Meet Salesh Dipak Fernando, a young freelance writer from Chennai. But, there is something unique about him that you might want to know about him. Salesh was diagonsed with Cerebral Palsy, just a few months after his birth. As a person who has learnt life majorly through books, his language improved by leaps and bounds. Now, he is an active blogger and writer in Chennai, inspiring millions with his words. Still if you talk to him, he would sheepishly smile and say ‘I haven’t done much. I have a lot to do.’ His humble nature and confident personality makes him everyone’s favourite in Chennai’s art circle.
Salesh was born prematurely. A few months after his birth, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. But, his parents supported him and became his backbone. His mother used to carry him to school everyday. His father used to gift him books to compensate for the lack of playtime. He learnt his life through books. Soon, a miracle happened. A corrective surgery followed after which he started walking with the help of crutch. His mother used to accompany him to school everyday. Then one fine day he no longer needed the crutch. He limped but needed no support. His right hand didn’t function well, so he forced himself to become a leftie.
He was a bright student. “When I was in Sixth Grade, my English teacher discovered my love for words. She would ask me to write all those English summaries in my own words. That was where I identified. She never gave up on me just like my parents. I passed out of school with flying colours and completed his Bachelors in Commerce at Loyola and MBA in Finance at PSG college of Management successfully.”
Donning the Writer’s hat
Somewhere along the way he gave up on writing and pursued a safe corporate job instead. He forgot his calling and chose the usual way. The corporate job fed him well. It ensured there was food on the table everyday. But there was something missing. He couldn’t sit everyday and do the same job 9-5. In fact, faced an identity crisis. He felt he didn’t fit in. “After my dad passed away I took up blogging to comfort myself. Slowly it opened up my world as I started meeting new friends in the virtual space. People who accept me for what I am.” After 8 years of corporate life, he quit his job to pursue a career as a writer. Now, he is a freelancer, an aspiring author and a regular performer in open mics across the city.
Salesh has a keen interest in writing. He wishes to keep writing since that has given him an identity in the society. “My aim is to become a voice for people who are specially abled. My story isn’t what you would call an extraordinary narration. But me being differently abled is merely a tag, it doesn’t define who I am. There’s just thing I would like to say to those who are reading this.” He also wishes to be a motivational speaker, someone who can inspire people in the society fight back against the stereotypes created. He is also Chennai’s first Stand up comedy critic. Finally he wishes to say this to the readers:
“Live your life on your own terms because you have only one chance to be somebody’s inspiration.”