Monday, January 08, 2007

Ammani's "I Ask You Write" 14 - My Story

Read the other entries to "I Ask, You Write - 14" here

Ramanathan’s coming, said Amma not taking her eyes off her brother’s letter. On the 22nd, she added once she had finished reading. Ramu mama was Amma’s youngest brother who left for America back in the early ‘70s. You had only seen him once in your whole life and you were a toddler then. He threw you up so high in the air, Amma told you once, you hit your head against the ceiling.
What happens then?

Ever since amma told me that Ramu mama was coming back from America, I’ve been as high as a kite. Ramu mama’s been a constant presence in my life, albeit from another continent.

To tell the truth, I don’t really remember Ramu mama throwing me up so high in the air that I hit my head against the ceiling. I was nearly 3 years old then, so I’m informed. What I do remember – or maybe it’s just my subconscious that remembers – is that lovely feeling of flying through the air unsupported, arousing in me a lifelong fascination for anything that could fly.

I guess you can say that it’s thanks to Ramu mama that I discovered my life’s calling – planes and flying. His support and encouragement from across the world saw me through to becoming an aeronautical engineer. I design safer, better, faster aircraft. And always, all through my life, in all my dreams, I’m flying. Free as a bird, to coin a new phrase.

I don’t know why I never dream of falling, why my subconscious doesn’t realise that my physical self is earth-bound. Because in real life I can’t even walk, much less fly. I’ve been paralysed from the waist down since that fateful day when I “flew” for a few seconds. I live life in my wheelchair… and to tell the truth, it’s a fantastic piece of equipment, an all-singing, all-dancing, state-of-the-art affair thanks to Ramu mama. I can do almost anything from my wheelchair – except fly.

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