From "or" to "And". The Journey continues...
जाके पैर ना पड़ी बिवाई
वह क्या जाने पीर पराई
The above is a famous idiom which means- the one who has not suffered for self, would not know what suffering is all about.
There is no dearth of suffering in this world. every one is living through their own challenges, shortcomings and disabilities. Some are natural, some medical, some accidental and some self made. Deformity is often natural or accidental and Deformity is a low blow in our society. Forget how we as a society see deformity as. Important is how do we see our deformity as and even importantly, what we do about it.
If you follow my blogs, I told you about a girl in my "The Last Dandiya" post, who was dance and sports enthusiast but one fine morning wakes up to find all her dreams broken and life taken a 360 degree turn. Well that girl was me.
What Defines me
I hated to be "labelled". I hated to be "stereotyped". All my life, I worked through being different, unique and out of cliche. I was defined as a dancing gymnast, who unlike other girls of her age, would be find jumping up on the trees, walking over factory sheds, taking the roads less traveled, dancing her heart out, being there for almost every sport and exploring why Taboo exists, at places where they existed.
To me love, friends, family, my passion, my adventure, my dancing and my dressing up were most important to me. But that one accident, that accident had taken away all that defined me. My life full of "And" was changed to life of single "or". Essentially, "Or" means choices. Unfortunately, I did not had much choices to live with. So even my "or" were limited.
My Journey from "Or" to "And"
"I can accept Failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying"
When I was recovering from my accident, I was shown a movie "Naache Mayuri" to given some "over the top" pep talk by motley around including the intelligent lot. In the movie, the danseuse actress wakes up post her accident and asks the doctor if she can dance again and wanted to die out of depression when doctor expresses regret.
You know the first thing that I asked my doctor? I asked if I can be able to walk on my own "and" can live a normal life again, sans limb if that's the case. My doctor hesitated for a moment and said- Yes, we will try making you walk. You can walk using crutch "or" stick.
Another "or"was either I live the way, life has disabled me in to "OR" I cease to Live. I chose neither.My brain told my heart something that I still believe in. it said- My life's sail was indeed set and since I could not change the wind's direction, I planned to adjust my sail to avoid being victim of the shapeless winds. I will sail and I will sail with winds, and I will sail better with winds.
I decided to shun the "or" of my life. In spite of Ostracism, limitation and bruises, I with help of my parents and that inner voice "of not being victim" tried to fight the "or" tooth and nail. I told myself these things-
- I will walk and I will walk Independently
- I will live my disable life and I will live with dignity and stealth
- I will live cheerfully and study and complete my education and live on my own, independently- financially and respectfully and will be second to none.
- I will live on "merits" and "qualification"
Today I am not known as a handicap person. It comes later. First comes - You are pretty and Intelligent. You are Confident and qualified. You are talented and handicap. A lot of cases- handicap comes no where :)
Since last 20+ years I have been working on my "and". My journey from "or" to "and" was filled with injuries, insults, hurts, failures, struggles and happy moments as well. I tried to not stop dreaming. "And" always tried to suffice it with "Happiness".
Today the aim of my life is to end it with "and happy". I am glad that I dared to refuse the "labels" and made my own place under the sun. No sugar daddies, no Godfathers, no fixed mentor. I drew my inspiration solely from my dreams and things that I my heart desired. I happily rejected the "or" and embraced the good, positive "and".
And my friend, the result is in front of you. A medically 90% plus disable person, living her life, earning her own livelihood, travelling across the world on own, no sticks/crutch thus far, no government job "under disability quota [with due respect] so far. I live, without wrinkles on my motivation, with my held high.
It is not that I do not get disappointed. It is not that my handicap does not trouble me. Oh it does trouble me every single hour, minute and reminds me of my limitation. I try and still trying my best to not let it overwhelm me. After all, I am girl and a professional and home maker and a blogger and a wife.
I, like all of you, do not know what future has in store but would always like to change my "or" into "and". Hoping that you too, whether you are male or female, Indian or American or Nigerian, white skin or dark skin, normal or handicap, you will live #UseYourAnd and show the world, power of human motivation and inspire self and others.
If I can do it, you too can! And let me tell you, you could be anything!
This story is shared solely for the purpose of sending out some self motivation to world around. When Harish from Blogadda asked me to share my story for #UseYouAnd and take the motivation to large number of people, I was not sure. Then I thought, what if another Numerounity is facing ordeals and if this motivation can save a life, a smile? :)