Determination over disability

- Tulsinath S Kathare, Senior Analyst, Mashreq India

Life hasn’t always been a cakewalk for me. As a child, I envied the kids around me. They would run around playing tag or wreak havoc from playing gully (street) cricket. I was diagnosed with Polio when I was 2. So, at best, I would just sit in my balcony and watch the others play. Everyone would sympathise with me over my inability to play. But no one realised how dreadful even simple tasks could be.

Although life was tough, the strong support system at home helped immensely. My friends and family never let me feel I was alone or different. “Tulsi, you have nothing to be afraid of” or “Keep your eyes on the star” my parents would often say to encourage me. And so, my disability never came in the way of life. Their constant encouragement pushed me to do my best. It’s not always been smooth sailing. Transitions are particularly hard. I was at a crossroad a few years ago when I embarked on my professional life. I wondered whether my performance at work would be limited. Before I realised it, I was consumed by anxiety over delivering on expectations around me. But 8 years in, it has turned out to be a promising ride. Recently, I faced a similar dilemma when I received the opportunity to be part of of Mashreq. I had just been on a year-long break in my career. To make matters worse at the same time while I had to start my new role I had to order for a new pair of prosthetics that takes a few weeks to get ready. I was worried that my team would question my unavailability just a month into my role. But my manager supported me and my collegues supported me with open arms. I wasn’t an old, trusted employee who had proven themselves. Yet, my team accommodated my preferences to make me feel comfortable. There was a sense of belonging. I feel blessed to work with such an understanding and humble team. They ensured that my training took place in a distraction-free environment.

It’s safe to say that three months in, I’ve found myself a second home.

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