Trauma survivor writes book

IITian Niranjan Nerlige fell from the fourth floor, and was disabled. He fought his way back and was in a job within two years

(From left) PDG rotarian Prabhashankar K N, PP rotarian Purnimaa Ranganath, president rotarian Vivek Prabhu, author Niranjan Nerlige and secretary rotarian Musten Jiruwala at the book launch.

It was in 1994 when IITian Niranjan Nerlige met with an accident just two months before he was to leave for the US. An accidental fall from the fourth floor left him disabled and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. 

But his never-give-up spirit helped him bounce back. Two years after that, he took up a corporate job. Today, he is a rebound coach, author, motivational speaker, and transformational expert.

He launched his first book, ‘I Choose To Be Unstoppable’, a book inspired by his own life, on Monday at Rotary Club of Bangalore, Lavelle Road. In an interview with Surupasree Sarmmah, Niranjan spoke about what keeps him going and how his book might inspire many. 

What was the idea behind writing the book?
We have choices to make — either to give up or keep on moving. Worrying about our difficulties and shortcomings will only make us bitter and angrier.

We have the power to choose to make our life wonderful. One’s limitations are only in their mind. Everyone has the ability to become unstoppable. I have tried my best to convey this meaning in my book. 

Where did you get the strength to pen down your challenges?
I was invited by Malnad College of Engineering for a motivational seminar in 2016. After my talk, many students told me to write a book on my life. That’s when I realised that my story might make a difference in other’s lives. The thought was lingering in my mind but it was only six months ago that I made serious efforts to write this book. 

Did writing the book make you stronger?
I wanted to express the challenges and adversities that I have faced and how I rose above them all. I hope that it becomes a book of reference for people facing similar situations and acts as a source of inspiration. The process of writing the book was an emotional journey and I have tried to pen down words as authentically as possible. 

How would this book help people with physical disability?
Today, mental limitations are much more than physical disabilities.My book is meant for all kinds of people, like those who face limitations in their jobs or relationships, and not just those who are differently-abled. It is for those who lose hope to do wonderful things in their lives. 

Tell us about the ‘Stand Up’ strategy you came up with? It is a 90-day programme that I designed to help people stand up in their lives and overcome the challenges that life throws at them with a more positive attitude.This programme also helps people identify their true identity and realise their potential. 

You wanted to work in the US but the unfortunate incident shattered that dream of yours. Does that still anger you or do you see that phase of life as a turning point?
I do see this phase as a turning point because I didn’t know that I would be inspiring so many people one day. In fact, I was blaming fate and God for what he did to me. The fall was just an incident but the journey I undertook thereafter is what matters. I did have my share of mental breakdown but I didn’t give up and found my purpose. 

You have an adopted son and you raised him single-handedly. What were the challenges you faced as a single parent?
I faced many challenges while raising my child. But those can’t be spoken in a few lines. I have mentioned about the challenges in my book extensively. Many a time I wanted to give up but I had made the commitment to bring up my son. That phase was not at all easy, especially when he was young. But I took this up as a challenge and raised him as best as I could. 

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Trauma survivor writes book

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