Post by James Altucher:
What Does A 20 Year Old Need To Know About Personal FinanceWhat Does A 20 Year Old Need To Know About Personal Finance
Answer by Zoletta Cherrystone:
One day, about 15 years ago, I was planning a trip to Six Flags with my cousin and her boyfriend. Since they were worried about me not having someone to sit next to on the rides, they decided to set me up with a friend of theirs.
I met him the night before our ‘big fun day’ - and even at first glance, I knew he wasn’t quite right in the head. He had a bit of the crazy eyes. But then, he was also pretty wasted.
I pulled my cousin into the next room and told her, ‘No. F-ing. Way. I am NOT going on a ‘date’ with that guy. He looks like a big stupid loser.’ (This was because he was holding an empty vodka bottle and couldn’t stop smiling and staring at me.)
My cousin told me to just relax, since it was just going to be for one day, and just to have someone to sit next to on the roller coasters. How bad could it be, she said?
Well, the next morning, the three of us went to pick him up at his house, on the way to the amusement park. When he walked out the door, I thought it was a different person. My mouth fell open. Now that he was sober, and all fresh-faced for the morning, he was so cute, and so sexy, I was sure I was going to enjoy the day after all.
On the way there, while talking in the car, he confirmed over and over again that he was of very little intelligence. But he also made me laugh like nobody’s business, and he had a sweetness about him that was so simple and boyish in a big strong man’s body. The sexual attraction was through the roof.
By the end of the ‘date,’ I couldn’t believe how much the sexual tension had built up - despite his low IQ. The heat between us was so animalistic, so primal, it couldn’t be ignored, and it got the better of me.
Nothing happened that night, but two days later, I saw him again, and just as the first time, there was a chemistry that was pulling me, and making me weak in the knees.
This one ‘date’ turned into a nearly four-year long relationship.
I had never in my life, and think I never will again, feel that type of a physical connection with someone. We fit like hand in glove. He was the most amazing lover I had ever known. He treated me so well, with so much love, and respect, and kindness and sweetness… it would bring me to tears on several occasions.
To give you an idea on what level he suffered from lack of intelligence, I’ll give you a short list of examples:
- He thought the year 1900 was the beginning of time.
- When he saw that his birth certificate said ‘9.0’ under weight, he believed that he was a 90lb newborn.
- When attempting to measure the width of a door one day, he insisted it was 8” across. That’s because the tape measurer he was using had the inches restart after every foot - so instead of noticing that it was past the 3’ mark, he only paid attention to the 8”.
- He could not figure out the formula for marking boxes at work as ‘1 of 5, 2 of 5, 3 of 5,’ etc.
- He had trouble reading and spelling, and sometimes recalling the right words. Such as ‘cherish’ and ‘cherries.’ So he would say something like, “I cherries you.”
- One day he repeatedly dialed a phone number to a man who kept trying to tell him that he had the wrong number. He kept trying it, anyway, because he was convinced that two people could both just coincidentally have the same phone number.
Oh, I could go on and on!
I knew from the beginning, in my mind, that I shouldn’t have allowed myself to get involved with someone who was so mentally challenged. And, at first, because I wanted him physically to such an extreme, I rationalized that he was the male equivalent to the female dumb blonde. Or, something like the John Travolta character from ‘Welcome Back, Kotter.’
But then, after a while, and only a little while, something else began to happen. I started to have feelings for him. At first, they were feelings of empathy, and wanting to protect him from the world. Then, they were feelings of just missing him… missing the way he smiled, and would pick me up and spin me around and kiss me, and the feeling of snuggling up in those big strong arms.
And then… I started to love him. Oh, woe is me. I tried to push it away, and I couldn’t. It happened so fast, I didn’t know what hit me.
But even as I was sinking quickly into the quagmire of love with this man, I kept thinking… “I could never marry him. What if we had a baby, and I died or something, and he was responsible for taking care of it? The baby might need medicine one day, and it’s virtually guaranteed that he would fuck up the dosage, and possibly kill it. No, no. I can’t ever allow that to happen.”
