Breaking the silence: Passion to write overcomes hearing ailment
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Breaking the silence: Passion to write overcomes hearing ailment

September 10, 2023

67-year-old Sucheta brims with joy at her latest work Bari Katheyalla: Agraharada Kathana hitting stands

By M.B. Pavan Murthy

Unyielding determination and a relentless passion for literature have empowered this remarkable woman to tread the less-travelled path, defying all odds that fate has thrown her way.

Meet K.S. Sucheta, a 67-year-old woman who is currently revelling in the joy of her third published literary work, titled ‘Bari Katheyalla: Agraharada Kathana.’ This literary masterpiece has garnered rare praise from critics, intellectuals and book enthusiasts alike.

For those unfamiliar with Sucheta’s life journey, she was born as a healthy child in a village in Malnad. However, fate dealt her a challenging hand when she contracted typhoid during her school years, leading to a diagnosis of hearing impairment.

Despite completing her Pre-University education with the assistance of a hearing aid, her dream of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree remains unfulfilled to this day.

Nevertheless, it’s the unwavering support of her husband, Dr. Suchetana Swaroop, that has propelled her to her current status — a prolific writer with three published literary works to her credit and another one in the works.

The story of how these two individuals, who share almost identical names, came together to embark on a lifelong journey as a married couple is nothing short of intriguing. Sucheta was contributing to a journal when Dr. Suchetana Swaroop, then a Master’s student in 1976, stumbled upon one of her articles. He was captivated by her writing style and equally intrigued by a person who shared his name.

From that moment, they began exchanging letters, eventually falling deeply in love. Despite Sucheta’s hearing impairment, it was no obstacle to their love story. They tied the knot in 1978, and their elder son, G.S. Anuroopa, was born in 1982, followed by their second son, G.S. Nalanda, in 1987. Unfortunately, Sucheta’s hearing deteriorated further after the birth of their younger son, leaving her in a state of depression.

Cover page of the book ‘Bari Katheyalla: Agraharada Kathana.’

Husband’s unwavering support

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However, all her tribulations melted away, thanks to the unwavering support of her husband and his continuous encouragement of her passion for writing. Dr. Swaroop, who began his career as a journalist, later transitioned to becoming a Professor and eventually served as the Chief Commissioner of the Karnataka State Information Commission.

It was his wife’s ailment that led him to leave his journalism career, but he is no stranger to literature, with seven published works to his credit.

Sucheta’s maiden work to see print was ‘Europina Ippathondu Janapada Kathegalu’ which she wrote even before the birth of her younger son and the second was ‘Namma Nimmanthidda E Gandhi,’ a Kannada translation of Anu Bandhyopadhya’s ‘Bahuroopi Gandhi’ (a Gujarati book about Mahatma Gandhi).

Sucheta says, “I don’t have the ability to communicate, but can grasp what others want to convey through their lip and physical movements. I have a strong desire to write folk stories of all the continents in the world, but health should permit.”

While Sucheta cannot hear her favourite music, she embraces life as it comes. Despite her physical challenges, she continues to write children’s stories for newspapers and contributes to readers’ sections. Her novel ‘Bari Katheyalla: Agraharada Kathana’ is based on true life incidents, although the characters’ names have been changed.

Dr. Swaroop acknowledges that there may be no cure for Sucheta’s ailment, but she manages her life with great determination. She excels at chess, possesses a keen interest in mathematics and science and identifies as a rationalist.

About Malnad life

Sociologist Prof. R. Indira has praised ‘Bari Katheyalla: Agraharada Kathana’ for its comprehensive exploration of the life and culture of Malnad Brahmins and Kashmiri Pandits. This work provides readers with insights into various aspects of Agrahara Brahmins’ life, and as it reflects the author’s own experiences, it can be considered a form of autobiography, according to Prof. Indira.

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The couple, Sucheta and Dr. Swaroop have made their home in Srirampura, Mysuru, where they built a new house after their previous one on the same site was flooded by rainwater in 2021. Although Sucheta experienced another bout of depression during this period, she successfully recovered with treatment.

Their elder son, Anuroopa, holds a Master of Technology (M.Tech) degree and is pursuing a career in Germany after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at an IIT.

The younger son, Nalanda, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from an IIT and enjoys a prominent position in Australia. Both sons are married and have two daughters each.

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