This blog encapsulates the special bond Kunal has with his family. His cousin Raina expressed her thoughts and feelings in her story, in the Fall of 2010, about getting to know her cousin Kunal.....
As I got older, I began to understand Kunal was different. I was curious as to why this was, and I used to ask my mother to explain it to me. She told me about his childhood, and I could never comprehend that he had a disability due to a slight genetic complication. Kunal is my 25-year-old cousin with Down syndrome.
Now that I am older, I am able to better grasp the concept of his limitations. Despite being Kunal’s younger cousin, I am very protective of him and defend him from snide remarks or comments. My mother also told me about Kunal’s fondness for children; in fact, I got to experience this firsthand. Since I can remember he would entertain me by telling me stories and making me laugh; he still does to this day. I remember him telling me about his golden hair as a child, and sharing some precious anecdotes about the time he spent with our grandparents in India. Kunal once told me a story about his experience at a haunted house in Disney Land. It was hilarious; he apparently scared a man in the haunted house instead of the man scaring him. Fear is definitely a thing of the past when Kunal is around.
When people describe Kunal, they often label him as “special”. I agree with this assessment. He is compassionate, affectionate, funny and very energetic and that makes him special. One of his passions is Bollywood dance. He is known to take over the dance floor at parties and show the crowd some of his signature moves.
He has taught me many things in life I sometimes take for granted. For example, I know how to get on a hammock without falling off the other end thanks to Kunal. He has also taught me resiliency and to never give up, even when the going gets tough.
Whenever I visit him on the East coast Kunal shows me around and takes the time to share his wonderful possessions with me including his hidden stash of chocolates. I am always impressed with how neat and organized his closet is and the pride he takes in taking care of his belongings. Kunal has a wonderful personality and I would not change anything about him. I love him the way he is, disability or not. Kunal has been an extraordinary brother to me, and I appreciate all the joy he has given me. He is my perfect cousin and is definitely unique in his own way. Just being with Kunal makes me happy. I have been blessed with several older cousins all of whom I enjoy being around and spending time with. However, one such older cousin will always have a special place in my heart reserved just for him.
These are just few of the many memories I have of my cousin Kunal and I am sure there will be many more in the future!!!