Q. How did you come around to write Gifted?
A. I met my co-author V R Ferose around two years ago, we were already acquainted and after talking to readers, I was convinced that I should write about successful ordinary people with a difference. Ferose has a son with autism and so this topic was close to his heart. We started speaking to people we know and then managed to get more than 50 special people who beat the odds. Sadly, only 15 could be featured in the book. I plan to write another book in the future and feature those who are not in this book.
Sudha Menon. Author of Gifted, Legacy and Leading Ladies
Q. What did you learn during the course of working on the book?
A. As a journalist, during my years with various publications in the country I always strove for perfection. Meeting these wonderful people, talking to them, writing their stories made me realise that life is not about perfection but about excellence. I complain less now, have accepted myself and am at peace having found a better way to live. Hans Dalal who is in my book, told me that he has been called by the Maharashtra Forest Department to aid them in finding a man-eating tiger; he is slowly becoming a renowned tiger tracker which is great to see.
Q. Why did you name the book Gifted?
A. Even today, disabled people in India are associated with only two stereotypical occupations — basket and candle making which is sad to see in the 21st century. Many public places are inaccessible to the disabled, as there are no ramps or provisions for them. When I met these inspirational people, I was struck with awe — they’ve beaten the odds and attained success. They are the truly gifted people of society. I began to look at ‘normal’ in a new light. I am hoping this book helps people see the courage and spirit of the differently-abled. We, as a society need to be more sensitive to them.
Book: Gifted: Inspiring stories of people with disabilities
Authors: Sudha Menon and V R Ferose
Published by: Random House
Price: Rs 299