathru Foundation’. To know more about her visit www.adifferentspirit.com.