Eventually, I started to rationalize things in a different way. I told myself, “Suppose that when you first met him, he was just as smart as could be. But then, after you married him, and had a baby, he got into a car accident that caused permanent damage to his brain. Would you divorce him over something that wasn’t his fault?”
On and on I made excuses. On and on I continued to ‘feel’ happy and in love, but all the while I continued to ‘think’ of how stupid he was, and how these two things can’t possibly be a good combination.
When I found out he was using cocaine, I thought it was a blessing in disguise. I thought, ‘Now is my chance! I can end this once and for all, and blame it on the drug use.” It was a very bittersweet discovery.
But then, he wanted to get help for it, and asked me to go with him to talk to a drug counselor. Sitting there, in that little office, next to him… I will never forget the question he was asked, how he answered it, and how it brought tears to my eyes, and pulled me right back into the black hole of loving someone who didn’t even know how many days there were in a year, or what day Christmas is on.
The counselor asked him, “How do you feel when you take cocaine?’
He said, “I feel smart. I feel like, for once, I know what’s going on.”
Ohhhhh my GOD. Hearing him say those words - realizing for the first time that he had a self-awareness about his ‘low intelligence’ - and that he felt bad about it. Wow. It killed me. I wanted to hug him and protect him and take care of him like he was my own child.
And that’s what was the beginning of the end. I began to see him like a child, and my feelings toward him turned more motherly than anything else.
But to this day, I miss him, and wonder what ever became of him. I lay awake some nights, wondering where he is, and if he’s okay. I fantasize about winning the lottery, then tracking him down, and setting up a trust-fund for him, so he would always have a place to live, and food to eat. He wasn’t very good at keeping a job. Not because he wasn’t a hard worker, but because he just kept fucking up.
In all these years, I found what I suspected to be true. There was never again a lover in my life who made me feel what he made me feel. When I think back on it, now, despite the worries and frustrations and embarrassment of being with someone who understood things in such a retarded fashion… those years were the happiest of my life. I mean a pure, simple happiness. The kind of happiness you might have if you lived your life in a tribe, in the middle of the jungle, where there were no such things as books or tape measurers or calendars or IQ tests. I’m talking about a primal happiness - without logic or reason. Pure sensation.
And so, to answer the question… it’s both a yes and a no. Yes, I couldn’t help myself but to fall in love with a man of limited intelligence - and I was able to find happiness with him. But no, I could not accept it as something permanent in my life. It doomed us from the start, and there was no getting around it.
One last thing… don’t imagine this man as a squinty-eyed, slack-jawed dufus who wore a perpetual expression of DUH on his face. No no. He was a tall, muscular, good-looking man. He had a ‘cool’ look about him, with a black leather jacket, earring, dragon tattoo, and Harley Davidson boots. He could carry on a conversation just like anyone else - and have opinions just like anyone else… but his responses would be so utterly and fantastically ridiculous sounding, one would think it was all a big joke. He had countless friends who thought he was ‘so hilarious’ - and probably never realized just how damaged his brain really was.
And oh, by the way… I DID end up getting married, ten years later, and guess what? The man I married was incredibly smart. He was able to solve the Rubik’s Cube in under 3 minutes, each and every single time. His shelves were filled with books about physics and aero-engineering - which is what he had his degree in. He could do anything, fix anything, figure anything out - and was like a walking encyclopedia. BUT… I was nowhere as happy with him as I was with my low-IQ guy, who had a heart the size of Texas, and a brain the size of a pea.
The marriage with Einstein ended very badly. He was SO cerebral, there was no chance for that silly, goofy hugging and kissing sort of stuff. There was almost no affection, almost no sex at all, and life was very dull in the romance department.
What is the moral to this story?
That’s something I’ll think about until my last dying day.
This is the best photograph I ever took in my life. It’s my ex, the one in the story, walking next to my god-daughter - through the parking lot of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. I’ve had this in a frame and hanging on my wall all these years. It’s from the 1990s.
