Muskan's dream goes global

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
Muskan
BIG TALENT: Muskan Devta, of Birkdale, has published ifI Dreamnf, her autobiography about her life and overcoming self-esteem issues regarding her partial hemiplegia.

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Muskan Devta is 14 years old but is already a published author, radio host and international columnist.

The bright Birkdale teen has aspirations of building a school in her homeland of India for young women.

Muskan says she builds her own window of opportunity instead of waiting for it to show up.

The Westlake Girls High School student has a disability - partial hemiplegia - but says it does not determine her identity.

Six years ago she hated greeting people in fear they would ask about her physical differences, Muskan says.

Physical education at school was not fun as she had a purple brace on to protect her foot, which faced inwards.

Kids are now more open-minded and mature, she says.

Muskan, which translates as "smile", says it's "boring being sad and gloomy".

"I don't think there's a dark side to life unless you make it."

Muskan does not care she has partial hemiplegia and does not call herself a "special needs child".

In March she had surgery to realign her foot and lengthen muscles.

After 13 years, Muskan got to wear her first sandals. They were brown and it was like "finding treasure after looking for years".

She wanted to use her recovery time wisely, so wrote her autobiography, I Dream.

Writing is what she loves and journalism is a potential career path, she says.

Mum Jaimini, a former crime reporter and producer for the BBC, says she is proud of Muskan regardless.

Muskan's book has been published thanks to BNZ. Proceeds will go to Starship Hospital as a "thank you" for looking after her.

"I want to prove that even if you have a disability, you're not the odd one out," she says.

The family hopes to launch the book in India and Malaysia.

Fortune won't change her, she says.

"I'm still the same old crazy teen - that'll never die."

Email idreambook2013@g mail.com to buy a copy.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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