I always say, “When I die, on my grave, engrave: Mommy’s Lil Girl.” While, conventionally, girls are their dad’s princesses, I have always been my mom’s knight. yeah. Princess is such a sweet, naive and meek term; knight defines me better. Let me run through a series of real-life scenes where my mom had been the pillar of my strength.
#1 Year 1997
I was in grade 3 and after school, it was really a tough task to manage between home works, hobbies, studies, and play time. However, I asked my mom once;
Me: Mom, I wanna join in Dance class.
My Aunt: But you are already in Carnatic singing class.
My Uncle: It’s okay, she can join bharathanatyam. It is good to learn both classical music and dance.
Me: No, I want to join in western dance.
My Uncle and Aunt: You can either be this OR that, either be traditional, which we prefer, or be a modern rebel, which we won’t support.
My mom: You can be both. Why this or that? You can continue with your carnatic singing and be a western dancer. None can judge you for your preferences.
Years later, now, I still love western dancing and carnatic music.
#2 Year 2003
I was worried as I had to participate in a dance event as well as a quiz. I knew that I had to pick either this or that. I was sure that I might not be give my best to both. I asked my mom if I should go with this or that.
My mom: Both. When there is and or or, go with and! Put in effort, you are not meek. You can do both.
Surprisingly, I did win both.
#3 Year 2005
I was in the course selection for grade 11. Most of my friends took Computers with Maths, and some took Commerce, and few chose Biology with Maths. My school had an option to pick Bio and Computers, with Maths. I wanted to take both Bio and Computers as I liked them both. Many said that it would be tough. Choose this or that, but no I didn’t want to choose this or that. I wanted Bio & CS. My supported me, while others thought it was stupid.
Years later, in my post-graduation, I got gold medal for doing project on BioInformatics – thanks to the Bio-CS background.
#4 Year 2008
I started to design dresses and sport them. I even started making accessories that match my dress. My sister and I would work for hours on this. From my tomboyish looks in school days, I started to love dressing up and be a fashionista. Most of my friends said that a girl can be either beautiful or brainy, not both. Many of my lecturers claimed that dressing up and concentrating on fashion would be a downfall in my studies. I chose both. I chose fashion and computers.
Now, I have not just degree but a post-graduation in CSE with university ranks and a fashionista tag with my fashion blog: Strilish Talks
#5 Year 2011
Me: Mom, I want to work and study.
I had a steady flow of income from my part time job of freelancing as well as a GATE scholarship to study M.Tech.
I didn’t chose this or that. I chose to study and work by freelancing. My mom as always supported my decision.
Now, when I joined my first office after my Post-Graduation at 22, I had a M.Tech degree with 3 years of work experience, which reflected heavily on my payslip.
These are just 5 scenes of my life where I chose “&” over an “OR”. There were many such things that shaped my life.
If there is one thing that I wish to tell to every girl out there, it is: “At times, we shouldn’t pick this or that, we should pick both. The road might be tedious to walk on, but the destination would make it worth the effort.”
If you are curious to see the woman who made this journey possible for me, then *drumrolls* Ta-da; presenting you, the most amazing women in my world, my mommy:
Watch this video: