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An Epileptic Too Can Work With Great Precision

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DNA India
17 November 2010
By Soumita Majumdar
Bangalore, India

A renowned handwriting researcher, trainer, graphologist, calligrapher of international repute and an epilepsy patient, KC Janardhan’s life is an inspiration for one and all. Struggling with the disease from the age of seven, Janardhan was recently selected by the Indian Epilepsy Association and the International Bureau of Epilepsy in Ireland to represent India at the 8th Asian Oceanian Congress.

In a tete–e–tete with DNA, this fighter reveals the struggle behind the man and what it takes to emerge as a winner.

How did you first discover your medical condition?
Since birth, I had hot water epilepsy, though it was detected only at the age of seven. The attacks were triggered by pouring hot water over the head. As I grew up, I threw tantrums while taking bath, as I would feel uncomfortable. I used to even avoid getting a haircut as it required a hair wash. Finally I was put on treatment at Nimhans during the 1970s and by the time I was 20, my disease was almost cured.

Was dealing with your medicalcondition a problem?
Since the duration of the attacks was brief and lasted between 30 seconds and a minute, it did not quite affect my daily life. But the social stigma affected me badly as I always had to maintain some distance from friends and relatives. Even today people cannot open up about epilepsy as it becomes a threat in getting a job or getting married.

What motivated you to choose handwriting and calligraphy as your career?
I did a self analysis and decided to follow my natural abilities. Calligraphy is a natural art form that was getting lost and I was interested in bringing out the beauty, clarity and precision of this art. Society has a preconceived notion about epilepsy patients as erratic, undependable and unorganised.

I have proved that these people can be extraordinary in their career, by receiving several accolades in my professional sphere. Presently, my 180 clients across the globe include Motorola, Star TV, The Oberoi, Volvo, Mercuri Goldman and Cathay Pacific.

What do you think is essential today, to tackle epilepsy?
If someone gets epilepsy, he should consult a neurologist immediately. Around 80 to 90% of epilepsy is curable either with medicine or surgery. However, one should remember that constant medication for three to five years is important and skipping even one dose may lead to a reversal.

Tell us a little about the problems that people with the condition have to face.
The main problem is lack of understanding and empathy from the society. One should understand that epilepsy is not considered synonymous to mental disease and insanity anymore, but is defined as a mental condition.

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