Recently, I came across a girl, asked for her number and also asked her out. Initially she said yes but then she acted a bit hesitant saying that she has never been out with a guy. After that, we met a couple of times related to work. Recently, I called her to meet me as it was the last day of my college. I thought she would say no but she came and we talked for an hour. She is quite shy and I think she knows I like her. I think about her all the time. I am scared of being rejected. What should I do? Now I am out of my college but she still has one more year to go (Long distance :( )
Answer by Virali Modi:
I survived death three times during a 23 day period.
I was 14 at the time, located in Pennsylvania, USA. I had come back from a trip to India. I went during the monsoon season, July 2006. I came home in middle of August, I was to start school in about 2 weeks.
School started, I had bought all my back to school clothes, pens, notebooks, pencils, etc. Suddenly, during history calls I get a severe headache, it wasn’t like your normal temple headache. It was more like the headache formed a halo on my head. It started from the forehead all the way around in a circle. I went to the nurse and took some Tylenol. The nurse called my parents and let me go home early.
I went home and I fell asleep. I woke up after maybe 3 hours with a very high fever reached 102 degrees. My parents made an appointment with my pediatrician and he said that it might just be because of the season changing. He advised me to take Motrin every 4 - 6 hours for the fever. I went home and started getting the shakes, I would be feeling extremely hot for an hour or two, and extremely cold the next couple of hours.
My parents rushed me to the emergency room where they did an MRI, CT Scan, Blood and Urine work which all came back negative. As a final resort, they did a Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap). The doctor who was performing the procedure was a resident, there was no senior doctor present. He poke the needle in between my vertebrae approximately 4-5 times, when he gave up and called his senior. His senior doctor withdrew Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) and sent it off for testing.
During that time, my mom told the doctor that I have all the symptoms of malaria and that I had visited India during the rainy season. The doctor agreed and said that it does look like malaria, but since they didn’t have any proof; it would be unlawful for them to provide me any medication that may cause harm to me. The CSF checked out to be negative. I was sent home with Tylenol.
Once I reached home, I slept for maybe 4-5 hours. Once I woke up, I was burning in a fever and was hallucinating. I kept yelling at my parents to stay away with me because I thought they were going to hit me in the head with a remote control. I fell asleep after 5 minutes of hallucinating. After waking up, I was totally normal and got up to go to the bathroom. As soon as I stood up, I started to walk as if I was drunk. I was not coordinated. I got to the bathroom but could not urinate.
I was rushed to the ER again, where they inserted a tube through my urethra to remove the urine from the bladder. I was transferred via ambulance to Hershey Medical Center. I was sent to get more testing done like an MRI which showed something in my neck, they assumed. During that time, I was having very small seizures which I was not treated for.
I was taken in for another LP, which resulted in me having a major seizure, respiratory and cardiac arrest. They declared me dead on the spot. They still paged CODE BLUE and called all the ICU doctors in the room to perform CPR.
My mom was in my room speaking to a social worker when my nurse came running to her and screamed, “If you want to see your daughter for the last time, you better come with me”!
My mom is a healthy woman and she never runs, she just can’t. My mom, dad, aunty and uncle ran like anything, they threw their phones away and literally pushed people to get to the testing room.
There, I was laying bra-less and top-less on the examination table where they were giving me electric shock to my heart.
The resident who performed the LP came out and faced my mom. My mom grabbed her shoulders and shook her violently and screamed, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY DAUGHTER YOU BLOODY PAKISTANI! YOU’RE TAKING REVENGE BECAUSE WE ARE INDIAN AND YOU ARE PAKISTANI!! HOW DARE YOU”!!!
Every doctor there, utterly shocked. My dad took her to the side and made her calm down. Fiza, the resident who performed the LP, was crying and said, “Mrs. Modi, I didn’t do anything to your daughter. She was laughing and talking about her life, school, and you. We don’t know what happened.. We weren’t prepared for this”. My mom looked at her with furious eyes.
