We enjoy success stories. We are thrilled and excited when we come across people who have come up in life. Sometimes we feel admiration for them and a little envious too. Afterwards, we take the resolution to become successful ourselves. Recognition is something that all humans crave for. However we are not able to stick to our resolutions. We are not bold enough to take risks or put in hard work needed to overcome the challenges in front of us. We give up too soon! And then justify ourselves – “After all every person has a destiny. No one can change that’. And this very thought is enervating.
When we start believing in ourselves, we become fruitful. We forget the hard work, the number of hours we put in and enjoy the struggle to overcome the hurdles. We set ourselves upon realizing dreams, one after one, and without knowing it, keep on taking risks. And the end result is success.
The life story of Swapna Augustine is the story of the struggles of a young girl who fought hard to disprove the notions society has about a person born cripple. Swapna’s great assets are her talent in drawing and her positive mind set. Swapna was born without arms. And yet, she dared to dream big dreams. She discovered her talent in drawing when she was hardly five. Her parents were astounded to see their beautiful daughter trying to draw with her feet! They encouraged her and supported her, firmly convinced that she would one day make a name for herself.
Little Swapa transferred onto the canvas the world of colour and joy, the world of her dreams. Beautiful landscapes and powerful portraits came out and word got around. Her pictures were appreciated and fetched good prices, in India and abroad. ‘The mouth and foot painting association’ helps her to sell her pictures. She also conducts exhibition of her drawings.
Swapna’s passion for drawing knows no bounds. Denny Mathew, her master, a teacher in Nirmala School, Muvattupuzha is a stern critic who expects perfection from his disciple. Swapna had her education in St. Teresa’s school, Vazhappally and St. Joseph’s College, Alappuzha. Her pretty face brightens up with confidence when she talks about her drawings. She is fond of music and spends her leisure listening to old melodies and watching films. Suresh Gopi is her favourite actor. She also enjoys browsing on face book.
Swapna has a message for her young friends. ‘Remember that there is no gain without pain. Try and discover your special talent, your special skill and strive to develop it. Throw away all negative thoughts and emotions from the mind. And keep away from bad influences. Your inner being will then grow strong and your potential will be unleashed’.
Swapna continues to draw, her pictures overflowing with life and light. She has never lamented being born without arms. She believes “that all things are possible to him that believeth.”
(Editor in chief, Rtd. Asst: Professor Department of
English Govt College, Kottayam)