A Different Spirit, truly!

A Different Spirit, truly!

Proud moment: Former Indian stumper Syed Kirmani (right) releases the authorised biography of paralympian Malathi Holla (centre) as former athlete Ashwini Nachappa and author Ananth Krishnan M look on in Bangalore on Wednesday. DH photo

“The more you struggle in life, the stronger you become. Hurdles are part of your daily life and it is a challenge to overcome them. My never-say-die attitude and mental toughness helped me become this successful,” she said at the launch of her authorised biography, ‘A Different Spirit’, on Wednesday.

Admitting to being ‘on a high’ after realising her dream of sharing her experiences through a book, Malathi hopes her biography will now prove an inspiration for the next generation of physically-challenged athletes.

“All the pain I have endured since childhood is coming to an end. I feel I am flying like a bird. There are so many physically challenged people in the world. But how many receive a platform to achieve their goals? I am a bit lucky in that sense, and I hope through this book to inspire differently-abled people to pursue their hidden goals,” said Malathi, who has won more than 300 medals in shot put, discus and javelin, apart from track events.
Authored by journalist-turned media communications chief Anantha Krishnan M, the book -- launched by 1983 World Cup-winning stumper Syed Kirmani -- traces her life and her trials and tribulations in her own words. Struck by polio when she was 16 months old, Malathi lost all her strength from neck downwards. Electric shock treatment injected fresh hope into her fractured life as she was able to regain strength above her waist, but was left paralysed waist down. “The book happened by accident. I had gone to meet Malathi in 2003 on an assignment during my tenure with a newspaper. Later, she turned up at my office to wish me on my birthday and gifted me a pair of pens. In return, she asked me if I could write her biography, a request I simply could not turn down,” said Krishnan.
Pain has never been a stranger to Malathi, and her familiarity with it motivated her to medals and awards. A recipient of the Arjuna and Ekalavya awards, Malathi regards the Padma Shri in high esteem. “As a sportsperson, I knew I would one day get the Arjuna and Ekalavya. But never did I imagine that the Padma Shri would be conferred upon me. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.”

The book, which will not be available in stores, can only be purchased online at www.adifferentspirit.com. Proceeds from the book will go to the Mathru Foundation, a charitable trust she has formed along with her friends.

DH News Service

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