After 3 electric shocks, and 7 minutes without oxygen, they revitalized my heart but could not get my breathing back. I was unconscious and had a breathing tube stuck down my throat, IVs in both of my hands, heart monitors hooked up, and a blood pressure cuff on. I was transferred into the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). I came into consciousness that night and recognized everyone. I shook my head if I knew someone or not.
The next day, I was taken again for another LP, which resulted in my going into a coma for 23 days. The doctors said that there were uncountable white blood cells in my CSF, which meant a viral infection.
During the third day of the coma, my body temperature went below 90 degrees, it was sudden and there was no reason for this to happen. The nurses piled heated blankets on me and surrounded me with heated lamps. I was left like that for about an hour. The doctor called it serious and said if my body temperature didn’t go above 90 degrees, I could die. After one hour, they removed the lamps and blankets, my body temperature rose immediately.
A couple days later, I lost a lot of blood resulting in my hemoglobin going down below 5 (the normal is 11.5-15 for women). They didn’t know where the blood loss was from.. So they gave me 3 units of blood and again called it fatal. Finally, after the blood transfusion, my hemoglobin came up to a safe level.
The date was now September 19, 2006. A family doctor of ours is an Infectious Disease Specialist. He spoke to the team of doctors that were in charge, and requested them to give me a 14 day course of Doxycyclin (spelling?) and Quinine (spelling?) because I didn’t have anything they were treating me for. I had malaria.
The doctors didn’t approve of my doctors’ request so my mom laid down by their feet. In a position where her face was facing the ground and her head was touching the tip of their shoes. She cried and requested them to listen to our family doctor.
Finally, at 4am the doctors injected me with the first dosage of those medicines. My parents went to sleep.
On September 21, 2006. The doctors decided to take me off of life support and told my parents to call all of my family. My mom begged them and told them to keep me on life support until September 29 because it’s my birthday. The doctors said that if there was no improvement after the 29th, they would pull the plug from my breathing machine which would lead to death.
On September 29, 2006, my mom catered for 60+ people, decorated my room in the PICU and called all my family. At 3:05 pm, the exact time I was born, everyone was signing Happy Birthday and my dad held my hand and cut the cake. I opened my eyes and was staring up at the ceiling, I couldn’t recognize anyone.
My family screamed for the doctor, he came in and gave me a quick check up and screamed and jumped himself. He hugged my mom with teary eyes and said, “Mom, you saved us from committing an unforgivable sin! God bless your spirit. Your daughter will survive”! I went into a coma again after 10-20 minutes.
On October 5th, 2006, I was sent into the operating room to transfer the breathing tube from my mouth, to my directly through my neck and vocal cords. After the anesthesia wearing off, I came out of my coma and started to recognize everyone.
But the coincidence is that, when my mother was pregnant, her original due date was October 5, 1991. Another thing, everyone in my family except my mom knew I wasn’t going to make it.. Her faith and belief is what saved me. I was paralyzed from my neck down, it’s been 8 years just yesterday (09/29/13) and I am able to move and contract a few leg muscles which the doctors thought I would never be able to do.
I’ve posted my story many times as answers for different questions, but never in so much detail. I’m sorry if you are being forced to read this the umpteenth time but I love to share this story to give inspiration and motivation to others who are having a hard time.
NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. :)
Stay smiling! And thanks for reading!
* Edit 10/08/13
I forgot to mention my diagnosis and what the doctors make out of my case. I am an unknown diagnosis. They like to diagnose me as meningitis, enchephalitis, meningioenchepalitis, spina bifida, and/or transverse myelitis.
The doctors call me a miracle at Hershey Medical Center, and any where I go.
I’ve also tried to sue the hospital about a year after my hospitalization but the lawyer whom I hired, made an agreement with the lawyers at HMC. I tried to file a law suit again earlier this year but the statutory age prevents me from filing.
Also, I really want to thank ya’ll for reading my story even though I’ve used this as an answer to many questions and I really appreciate the support. :)
Edit 12/15/13 -
Here’s my testimonial video which will show you all my ups and downs and the things that I’ve achieved. If you want anymore information, kindly message me.
Enjoy! Ps. Mind the catheter, I have to use it in India. Accessible restrooms in India are impossible.
Answer by Manish Barnwal:
Resilience - the ability to bounce back
Life won’t always be fair to you. The ability to fight back and the attitude of not giving up on life is one trait which is rare but a priced one.
Don’t let life defeat you. Bounce back and this time stronger!
Most importantly your are stronger than you think.
Answer by Garrick Saito:
You must make a commitment to play everyday.
Embrace the fact that the skills you admire when you see others much better than yourself came with hard work and dedication. There is no magic bullet, I’m sad to report.
There will be a rough correlation to “What you put into is what you’ll get out of it.” The more you do, the better you’ll get.
Think about the music (or the problem you’re experiencing) when you’re away from the piano. You’ll find your brain searching for solutions if you think about things long enough. Many times, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Listen carefully. Once you’ve have the notes down, listen very carefully if it sounds right. In time, you’ll train your ear to know what sounds good and what sounds bad. Do you hear the sounds that you hear in your head? If not, you need some work. Focus on technique. Do your arpeggios sound smooth and even? Do you detect unevenness in your block chords. Record yourself and listen to your dynamics with a critical ear.
Get some feedback. If you don’t already have one, get a qualified piano teacher to help you, someone who is far more experienced than yourself and who has gone through and overcome the problems you are experiencing. I cannot count the number of times “I” thought I did really well, only to have my teacher point out things I could have done to improve. The money you spend will be well worth it.
Good luck with your piano studies. Be patient and persistent. That’s the best advice I can offer you.
Answer by Xu Beixi:
A list of bungles, homonyms, and misused terms from an old notebook:
- aberrant (deviation) vs abhorrent (disgusting)
- adjure (command) vs abjure (formally renounce)
- adverse (bad) vs averse (strongly opposed)
- aggravate (make worse) vs agitate (disturb)
- akimbo means ‘bow-like’
- all together (everyone) vs altogether (entirely)
- allude (hint to) vs elude (evade)
- altercation means ‘heated argument, but doesn’t come to blows’
- alumna (female alumni) vs alumnus (male alumni)
- anal (relating to the anus)- it’s technically not “anal”, but “anal-retentiveness”, like I am.
- angst (anxiety, often with sadness) vs anger
- annihilate (destroy all) vs decimate (destroy some- deci means 1/10)
- another think coming, as opposed to another thing coming. I’m not sure about this one myself- anyone? ()
- aprops- by the way (on a matter not appropriate)
- assault (doesn’t have to be physical) vs battery (unlawful physical contact)
- author (published writer) vs writer (both published and unpublished)- wonder how this relates to Quora and the internet, since everyone’s published.
- avenge (more noble) vs revenge (less noble)
- average vs mean (middle of high and low) vs median (the “middle number” in a sorted list of numbers)
- awhile (short period) vs a while (any length of time)
- beg the question- means “assuming the conclusion (of an argument)”, a type of circular reasoning. It doesn’t mean ‘leading to the question’.
- bemuse means to bewilder. Not amuse. (I’m looking at you, Bigfoot!)
- bereft means to have something taken from one without consent
- billiards vs pool- the billiards table has no pockets
- blatant (offensive, overt) vs flagrant (also overt, but emphasis on the heinousness of the act)
- blithe (happy) vs blither (babble)
- bow (front) stern (back) port (left) starboard (right)
- casualty means ‘injury, but not death’ (I’ve seen this misused in newspapers!)
- census vs consensus (generally accepted opinion)
- circa means approximate date, not ‘has been around since’
- classic vs classical (a specific time period, European, 18-19th century or modern stuff that reflects that style)
- compliment vs complement (highlight, bring out)
- compunction means ‘guilty conscience’
- concave (curve inward) vs convex (outward)
- contagious (process/ degree of ease of spreading; capable of being transmitted by bodily contact with an infected person or object) vs infectious (agent likely to be transmitted to people, organisms, etc., through the environment.)
