Bunt bird who soared from Manipal to Missouri

She was born without hands and legs. She was just a day old when she was relinquished to a hospital in Manipal by her poor parents, Kalavathi and Shankar Shetty. She was rescued by an NGO, who called her Swapna. She was adopted seven months later by an American woman, who called her Minda Cox.

In Missouri, which became her new home, Minda rose above her disability to become an artist. Holding the brushes between her arm and cheeks, she showed that what you need to imagine and create is not what she didn’t have.

Nineteen years later, using the earnings from the sale of her paintings and accompanied by her adoptive parent Catherine Cox, she came in search of her biological parents, a reunion documented magnificently by Divya Gandhi and K. Gopinathan of The Hindu here, here, and here.


YOGESH DEVARAJ in San Jose, California, forwards a slideshow from the Springfield News-Leader that catalogues not just Minda’s art but her grit that’s helped her soar over her handicap.

“I like to draw because it’s a slow process and I can do it at my leisure. And I just love how I can kind-of just get lost in a drawing. It kind of represents me. I am resolute and I am growing, and I am getting out of all these stresses and all these barriers. And coming out and succeeding in reaching the goal. I am getting at the stresses, and getting at the I-can’t-do-it and proving to the world I can do it.”

View the full slideshow here: Artist Minda Cox

Photograph: courtesy K. Gopinathan/ The Hindu