Wheels of Destiny

Wheels of Destiny: The memoir of N.S. Hema (04.10.1938 – 08.04.2016), founder of The Association of People with Disability, Bangalore, India
Published: September 2013
Available through https://www.apd-india.org/


When Hema asked me to ghost-write this book for her, she handed me a transcribed copy of pieces she had recorded on an old tape recorder, over the years. Then came hours and hours of talking in the green campuses of APD and in her impeccable home, about her journey from the time she was afflicted by polio as a child to the execution of her vision for holistic solutions for people with disability. Her story, showing not only unmatched dignity in the face of obstacles but also shrewd capacity to follow up on her ideals, filled page after page.

This is a book about one person’s life, love, success and disappointments. It is also a primer on the real-world challenges for people with disability and a guide to urgent problems and inclusive action.

“I want to be a gardener in my next birth,” Hema said, echoing her love for horticulture and its role in the therapeutic and economic rehabilitation of people with physical disability. I hope you found your garden, Hema, and in it, your beloved plant – the bird of paradise.


This review is from goodreads.com where the book has been listed:

10 thoughts on “Wheels of Destiny

  1. “I don’t remember the last time I read something as good as this one”

    They make me think deep about everything.
    It’s really inspiring…

    Keep it up mam 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The book Wheels of destiny takes you on journey of the life time of N S Hema – an icon of courage and vision .She showed and offered hopes to countless people the way to Live a dignified life despite mobility limitation . The book takes you on the innocence of childhood , the zest to live a full life , heartbreaks and the grit of a woman against so many odds . Ms Rajani has a gift of painting word and language into a life to make collage of so many prints to give us a concise peep in the inner world of Hema . Thank you Rajani for making this book the closest any could read Hema and connect closely .


  3. This is a book which i need to read. The synopsis is very inspiring. We are blessed in many ways . We take many things for granted. We assume that the World has to serve us.

    The courage of Hema and how she has managed. The challenges which she has gone through. She will be an inspiration for generations to come.

    Thank you for sharing her story.



  4. The only book I finished in one sitting.

    I called her Hema miss, I am an alumni from her special school ” Shardhanjali integrated school.

    A book which will force you to question your greatest achievements!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rajani this memoir made be feel so ungrateful. Despite all my abilities and privileged life, I often felt so sorry for myself when I had to surmount, what I now see as minor hurdles. I cannot imagine how Hema could dig deep to find strength to bravely navigate her way through the life she was dished out. Hats off to you for sensitively bringing us this raw and painful, victorious and bold autobiography. Met her only briefly, but her strength and matter of fact attitude shone through. RIP Hema.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Rajani.I am not good at writing.All I can do is recall what Jean Satterthwaite in her book ‘ Challenging Disability ‘ wrote about Hema.
    ” Perhaps because her strengths have grown from her weaknesses and her remarkable abilities are in part a consequence of her disability, one of Hema’s most endearing characteristics is her ability to look at persons of every ilk in a balanced and nonjudgmental way.Hema is a marvelous story teller ”
    And who else but you helped to capture her remarkable stories for posterity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It was an incredible experience and she was really happy to get the book out. Jean’s observation is on target, especially about Hema converting her disability into a strength.


    2. Excellent summary of hema’s ‘wheels of destiny’ and i urge people to read her story!
      Personally i was hooked, booked and cooked by this amazing lady who showed me a much greater understanding of disability and how to not only cope with it but to go beyind self to advocate and enable inclusion for pwds in society towards independent and fulfilked livelihoods!

      Liked by 1 person

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