"The birth was hugely traumatic, and the pediatrician in charge kept repeating to himself 'it was a mistake, I should have carried out a caesarean … let's see if she survives… I am not sure if she will survive…at the most 72 hours'. I survived."
These are lines from the opening chapter of 'One Little Finger,' published by Sage, where the author Malini Chib writes about her birth. Not only did the 44-year-old Chib, who suffers from cerebral palsy survive, she has also inspired many others to do so with her grit and determination.
A trustee of Able Disabled All People Together (Adapt), formerly known as the Spastic Society of India, Chib has a double master’s degree in Women’s Studies from London University. She made her debut as an author with the launch of her book on Friday, which she wanted to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. One little finger is what Chib used for about 250,000 times to type 50,000 words tell the tale of her life so far.
It takes a lot of effort to even utter a word, leave alone speaking a sentence and being wheelchair-bound, her movement is minimal but Chib said, "I wanted to share my story with everyone, so I did not mind the fatigue that came with constant typing."
Interspersed with wit, humour and poignancy in each chapter, Chib talks about her struggles to fit into a 'normal' society. In one chapter, she recollects her days at St Xavier’s Junior College, Mumbai, where she initially struggled to be heard in the classroom since her speech would sound garbled.
Chib then writes about how she was 'blacklisted' since she did not have the required attendance. While her friend, who also missed her classes as she was busy organising the college fest, would have someone to give a proxy attendance for her, Chib, who missed classes due to her medical condition, could not do that. But on being reprimanded by the vice-principal she writes, "Secretly, I felt normal; I, too, had been blacklisted like anyone else!"