Picture Courtesy: i2clipart.com
In one of my previous posts, Digging the Pigeonhole a Little Deeper!, I talked about the things that are closest to me.
I defined my roles # 1 to #11.
Ha! Actually, they defined me!
You may want to read the earlier post before going ahead here.
As women, many a times we would need to choose between getting into the confinements of a single role and liberating ourselves in the myriads of our multiple-self. Though the former may seem safe and easier for the moment, we should beware that it would prison our capabilities behind the bars of fear, guilt and resentment forever.
In the pursuit of bringing my roles # 1 to #11 alive, I have been warned, criticized, discouraged and demotivated, especially being a woman. However, it wasn’t difficult to resist such oppositions. Clarity in what I desired and the will to act were indeed strong forces in such times. And my choice too! If I had chosen to give up instead of battle against the currents, my destiny too would have ended in the kitchen, like many women of the older generation. Here are a few of my real-life situations when I chose to embrace my ANDs.
What?! A Girl takes a 6-month Off to a Gurukul? 😯
If I had done this in 2009 B.C., I would not have gone against the norms. According to the Vedic Ashram system, an individual before getting into the married life (Grihastha), would complete his/her student life (Brahmacharya) at a Gurukul. It was a place of learning science, philosophy, scriptures and self-discipline. That’s exactly what I wanted to do! But the controversy was that I wanted to do it in 2009 A.D. instead!!! The education system of today imparts nothing more than the subject and the degree. That’s the way I earned my degrees too. However, I had the impulse to complete my Brahmacharyahood, the Vedic way. I was then working in the role #1 (cell biologist). Spending 6 months time-off would mean taking a break from work, missing 6 months of salary and moving away from home. Needless to say, it was not welcomed then.
But I just did!
Under the guidance of a spiritual Guru, I was initiated into an healing art, various forms of yoga and more. At the ashram, we students practiced the four paths of yoga – Karma (Ashram Service), Bhakthi (Devotional chants), Raja (Yoga and meditation) and Jnana (Listening to Guru’s discourses and reading scriptures). We conducted spiritual awareness programmes to the general public in the weekends. I became a yoga instructor, teaching yoga to older people. And the overall transformational experience I had was magical.
I rejoined work after the short stay at the Gurukul. AND thus embraced my mystical roles #3 and #4 which I practice till date.
What now?! Leaving Science and Jumping to Writing?! 😯
I had to move to a different city after marriage. Inspired by my blogging experience, I gave a try for a writing job at the new place. Though crazy and unconventional as it may seem, I liked being connected with words all through the day. The new confidence of being successful at a second career has certainly help me grow.
AND thus I became my role #6.
What?! Think practically. How can you Manage to Review Books with a Toddler Running behind You?!
I didn’t think. I just said ‘yes’ when I got the first offer from a leading publisher. As a matter of fact, motherhood isn’t giving up reading. Of course, I may not be able to sit glued to one spot for hours together with a book in hand. But I’ve managed to complete a year of book reviewing with 20 books in the list and a handful of author friends and a few publisher contacts. Not bad, I guess!
AND thus I accommodated my role #7
Isn’t Book Reviewing Enough? Why now Freelancing?!
Why should it be enough? After all, I get to learn so many tech stuff from my freelance assignments. Most importantly, I make money!
AND thus fortune showered on me as my role #8
Firstly, I feel it’s unethical to make another human do my house work. Secondly, I enjoy the intimacy while scrubbing the dirt off H’s shirt collar, while folding his Tees and while clearing his cluttered desk. Though house chores feel mechanical sometimes, I cannot give away my rightful pleasure and duty to someone else’s hands.
AND thus said, I treasure my role #9
If there’s a time in a woman’s life when she wished she could exist as two bodies, it would be the time of motherhood. As a mother, she would certainly want to be around with her baby full-time; to watch the little one giggle and laugh and play and whine all day. At the same time, as a professional, she would also want to focus on her career and finances. Taking a break from work for a few years could mean a significant fall in her growth curve and family finances.
It becomes the most difficult choice of her life – Baby or Career?!
When this happened to me, I kicked off the ‘OR’ and embraced the ‘AND’ rightly. I stayed at home to be with my son AND took a full-time work-from-home job.
Indeed, #11 is the most cherished AND of my life and roles!
(I did not speak about roles #2, #5 and #10 here because I sailed through them relatively smoothly)
Coincidentally, the front page article in today’s Hindu newspaper supplement, features the joys of multi-tasking of the celebrity, Anu Hasan.
Anu Hasan, actor AND entrepreneur AND television anchor AND writer is now an author too. Yes, her début book, Sunny Side Up, was launched last week.
We forget that we are the sum of many parts and just because we mess up one of them,doesn’t mean that the others don’t exist or are not important.
says Anu, about her book during the book launch.
(Courtesy: The Hindu Metroplus, Chennai Edition, Monday, January 26, 2015, Page 1)