This post is a reminiscence of the travels that were part of this journey. Countless trips to Siddharth's house and he visiting mine, were just a part of the travel. But there are few travels that will remain deeply close to our hearts in this process and the warmth of the same. You can ask me? what so big deal to travel when you are involving so many people in your book. The answer is who are the people involved.
My visit to Mrs. Usha Ramakrishnan was quite an eye-opener. She gave me such a great insight into the emotional quotient of the people who are spastic and how we need to focus on the skills that they have instead of trying to make the other inoperative skills to enhance. She dived deep into how Siddharth was special and how important it was for the system as a whole to be made accessible, acceptable and communicable with the children of special needs.
Our interviews with Mr. Paul Abraham and Mr.Sandeep Sareen of IndusInd Bank were amazing. These two leaders focused on how the work places need to be empathizing with the needs and also need through equal challenges to professionals who need little bit of extra arrangements. What they need is not sympathy but a challenging work environment and equal opportunities to prove themselves.
The first outstation visit was to Bangalore which was an absolutely amazing experience. The kind of warmth shown by Siddharth's parents-in-laws despite of their financial struggles show that what you need is a big heart and not big pockets. The kind of comfort and warmth I felt probably I have not got it even at one of the finest hotels in the world. This was so pure, so humbling and so honest.
My first visit to Sri Acharya Rakum School of Blind and meeting Guruji was like a surreal experience. Everything is going on smooth and as if it has all been amply oiled to make the place run on its own. Children of various abilities, our 4 legged friends and fishes all lived in such a harmony that you will feel very ashamed to the fact that a people of 4 in a house cant live in such a harmony. Everyone does their share of contribution, here disability is just not heard., you can see the place with profound happiness and overwhelming charm that it hold the beauty of humanity at large. No wonder Chandrakala who was raised in this school has got such a inner beauty in her to manage as a wife in Sidd's life. To be there that day was a honest blessing to me. It is a lesson to stop regretting and living the life it gives us to be.
Our next visit was to Professor Nijaguna's house..Sidd's closest relatives. Here we saw how people can smile and welcome despite the deepest loss and suffering to the physical bodies. The kind of revelations that we had talking to such an expert adviser like Prof Nijaguna changed the very perspective of writing our book.
The next outstation visit was to Pondicherry. I have a special love for this place for the kind of peace that prevails when I visit Mother's Ashram. Sidd and I had a fantastic bonding during this travel.. We shared so much like friends of life. We spoke out of our hearts, exchanged warmth, fought for trivial things and argued on few, agreed to disagree on some aspects and also had good food and travel. The highlight of our Pondicherry visit is the opportunity to meet Lt Governor Smt. Kiran Bedi. Kiran Mam'm not only recognized Sidd but also gave us a warm welcome and discussed on our book. She was so happy and immediately accepted to be part of our book's back cover. She also gave us a good photo opportunity. For Sidd, it is not the first time with her. But to me it was a moment of pride and happiness for Kiran Mam'm is always a great role model to me.
Our errands for editing, to our Publisher Notion Press, our conversations with so many people, the exchange of emails, were all part and parcel of this book. I discovered Sidd so much that I really started having my highest regards for him. The journey of reaching out to million readers was thus began with our travels and talks.......Hope you love reading our book 'Simply Being Sidds'. Don't forget to drop a line or two of your review to us and also on amazon.com.
Thank you. Happy Reading