An accident changed the course of life for the Patnaiks and their five-year-old son Venkat.
In April 2018, Kuldeep, Pramila and their son Venkat were driving back to their hometown of Balangir in Odisha from Kolkata, West Bengal, a distance of about 750 km, when they met with an accident. Although they escaped unscathed, it shook the couple to their core. To this day, if Kuldeep sees a road accident, it unsettles him for days.
It came as a stark reminder to the fragility of life. It also sent the couple on an urgent quest to help their son discover his skills, which might come handy in an uncertain future. For the next year or so, they did it on a war footing. There wasn’t a sport, activity or summer camp that Venkat did not attend. He played cricket, football and badminton, started learning music, even enrolled for swimming classes. But none of these kept him hooked for long.
He sang well, says Kuldeep, a banker turned digital marketer and stay-at-home-dad, but