*Shivam’s blog reflects his personal rap style*
Yo, it’s your boy Slay-V. You might also know me as Shivam Verma. Welcome to the story of an underdog who overcame hurdles his whole life. This is just my truth, my #OpenBooks story.
Started from the bottom to climb to the top. People said, “you ain’t doing anything in life!” I said okay, watch me rise. Saw rappers flaunting their ice, that’s their drip. Me? I put in every drop of blood and sweat to make Maa proud.
I grew up struggling to find words. Couldn’t speak up. Today, people hear everything I couldn’t say through my rap. Grew up facing medical complications when I was just 2 and remained in a coma for a month. Broke into seizures after recovering, and this resulted in a learning disability along with weak limbs. Never a weak mind, though.
Through regular physiotherapy, my limbs strengthened. Simultaneously, Special Olympics sports at my school turned me into an athlete playing football, softball, and floor hockey under the mentorship of my coach, Rohit Manchanda. He led the transformation that brings me where I am today. Said to me, “Shivam shows no signs of what he was when he entered this program. The transformation is unbelievable!”
WITH SHIVAM VERMA
Living a life abundant with relationships
Every artist’s art comes out of struggle. But I found a support system that made it better. My sister, Jessica, is my guiding light. She never gave up on me. She taught me to stand on my own two legs, made me fall in love with colours, with art. She was my buddy in life and in my journey with Special Olympics. There ain’t no Slay-V without his Jessica.
My brother, Rishabh, who played cricket with me, when my peers chose not to. When I was young, I used to sit by the sidelines and watch other boys play cricket. When I asked them to include me, they asked me to bring my own cricket equipment, but would snatch the equipment from me once I did so, and pushed me outside the field. It got so bad at one point, my mother and sister had to get involved and speak to the boys.
I fought to get things that people readily got, but that’s since changed.
Slaying my way to the top
My journey has just started, and I have a long way to go. When I grow up, I want to be the best coach I can. I’m going to mentor kids to find their own voices, be their friend, believe in their limitless potential, and support them in fulfilling their dreams.
From me to you
To all of you out there who might be struggling to find your voice, who might be feeling like no one understands you, I want you to know that you are not alone. And I want you to know that there’s power in your words, in your story. You have the ability to make a difference in the world, to inspire others, and to be a force for good.
Just like me, you can find your voice, and you can make it heard. It might take a while, but just try. Go ahead, pick up a pen or a paintbrush, give voice to what’s within you and let your story change the world.