- cracker vs hacker (They are subject to the long standingabout the true meaning of the term . In this controversy, the term hacker is reclaimed by who argue that someone breaking into computers is better called a cracker, not making a difference between computer criminals ( ) and computer security experts ( ). ) Also, cracker is a racist term for white people, and a delicious sort of wafer.
- CV vs resume (CV is more comprehensive and used for academic/ research positions more often)
- defamation (both written and spoken) vs libel (written, with more legal consequence *dun dun dun!*)
- dilemma (2) vs quandry (>2 options)
- discomfit (verb, action) vs discomfort (noun, state; but can also be used in verb form)
- effete means ‘(of a person) affected, overrefined, and ineffectual’, not effeminate
- elicit (to coax/ obtain) vs illicit (forbidden by law, rules, or custom)
- epitome is both ‘a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type’ and ‘a summary of a written work; an abstract’
- erstwhile means former/ formerly, not missing/ lost
- factoid is a questionable or spurious (unverified, false, or fabricated) statement presented as a fact, but without supporting evidence. It isn’t a mini-fact.
- forebear (ancestors) vs forbear (politely or patiently restrain an impulse to do something; refrain) vs for bear, which is just plain cute.
- forego (precede, as in time or place) vs forgo (choose to give it up), but now they’re used interchangeably.
- grammar, not grammer
- hanged (past tense or past participle of hang) vs hung (past and past participle), though some men are also hung.
- hark means return to a previous point, as in a narrative, or to listen; pay attention. Not ‘hello’.
- homely means ugly/ unattractive/ nothing to write home about, and also ‘cozy and comfortable, as in one’s own home’. WTF, English language? It can’t both be bad and good!
- immolate: can involve fire or no fire, just self-sacrifice (kill or offer as a sacrifice, esp. by burning)
- impeach means to accuse, or discredit, or to charge (a public official) with improper conduct in office before a proper tribunal.
- incredible doesn’t mean ‘awesome’, but difficult to believe; extraordinary. Or not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable.
- internet is a global system of interconnectedthat use the standard (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide. It is a network of networks. It isn’t the WWW. The WWW falls under it.
- irresistible, not irresistable
- light years isn’t a measure of time but distance, equal to just under 9.5 trillion kilometres.
- livid doesn’t always mean angry/ furious, but also having a discolored, bluish appearance caused by a bruise, congestion of blood vessels, strangulation, etc., as the face, flesh, hands, or nails.
- loose (opposite of tight) vs lose (opposite of find)
- mano a mano means ‘hand to hand’, not ‘man to man’. Women can fight, too.
- melee generally refers to disorganized close combat involving a group of fighters, but can also mean turmoil and confusion.
- mendicity is the condition or activities of a beggar. Not mendacity, which is lying/ untruthfulness.
- moot: subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision.tells us it’s both debatable or of little significance. Think ‘Jessie’s Girl’- I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot. This is pretty confusing since it goes both ways- is it important or not?
- mother lode. Not mother load.
- nonplussed doesn’t mean ‘unmoved and stoic’. The formal definition goes “(of a person) surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react.” Or to render utterly perplexed; puzzle completely.
- pernicious means ‘having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way’, easily confused with perspicacious, meaning ‘having a ready insight into and understanding of things.’
- pithy means ‘concise and forcefully expressive’. Not impactful, or just succinct.
- popular is positive in all its definitions- ‘liked or enjoyed by many people’- ‘popular cause of death’ makes no sense, unless people enjoy dying that way. Popular doesn’t mean common.
- prodigal means ‘giving or yielding profusely; lavish’, not necessarily bad e.g. prodigal of smiles, prodigal of upvotes. It also doesn’t mean ‘prodigy’ (usu. young, gifted person/ electronic music group formed by Liam Howlett).
- prurient means lustful, not childish or silly/ immature.
- raise (animals and crops) vs rear (kids)
- regime (e.g. evil regime of Dr. Doom) vs regimen (e.g. skincare) vs regiment (of a military unit)
- sherbet (has milk) vs sorbet (no milk)
- shoe in, not shoo in, as it originated from the old door-to-door salesmen tactics who knew if they stuck their foot through the door, it increased sales. Weasels.
