Monday Truclusions – Learning The Right Approach To Live From Real Life Heroes

Monday Truclusions - Ashwin Karthik Caricature

Hello everyone, here I am back from a slumber of three weeks. My greatest of apologies to all of you; it is because of my health issues that I haven’t been able to bring to you the weekly dose of Monday Truclusions. But today I shall try to compensate for all the missed weeks with some stories that are very close to my heart.

Also I shall introduce you to an awe-inspiring personality, who blew my mind away. The story I just mentioned was narrated by a man who is a hero of millions; a man who showed an emerging new India that we could be world winners; a man who led 14 men who considered themselves underdogs and converted them into the 1983 cricket world champions.

Yes I am talking about one of the best all-rounders the world of cricket has seen. The one and the only, the legendary Kapil Dev.

Strengthening Your Ability With Clarity

It is natural for sports people to be superstitious and Kapil was no different, until an incident changed his mind forever. It was in one of those matches, post the world cup victories, that the captain was on strike and a steep bouncer was bowled to him. Kapil attempted a pull shot and clearly missed it. In the process, the chain that decorated his neck with a locket of lord Shiva, in whom the man believed greatly, got tangled in the bat and made some noise.

It led to huge appeal for a caught behind; fortunately the umpire ruled in the batsman’s favour. That was the moment of self-realization for the skipper. That very evening Kapil reminded himself that even god helps them who help themselves. He told himself that he could do well for India only when he has belief in his own ability and not in idols and lockets.

Since then he began playing cricket without wearing all those things that he considered lucky and sacred. He goes on to quote examples of great Olympic swimmers who shave their head and body hair to eliminate the resistance the body would experience while swimming against water. Then why should one load one’s body with unnecessary weight and complicate one’s body movement!

The crux of the above story is that if one develops their ability to the fullest and conducts life with total clarity, nothing is impossible!

Facing Challenges Chin Up!

Now why did I narrate this incident to all of you? The reason behind the narration was to set the context to introduce to you someone whom I call a youth icon!

The most challenging thing in a differently abled person’s life is to come to peace with oneself, to accept the situation and get the best out of them. This is much more difficult when a normal bodied person’s life changes overnight and turns dependent. To come to terms with one’s new body conditions and still live holding your chin up in-spite of the mental trauma you go through is not a mean feat.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my proud privilege to introduce to you Shalini Saraswathi. When she completed the TCS 10k marathon held in Bangalore last year, all eyes were on this feisty young quadruple female amputee, who breezed through the run, who still admitted that she could have done better.

Bringing Life Into The Right Perspective

Shalini wasn’t a quadruple amputee till 2013. It was just after she had returned from a family vacation to Cambodia, that she fell ill. At first she was diagnosed with dengue; it was only later known that she had fallen prey to Rickettsial with morts. A very rare bacterial infection, which became the cause of her current physical condition.

She was pregnant when she was diagnosed with the infection. She was confined to the ICU and the doctors gave her only 5% chance of survival. The gritty lady survived but lost her unborn baby. As Shalini battled her condition further, gangrene attacked her left arm. She writes in her blog- “Before my mind and heart could accept the rot in my flesh, my nose could smell it.”

The docs cut her body without anesthesia thinking they were removing dead cells. But when she would cry in pain the doctors would realise they were attacking the living cells!

Finally her left arm was amputated in 2013, and a few months later her right arm dropped off on its own. But that wasn’t the end of her ordeal; the gangrene attacked her legs next. She says in her blog, “On the day my legs were to be amputated I applied nail colour to them as I believed if my legs had to go, they had to go in style!”

Shalini is an epitome of optimism and positivity. Currently the general manager of a BPO organization, she believes money, cars, bungalows, neither the condition of your body matters if one wants to be happy. What matters is the state of mind you are in. Hence live in the present moment, neither in the past nor in the future. She has her own definition of beauty, and she doesn’t believe in the phrase- ‘Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’. According to her one is beautiful the way one is. What is important is what you believe in!

Food for thought, if you don’t love yourself how can you spread love to others? If you aren’t happy from within how can you give joy to others?


Liked reading this? Then you might also like to read Monday Truclusions – The Need to Revoke Our Lost Patriotism In Creative Ways


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Ashwin Karthik is the first quadriplegic cerebral palsy student to bag an engineering degree in India. In spite of having his share of misfortune that affected all his limbs since birth, Ashwin is blessed with a positive attitude and an undying spirit in life. He is a very talented poet and loves tackling impossible challenges. Ashwin has 3 role models in life- his mother, Sachin Tendulkar, and Stephen Hawkings. Currently, he works in ANZ as a Business Analyst, strives to bring awareness for an inclusive society, and wants to achieve at least a fraction of what Sachin has done for the spirit of his countrymen!