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But Why?!!

  But Why?! Rekha and Ravi counted every passing minute as they waited for the clock to chime ten. The passage of time took on a different dimension when waiting for an appointment in a developmental paediatrician’s clinic , waiting to be told what could possibly be wrong with the apple of your eye, who was all of two and half years old . Nidhi, the said apple of the eye, stood near the window, rocking , and completely oblivious to what was happening around her . ‘You can go in now’, said the lady who manned the front desk . Rekha and Ravi walked into Dr Shreya’s office with Nidhi in tow. ‘Good morning and please sit down’, said Dr Shreya, even as she observed Nidhi do a quick recce of her room before choosing to go and stand by the window , ‘Nidhi’s EEG and psychological assessment reports have come.’ Rekha and Ravi took a deep breath, bracing themselves for the worst . ‘Nidhi is on the Autism spectrum’, said Dr Shreya Rekha’s world came crashing down when she heard the A word . Her w

Stealthily Yours

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  It was a warm and still summer night ; the kind of night when leaves on the trees attain a state of inertia that surpasses the stillness of the night , the cicadas are too tired to sing and the owls and bats decide to go on an extended vacation . Bangalore city, once famous for its salubrious weather , was experiencing the identity crisis of the century , prompting its beloved citizens to seek a sleepy and restful succour   Nirmala ,the picture perfect epitome of stealth , headed towards her destination, which was shrouded in a thick blanket of darkness, like a cat on a secret mission ,when the eponymous presence called the human conscience , decided to make its presence felt . ‘What are you doing ?’!’, exclaimed her conscience in sheer exasperation . ‘Nothing that entails such a dramatic response’, said Nirmala nonchalantly . ‘What do you mean by dramatic response !’, yelled her conscience , ‘what you are planning to do is wrong on so many levels’ ‘C’ mon, you are making a minor thi

The Package That Was

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Ding dong rang the doorbell and I looked towards the main door , startled . I was alone at home and was not expecting anyone . I was not expecting any delivery either , for I had ordered absolutely nothing from Amazon . So , who could it be , I wondered as I quickly logged into my phone to check for visitors notifications from the apartment main gate . Sure enough , there were no notifications . A feeling of intense panic began to grip me and my hands turned clammy even as I heard the doorbell ring again . I took a few deep breaths and went towards the main door . I opened the door ever so slightly and peeped out . Strangely , there was no one , but I saw a big box sitting right in front of the doorstep . I opened the door and noticed that the package was addressed to me . Shocked , I looked around , but there was nobody in the corridor . I looked at the package , my eyes reflecting the turmoil that was going on in my mind . There was nothing unusual about it . It looked like the typic

Look Beyond the Label

  I am an author -an award winning author of fiction and this is the identity that I own with pride . Incidentally, the process of getting here involved quashing a few widely held myths about non-speaking autism and this is something that I have learned to take in my stride . It is also something that made me think about the ways in which I could use my voice to help parents , educators and the community at large   to understand non-speaking autism and the need for an alternative mode of communication better . I have had the opportunity to interact with middle schoolers   and their educators of a reputed school in my city that is affiliated to the IBO, a government school in my city where the students are children of daily wage workers , the educators of government schools from a neighbouring state and the educators, parents and community at large of a school for autistics in a Tier 2 town in my state , among others , in my capacity as a writer of fiction, who is also a non-speaking  

The Rendezvous

Chintamani leapt about her room in gay abandon , a spring in her step and joy in her heart . That pretty much summed up her state of mind on days that she would get to meet her best pals Nagaveni and Ratnaprabha. The three of them had been inseparable pals from the time they were wee one year olds. Everybody who knew them also knew that they were as different as chalk, cheese and cherries! Chintamani was a drama queen . Loud and flamboyant were adjectives that were often used to describe her . They say good things come in small packages and Chintamani believed that she was the best gift that the creator had endowed upon humanity . As for her parents, well, they couldn't agree more! That probably explained why she possessed the best clothes , accessories and toys, among the three of them . But Chintamani was not a snob! It did not matter to her that some people perceived Ratnaprabha as the ugly one . Maybe that is why Ratnaprabha’s mom took her to the spa ever so often .Alas, nature

A Day At The Movies

  Big days meant making big decisions, or so believed Akanksha and it was precisely one such day . A day when Akanksha and Tanay were going to watch a movie at a theatre all by themselves for the first time ever! What is the big deal about a couple of twenty one year olds going to watch a movie all on their own, you may wonder . Well , it is a big deal when the twenty one year olds in question are non speaking autistics who type to communicate and who experience the world as differently as Akanksha and Tanay did! Akanksha remembered Tanay’s response to the grand movie plan , when she suggested it during their weekly Cubbon Park jaunt , very vividly . ‘What !’, he had typed, his face replete with shock and disbelief , ‘why do you want to go to a dark , claustrophobic and noisy place ? What is wrong with Cubbon Park ?’ ‘What can be wrong with Cubbon Park?’, typed Akanksha, even as she made a childish face , ‘nothing , except I am bored of it and want to do something different for a chang

Love is in the Air!!

Akanksha looked at the image staring back at her from the mirror and felt a deep sense of satisfaction . The effort of having to deal with the itchy, scratchy and sweaty sensations that came with not tying up her shoulder length tresses into a ubiquitous ponytail, she decided , was totally worth it , because she was looking really good! She sat on her bed and took a few deep breaths to calm her racing heart . It was not just ‘a regular’ Saturday afternoon . It was a big day for the twenty one year old for whom breaking stereotypes was all in a day’s work. Akanksha reminded herself that she had gotten this far only because she had the courage to challenge her boundaries and the society’s perception of her tribe . She thought about the tagline of an app that was popular among many her age ‘You up’. Well, she was up for it, although there were many out there who believed that she did not possess the maturity to feel a certain way or the intelligence to comprehend the feeling. Akanksha and