All the myriad things that define 'ME'! #UseYourAnd

Words, in black and white, telling a story and in verse. Words always intrigued me ever since my school teacher held my hand and taught me to hold my pencil to write them on paper, slowly, steadily. One of those many words that brought me pride was 'ME' when I wrote an essay and scored the highest in my English class at fifth grade in school. Writing became my passion and I found solace in it.

So here goes yet another piece on that very word 'ME' which triggered my story-telling years ago. 

A funny happy-sad picture of the day that spelt victory!
Someone who knew me as a child would use just one word to define me- 'Tomboy'! Yes, I was just that and more. I was more energetic than any boy of my age and grew up wielding a wooden bat playing 'Galli Cricket' with the boys from our society. That was a hugely different me, with a short crop of golliwog hair, grazed knees and a badly sun-tanned face. Sweaty and grimy after a great game outdoors, my mother had a tough time getting me to look girlish, if she were to ready me for an outing. I however clearly remember she taught me to be myself and not let that label become something that would hold me back. She taught me to use it to my advantage and make the most of it. And that's exactly what I did! In an all girls convent school, I stood out not like a sore-thumb between all the lovely girls but as an outstanding athlete with great leadership qualities. I was elected as a Cabinet Minister and saw that my squad bagged sports trophies under my captaincy.

Then came that phase of life as a an adolescent. I was studying Commercial Arts at an all girl's college once again in South Mumbai. That was one transitional phase when all the beautiful, well turned out girls around me, suddenly opened my eyes out to a whole new fact. I could become equally lovely too. I distinctly remember those days when I consciously began changing myself. I let my hair grow into long tresses. I had my ears pierced and began sporting earrings too. I realised I had a natural flare for dressing fashionably and soon became popular amongst friends for my unique sense of matching accessories with my clothes. Yes. Vibhuti and 'matching' chandelier earrings became synonymous. And till date I remain passionate about my collection of earrings. And that is how I acquired that label of being a 'Fashionista', very early on in life.

All through the five years of rigorous training in applied (fine) arts for Advertising, I discovered that time and again I felt divided between two passions- my love for art and my passion for writing. Its been a decade that I have been experimenting with my capabilities and exploring career opportunities alternating as an 'Artist' and as a 'Writer', thankfully blessed with success as both. The brush and the metaphorical pen can easily be declared as the only two friends who have been by my side through thick and thin. I cannot imagine a world without them. I find solace in painting and self-expression through writing.

Like every other girl dreams of I discovered there was more to 'ME' when I smoothly transitioned from being only a 'Daughter' to my doting father to being a loving 'Wife' and then a 'Mother' to two naughty little boys. I thought I'd found my comfort zone and would have readily settled down for these beautiful coveted titles, if the 'Vibhuti' from somewhere deep down inside had not gone on chiming that there were many more words waiting out there to define 'ME'. That I would be happier and would be able to keep the cheer in my home only if I kept the passion in my heart beating.

'Blogging' changed my world and in 2009 I thought that there couldn't be a more wonderful title than calling myself a 'Blogger'. My ambitions grew and I went out for a gulp of a mouthful of sky. 'Not Totally Unbelievable' my maiden collection of short stories was published in 2011 and I was thrilled to hear me being referred to as an 'Author'. My life's dream of getting published by the age of 30 was accomplished.

Last year I experimented with an idea, of bringing my passion for fashion and art together and launched my label of hand-painted fashion accessories. And India's prestigious 'The Week' magazine interviewed me, mentioned my label and quoted my take on fashion, in its cover feature of the February 2015 issue.

My hand-painted gemstone chandelier earrings..:D
There are a myriad other things that can define 'ME'. Especially this new Avatar that I have taken on. My knack for socialising through the various online media is a story in its own self. I enjoy it to the hilt and feel blessed that I am able to cut out a career for myself as a Social Media Strategist.  My virtual world between my Facebook friends, the Twitterati and my BlogAdda Dost is a heartwarming part of my life. 

I wonder what would I have done without these varied elements that make up my life? What would I have done if my life was also like those  many unfortunate girls out there who have never been given an opportunity to go out and explore the myriad possibilities that life can offer. What if I was forced to pick between the ORs and close my eyes to the ANDs that I have enjoyed in my life. 

I would have felt suffocated if I was to live with one of the stereotypical labels given to girls at large. What if my parents were to stunt my growth, not letting me metamorphose to my choice, as AND when! I am grateful and thankful that they let ME be me and I used the opportunities completely. I am proud of that! 

In sharing my story I wish to say that like me you can  #UseYourAnd too. 
All you women must #UseYourAnd. There's an inexplicable happiness in finding that there are a multitude of things that define me, not just one! There's a sense of pride to say that my life is defined by the word 'AND', not by an 'OR'..

I am thankful to Gillette Venus and BlogAdda for triggering such a lovely blogging idea where women will be motivated to break out of the shackles of the 'OR'  to wake up and embrace the 'AND' within.

If my story has inspired you enough, watch this video to know more about how you can  #UseYourAnd 

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus


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