A Celebration

It was an emotional occasion, a graduation party for a senior going off to college.
I am sure for most grad parties – the occasion calls for friends, food and games. But Indian grad parties tend to be a family affair. They invite not just the kids but parents and family from far and wide attend.

This particular party was a special one, mainly because of her accomplishments in spite of having a brother who has autism. Some of her accomplishments include having a 4.0 GPA which helped in her getting a scholarship to the medical program, learning Bharatanatyam culminating in her arangetram and raising $25,000 for Team Autism during the Detroit marathon.

Why did this celebration affect me so much? Probably because it made me aware that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it – you just have to work towards it and have the right attitude.

Having a brother who has autism means that a lot of your parents attention is diverted – yet that did not stop her from getting a 4.0. Coming from a north Indian family that does not understand Tamil did not stop her from pursuing a style of dance that culminated in her arangetram -which is a huge achievement. Her love for dance and perseverance got her through. The love for her brother and creating an awareness for autism so that a cure maybe found is what goaded her to help in organizing the Team Autism for the marathon.

When her family, that had traveled from all over the world – Hong Kong, Canada, India – along with family from around the United States, came up to say how proud of her they were – it brought tears to my eyes. So much hope they have in this child and so much she will do – because she is determined and her heart is in the right place. We are so proud of you Nina. May you succeed in everything that you do and God Bless.

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