May 12, 2021

Sunitha Atinus on being alive after an accident

I was stunned reading her story in a news daily. As an individual and as someone who is hugely inspiring, I wanted to reach out to Sunitha Nair Atinus, more so when I came to know she is a mother too.

Sunitha has been through a horrific accident a few years ago and nothing at all has deterred her from living life to its fullest as a woman, as an individual who loves life and as a mum to two lovely kids.

Sunitha also has an interesting email address that accommodates the word ‘alive’ as to indicate she is loving every moment of her second life and wants to be the best of what is given to her as an opportunity.

She shares with Mums and Stories, “I had a lot of dreams and I would say and in the same breath would like to add, I was not too very happy about my childhood. However I was responsible in terms of waiting to be an adult to set myself free and explore the world.

The accident changed my attitude towards a few people. Yet my friends and family helped me recover more so emotionally than any of the scars.

I am married to my school friend who proposed to me after my accident after literally seeing my soul. He has seen me through the surgeries and pain. He is my ‘push’ for many things in life. I would like to believe we support each other in every aspect of our lives.

My kids think I am normal and that’s the way I think it should be in life. It was funny and annoying when my grandmother and a few other mothers thought my baby could be disfigured when born. I’m not sure what ran in their head. Yes a few thought we as a couple shouldn’t be thinking of having kids. But as it should be my children are very much like everyone else’s kids.

( An earlier picture of Sunitha with her husband and daughter).

Another weird thought shared by a mum to me when she knew I was pregnant was “What will your baby think of you when you are so ugly?” I have learnt to deal with comments, stares and anything else over the years.

( Sunitha Atinus before the accident)

My daughter Atmia, thinks I am the most gorgeous woman she ever met. She is almost 3 and adores my face and figure 🙂 My husband says it is my confidence to face life that has always kept me ahead through tough phases. I have a son Atmik 5 months young and never takes his eyes off mine. I’m sure they will figure how to look into me as they grow. I still think it doesn’t matter to them as they will know me inside out.

There are days when I feel sad why this had to happen to me but I get over with those emotions soon. Again when people stare, initially I would get perturbed. Now I either I just stare back or tell myself that it is lack of awareness they are doing it. Kids are more straight-forward and they do ask me what happened. I tell them it was an accident and they need to drive carefully. Some smile on when they figure my smile.”

Recalling the accident, Sunitha shares, “A few years ago, my friend was driving the car when I was at the backseat sleeping. I was returning home to be with my mother and we were driving back to Bangalore. The car hit the median and the vehicle went topsy turvy. The window was open and my face was dragged for some time on the road. The accident changed my face…. my life forever. Multiple surgeries and treatments got me the face I have today.

I also work as a professional problem manager at IBM, but right now on a break.

If I were to talk to others on how to handle problems, I would like to say to others that firstly focus on incidents that lead to problems, once we figure out what causes it we can avoid it. Also plan to face the problem systematically. Never be afraid or worried. Seek help and support when required.

Lastly never rely on others… Your day and your way-go with it.

I do follow a lot of interests in life including helping out with my husband in his work. Perhaps the best way to describe is I do whatever my heart wants to be.

And yes, the best part of my life is motherhood –I am living every bit”

(Sunitha Atinus in an interaction with Reshma Krishnamurthy from  Mums and stories)

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