Deeya Nayar speaks to Snehalatha Rajan, mother of two special children, on the highs and lows of her life.
When I told Snehalatha, my family friend that I wanted to interview her, she laughed, “Why me, are you running short of stories. I am like any other mother.”
True. She is an ordinary person. She is also a devoted wife who kept pace with her husband M P Rajan, an officer in the Indian Postal Service with a transfer liability.
Yet, she has stood out in the crowd because she is a fountain of inspiration, treating her differently abled (visually impaired) children as normal. Roshan and Ritvik, have seen the world only through their parents’ eyes. With their parents’ support and own efforts, today Roshan is a Post-graduate, who is independent with a job in hand and Ritvik the younger of the two establishing himself in the world of music. The brothers have made a niche for themselves in the music industry as singers and composers.
Ask Snehalatha about the turn of events and she says in a philosophical tone, “I live in the present and don’t brood over the loss. I neither worry about the consequences nor have expectations from tomorrow. It is only when you have too much of desire that it drags in problems. Accept people and situations as they are and be practical.”
Indeed she was practical. Snehalatha, who spent 20 years plus of her life being a “working woman”, let go her career dreams with Canara Bank as she felt that the job was interfering with her role as a mother (in her case, the demand being even more). “Now I am doing full justice to my job,” she declares.
Chidren are any mother’s precious gift. Snehalatha is no different. A moment I pause to pop up the next question, and reading my eyes, she begins, “Initially it was distressing, but slowly we learnt to cope with the situation. Roshan’s brilliant track record gave us immense pleasure. But we did not want to rest on our laurels. Our second child Ritvik’s condition was more complex. There was learning disability and autism along with blindness.” “I was determined to fight back, however,” she adds. And she believes that “love” is the winning word.
Snehalatha recalled the various means the couple had adopted to guide their children nurture their hidden talents. In the process, she learnt Braille to extend a helping hand to her first child, Roshan. When she found that he was picking up music comfortably, a master was arranged to train him. Schooling was another mission. Since they did not want to segregate him from normal children, Snehalatha and Rajan put him in normal school. But for Ritvik, “music became the medium of communication,” a language that brought out the best of emotions in him.
“I pray to God and see Him in my children. In that way, I get the energy to serve them better,” Shehalatha smiles.
How time passed I did not know. Roshan showed me one of his write ups on ‘life’ that he had saved in the computer. I read the words carefully and was moved by lines in particular. He wrote: “What is blind? Everyone sees with their two eyes, but I have ten fingers to see. I have help and support too. So who is luckier? I am.”
Deccan Herald, Bangalore, Dec 2004