- taciturn- reserved or uncommunicative in speech, not mean or bad. But rather, stern and dour.
- virtual- the quality of having the attributes of something without sharing its (real or imagined) physical form. It doesn’t mean ‘not real’.
- wherefore art thou- ‘for what reason’. It doesn’t mean where are you, Romeo. It means why the heck art thou Romeo.
Special thanks to Google, Wikipedia, and the Library for all the above.
Answer by Indrani Mahto:
I know that you people won’t get significant results when you would look up for this name on Google…but mark my words, in the coming 10 years…YOU WILL…
For all the curious cats out there…let me introduce you to this fabulous person who loves life more than any of us ‘normal’ people…Suffering from polio since she was 1 year old and walking with the help of just one of her legs with crutches but still refusing to give up on the faith that she ll walk someday…just like all of us…:)This is Neha’s pic with me…:D
In India, where kids born with physical anomalies or aquiring them later in life is so badly attached with stigma…that people used to tell her parents to marry her off very early in life even before she could complete secondary level of education…From neighbors to relatives, no one was supportive of her education.
Things got worse for her when she cracked one of the most coveted examinations of this country, AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) in 2010 and got into Production and Industrial Engineering at National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur
This meant that she had to come thousands of kilometres away from home to study for the next 4 years and the idea stirred a lot of displeasure in her relatives and some of them even went to the extent of suggesting her parents that she should pursue some conventional course in the field of fine arts from a local university ( There’s nothing wrong with that option but trust me, my best friend, Neha wanted to study engineering very badly). Some even claimed that making her study won’t bear any fruits as she won’t be able to accomplish anything thereafter.
Inspite of all this, her parents showed faith in her that she would be able to survive the next 4 years all on her own, which she eventually did. But, the journey had been really tough for her- From climbing stairs to walking long distances on just one leg, she did everything. She attended all the classes, had been an active member of almost all the clubs in our Institute and hey!!! did I tell you….SHE IS AN AWESOME DANCER.
People go crazy when they watch her dance and trust me, watching her dance will give you the most emotional experience of your life. You’ll have tears ready to trickle down your cheeks and it’s not because she dances despite her handicap. It’s because she’s so full of life, more than any of us. She enjoys her dance like no one else.
She has even represented our country and our institute at the international level when she along with her team, Top Guns (the aero-design team of our institute), designed and fabricated an Advanced class radio-controlled aircraft for SAE Aero Design East 2013 held at Fortworth, Texas, USA. This competition was organised by NASA and Lockheed Martin. Although the team couldn’t win the award, they won many hearts as their aircraft completed all flight rounds successfully :)
She still faces infinite number of challenges in her daily life, which get worsened as our country’s infrastructure isn’t PH-friendly (physically handicapped).
She has a small little dream of opening a dance school for the differently abled kids one day. Trust me, SHE WILL.
She is the biggest source of inspiration for me and a lot of other people. I remember how a Flipkart delivery guy broke into tears when he met her in our hostel because he had read about her and her dance in the newspaper and couldn’t believe that he was meeting her in person.
But not everyone she meets is so cooperative. There are people who try to take advantage of her situation..e.g..the auto drivers suddenly start demanding double the fare knowing that she has no other option than to take the auto.
And eve teasers….BEWARE….NEHA AWASTHY IS HERE….It doesn’t matter where we are. If any guy passes any ‘uncalled for’ or lewd remarks…she doesn’t let him go without shouting at him, which attracts a lot of public attention and the guy has to leave after losing the battle with her :D
Thanks so much everyone for liking my answer…And a big thanks on behalf of Neha…:D You all have made her immensely happy…and yes on a little fun note…here is another pic for all of you…Im the one giving ‘scared’ expressions sitting in middle…And you all already recognise Neha…and the one sitting behind me is our friend and our partner in crime Rashmi..:)