Imagine spending a day without being able to move. Dr. Sai Kaustuv DasGupta a.k.a the ‘Happiness Coach’ has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 26 years. He is differently-abled, but his positivity and confidence has never let him falter. In fact, it has made him a source of inspiration for many.
ThinkRight.me spoke to him, to know more about how he leads his life, his ideology, and what he plans to do in life.
ThinkRight.me: What was your childhood like? What challenges did you face?
Dr. Kaustuv DasGupta: I’d say it was very different from other kids. When I was three and a half months old, the first crack appeared. Within a year, I had fractured three more bones. The doctor explained to my parents that I suffered from Brittle Bone Disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) and that they will need to prepare me for life on a wheelchair because my body was not creating the collagen or protein required to develop my bones.
I have had numerous fractures till date, but after 50, I have stopped counting.
ThinkRight.me: Most people cannot handle one job. You are a graphic designer, singer, composer, author, and motivational speaker. How have you managed to do all of this together?
Dr. KD: I’ve turned my disability into a gift. Positivity and will power have helped me handle all these roles. It isn’t an easy task for someone like me, who can’t even have a glass of water on his own. But positivity has made me what I am today.
ThinkRight.me: What has kept you going all these years?
Dr. KD: I use my positive energy and smile to motivate myself. Through so many adverse situations in my life, I have learned to smile as it helps me overcome any situation.
Also, throughout my life, my parents Kausik Dasgupta and Shila Dasgupta have been my driving forces. My parents and younger brother, Kushal have always encouraged me to choose what I love to do and have motivated me a lot.
ThinkRight.me: Was there a major downfall in life? What was your takeaway from it?
Dr. KD: I was confined to a small room for six years and was unable to move or do anything without help. During those years of confinement, I used to feel alone, lost and upset when I couldn’t see the sun, moon or the beautiful creations of nature. I had to discontinue my studies, my singing and let go of all the things I was passionate about. To come out of this depression I tried my hand at designing. I started designing by operating the mouse with my left hand, with only one finger. I thought if someone like me would lose hope, how will others like myself ever win. I fought all odds and emerged out of depression in 2015.
ThinkRight.me: Tell us a little about the clothing line you are designing, and from where did that idea germinate?
Dr. KD: In 2016, I was nominated for a prestigious award and had to go on stage to receive it. It was at that time that I started thinking about how to present myself a little differently. That’s when the idea of designing accessible clothing came to my mind.
I designed my distinctive dhoti-kurta, to reflect Indian tradition and culture. I then added an angavastram to give it a vibrant look. They have been designed such that a disabled person can wear them with minimal assistance. I have also designed a formal western attire – a suit with a shirt and tie. I had to put together a comfortable and stylish look in my limited choices only.
Going ahead, I plan to design different attires for different events. I also look forward to doing special events like accessible ramp shows to make such clothing more popular among the disabled community.
ThinkRight.me: You are a happiness guru. Any tips for a happy life?
Dr. KD: Think out of the box and do something which you are good at. Life is too short, don’t spend it crying and complaining about small things in life. Always be grateful of what you have. Be thankful for your abilities.
We get just one life. To be truly happy and to spread happiness should be the motto of every soul. The world is here to constantly criticize you but before facing the world you have to face yourself. That’s the battle one should aim to win.
It is never too late to start creating the life which you have always dreamt of. Just get up, throw away your pains, feeling of helplessness and put your trust in yourself. Find your creative skills and capabilities. Explore more to express your true self. Inspire before you expire. Embrace each and every breath you are taking. Celebrate your life. Live it. Accept yourself as you are. Be kind to yourself and others. Forgive everyone who has hurt you. Real happiness lies in gratitude. So be grateful to everyone. Be alive and be happy!
Read more: A Life-Altering Lesson By Nelson Mandela