On this day, exactly 16 years ago, a couple, their two daughters and their dog met with a tragic car accident on the Mumbai Pune highway. The accident took the lives of the couple and left their elder daughter, Sanam , paralyzed.
In Conversation With Sanam Rabadi Karunakar
Sanam, I know that you were rather young when you had your accident – and it completely changed your life. Can you share some of the emotions you went through at that time?
|Sanam & her sister|
Losing your parents and the thought of being confined to a wheel chair – that takes a lot of inner strength to come to terms with. And you seemed quite the tomboy from the pictures I’ve seen of you….so the thought of depending on other people must have been terrible……
It was devastating. I had to rely on other people to help me with the smallest of things – from brushing my teeth, to changing me and feeding me. Right after my accident, I could not even move my arms so I had to have someone do everything for me. From being an active teenager to being in a hospital bed for 11 months was quite a transition. Thankfully, I had the support of my maternal grandmother and tons of support from well-wishers and friends. I had my bad days and my terrible days….There were no good days for some time.
I understand. The support of family and friends is vital. But finally it was up to you to accept the situation and find a way to cope with it emotionally. How did you manage that? What resources did you tap in to within yourself? There are people who give up on life for what seems like petty things…How did you choose to go on?
Your grandmother was so right! I’m sure that prior to the accident you had many dreams for yourself. You now had to re-write them….How did you go about that?
A few days later she brought a jet-black Labrador to my place. I was so thrilled to see him. I had lost my dog, Ebony, in the accident. Seeing this puppy brought a big broad smile on my face.
|With Magic – the perfect pooch|
Shirin taught me and my husband Suraj how to train dogs and with her help we slowly stated to train this puppy who we called Magic. He brought so much joy into our life. After a few months, Shirin suggested I start a dog boarding facility from home. I was a bit apprehensive as I wasn’t sure I would be able to mange, but I gave it a shot. That is when Perfect Pooch was born. My dream was to be around dogs and I now had that. I had met my husband a few years before we started Perfect Pooch and it was with his support and help that we managed to start our own dog boarding service.
So as far as the dogs are concerned – you’re living your dream, but not exactly in the way you imagined it. And that you had the courage to do that is truly inspiring. Do you mind sharing a bit about how you ‘found’ the man of your dreams? 😉
|Sanam, Suraj and Magic|
Now to talk about the other ‘man’ in your life…..Magic. Do tell me something about him.
That’s fantastic. Sanam, what motivates you on a day to day basis – to do all you do and be who you are?My main motivation comes from my dogs. I know I have to look after them and that it is what keeps me going, that’s my job. On days I am feeling dull, I always have more than one wet nose to nudge me and make me laugh! Suraj is also very supportive and without him I would never be able to manage, he keeps me going.
|Unconditional love 🙂|
You credit Suraj and the dogs. But those of us who’ve interacted with you realize that you have resources deep within you that you are tapping into as well! If you were to talk to someone who’s really depressed about their lives right now what would you say?
All I can say is that you can be sad and depressed or you can be happy. I know not many would be as lucky as I am but if only they can find what they are passionate about and enjoy life to the fullest, half their battle is won!