Published: 22nd November 2017
How Abdul Kalam inspired Sidds to dream beyond his cerebral palsy and love his life
A public speaker and Credit Specialist, Sidds is a man who is not letting his condition get in the way — something he proves with his first book Simply Being Sidds
Siddharth Jayakumar aks Sidds has cerebral palsy, but his acknowledgement of it is very matter of fact. He has a "what condition?' kind of cool with a humourless chuckle that immediately radiates warmth and friendliness. A public speaker who has crossed many seas in the last seven years, he's out with his book Simply Being Sidds and it is nothing short of astonishing how he's managed all this.
Honestly I don't believe I'm different or think of this as an unfortunate condition. We are all different, no human is the same. In my mind, my identity is strong. The differences don't bother me," he says. A trait that does not fall short in him, he oozes confidence as he talks of the people who have reached out to him. 'People have taken the book but it will take time to settle from the busy schedule and read it.So awareness will take time, but the response has been highly overwhelming
Siddharth Jayakumar, Author and Banker
Simply Being Sidds, however, has a deeper story, one that links a great mind and a transparent leader to its inception.The cover shows a coloured image of former President APJAbdul Kalam with an arm around a young boy proudly clutching a medal around his neck. The image is a throwback to when Siddharth went to Delhi as a recipient of the National Award in 2008 and met the man who inspired his book.
"He is the man behind my book because when I first met him it was he who gave me the idea that my inspiring myself alone was not enough, and why don't I go and write a book and inspire millions of people. That idea had stayed since in the back of my mind," he simply states.
Reality Check: His book has a message for Kiran Bedi who is all praise for his abilities
"I have met him lot of times. I can definitely say we were friends. The cover picture is of me showing him my medal which I actually did show him, but he may not have seen my cover picture. I wanted to show through the cover that I am an Indian. And I wanted to show that the man who encouraged me is also Indian," he adds. He is quick to point out that two of his other favourite public figures have also been imprinted on the book. The back cover has a picture of India's first woman IPS officer Dr Kiran Bedi and Chess Master extraordinaire, Viswanathan Anand with personal messages on the inside
While meeting Mr Kalam was a great event in Siddharth's life, there have also been many others in his life who he praises for their patience, support and love. His mother is one such figure to whom he feels indebted for her understanding and patience all the years it took him to grow to be the man he is now. Born in Bangalore and brought up in Chennai, he lives in the city with his parents, wife and son. Another great contribution, he opines was his switch from a special school to a regular school in class IX. He attributes a lot of his growth to the exposure and learning he gained and admits it was no easy feat. "In a special school, you get what you want. In a regular school, you get what you want or you don't get it. It requires a great mindset which is not easy," he says.
Sidds has a love for science but he had to opt for Commerce instead, due to certain individual difficulties. He is content working as a Documentary Credits Specialist in Chennai right now, especially as It in no way implies that he has to cut short on talk time. His public speaking is just as active as his banking profession and balancing the two is a piece of cake for this go-getter.