THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Siddharth Muralee — who suffers from Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder — was always in awe of colours, shapes and numbers. And that led him to explore painting. “But there were times when he would not accept the different shades of a single colour,” recalls his mother Dr Jayasree.
She would then painstakingly explain to him the nuances of colour. That had an impact, and Siddharth has gone on to create varied art and hold a slew of exhibitions, including in Kochi, New Delhi, the UK and Canada. His joy knew no bounds when he became a part of the Kochi Biennale, at which he held a group exhibition with other painters. Siddharth, who baffles even his parents with his memory, designed a calendar in 2017 which carried his paintings drawn in different mediums.
All those experiences helped him gain confidence and pursue his studies with vigour. Having suffered the pain of various state government schools denying him an opportunity to study in normal schools, the 21-year-old has completed his BCom course with flying colours.
Dr Jayasree recounts it was not easy for her son to come to the forefront. Fortune smiled in the form of Choice School, Tripunithura, which took Siddharth on board along with an in-class assistant who helped him in his studies while at school, she says. But socialising remains an issue.
“Except for a Sri Lankan student, all these years, none of Siddharth’s friends have ever bothered to invite him for a birthday party or a casual visit to their homes,” she says, wishing people changed their attitudes to autistic children. “Siddharth helps me with household chores, and I have always taken that extra effort to ensure he has a normal life like any other child,” his mother says.
His father, Muralee Thummarukudy, the director of the Coordination Office of the G20 Global Initiative on environmental protection, believes Siddharth has come a long. But the Covid pandemic prevented the youngster from attending his second and third year BCom classes at the Sacred Heart College, Thevara. But that did not deter him from scoring several A grades. He now is keen on joining a chartered accountancy course.