Add AND to Your Life…

Labels are attached to bottles and jars
No one dares to label the twinkling stars
Labelling makes one incomplete and short
One should live life to the fullest, with all effort

Women are vulnerable, to this society and men
But they’ve immense potential, beauty and brain
Break free those boxes you’re put in, my dears
Embrace your AND, discarding hesitation and fears.

Women are often stereotyped in our society. I was no exception to that. In my childhood, I loved to play outdoor games like football, cricket and badminton. I was not a good player but just liked the excitement that were attached  to a sixer ( the rule was that if the ball went beyond a particular tree, it was SIX ) or the ‘goal’, ‘goal’ shout which was the essence of football. But this inclination for outdoor games, which I played most of the times with boys, earned me many criticisms like,”It’s not good that being a girl she is playing with boys” or, “Why play outside? You’ll suffer in the future when your fair complexion get tanned.” There was a litany of complaints!  Surprisingly, those comments used to come not from my parents, but friends and relatives.

The society tried to put labels even in my activities. But I was equally comfortable with dolls AND cricket bats. I indulged myself in indoor as well as outdoor games.

Drawing and dancing were my favourite pastime. Maa admitted me to a Drawing School. A teacher was also appointed to teach me Bharatnatyam. After a few peaceful years, when I was in my tenth standard, again my well-wishers started saying that it would be a mammoth task  to manage painting, dancing and study, simultaneously. They even opined that I won’t be able to score high in the board exam with all those things going along, and, I should either concentrate on studies OR on those activities.  How I hated those options! Why OR? I can be a good student AND an aspiring dancer AND a moderately good artist at the same time. Why should be one-dimensional?

Pencil Sketch of Rabindranath Tagore, Made by Me

Pencil Sketch of Rabindranath Tagore, Made by Me

This labelling of society is more prone towards women. Even when I grew up, I faced such criticisms. “You can either be a good mother OR a businesswoman”. Let me ask, why can’t I be both? AND I’ve proved that I can. I can run a business in the stock-market AND I can be a regular contributor to a popular monthly Bengali magazine. I can be a good daughter AND a loving wife AND a responsible mom AND an occasional dancer AND painter AND a teacher ( I love to teach students and I do it on a weekly basis, presently, I’ve four students) AND I love to cook.

I love to add ‘ANDS’ in my life. My blog represents my spirit too. Here, on ‘Scattered Thoughts’, I write poems AND fictions AND haiku AND reviews. I post photographs AND participate in contests AND do share my views on social issues.

All said so far is not a bloviation but just to make  the society aware of the fact that each and every woman is multifaceted. It’s not justified to put a label on them. They should be given a chance to show their potential. Let them come out of their confinement. Inspire them and say #UseYourAnd.

It's Me :-D

It’s Me😀

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

Acknowledging Ranju’s tag

46 responses to “Add AND to Your Life…

  1. Thought I will mention something else… they made Mount Carmel College co-od recenltly, it is popular college in Bangalore… so I read in the news, later found out it was only the PG section which was converted because well facilities were not fully utilised, but the population of guys will be less… well the actually truth is from what I see there is not so much gender segregation in Bangalore colleges as much as there is in Chennai so why make it such a big news… if women is multi dimentional, so is Indian society I am confused on what is the norm…some liberal, some conservative… I think most of us are confused on what to follow and since the youngsters are always blamed they sort of have a guilt complex and are angry slightly… we forget that we should focus on being nice people rather than being religious, outgoing or anything…anyway… I also don’t like too much gender segregation and ignorement…its not that women are weak and useless… so sad and uncool…

  2. Times have changed… nowadays a women, girl, lady can be multi dimentional(: …but you did not stop all this dispite what others said which is commendable. For me, my society when young was pretty broard minded only, not that I did anything adventurous…but ofcourse wearing shorts, sleeveless and going out on my own was a problem because of the safety issue and I think I developed a inferiority complex… as you grow older ofcourse no one can question you… I guess we need strong women who won’t bow down then things will change(:… thankfull atleast the urban kids thesedays are way more freerer with oppurtunities… btw it is commendable in 10th doing studies, drawing and dancing… my Dad too would have told to stop the extra stuff because studies take priority but that is both for boys and girls. But I think only studies will not keep you productive, someother activity will improve your concentration power. Personally I think if I was a guy I might have been better off, thinking of al the tension people have when we mature):..also all the things we go through… though I am cool, I do think being a women is not a tall easy… but that does not mean we can’t do outdoor things, adventure stuff, smart stuff etc… to a extent parents should grow girls as toughly as boys are and boys should be grown as fragily as girls are… anyway goodday… one thing we should remember is the real women even before us who fought when they would not raise their voice like we do… our grand mom’s days before the women who came out and fought for independence…who wore saree and bindi and echoed the spirit of women when there were more stereotypes… they are true ones being women of substance(:… anyway blabbering…nice to know your free spirited soul… always inspiring that.

    • Thanks so much Maria, it’s always feels so nice to hear from you. Your thoughts and words make me think again about my posts🙂 You are very right to say that being a woman is not an easy task..we have to come across so many problems, so many obstructions from the society… still we are progressing, changing ourselves and our ways of life…🙂
      Nice to know that you find the post inspiring…🙂

  3. You’re amazing and talented artist!! That is a cool pencil drawing in there!! And of course super cool info about that multi faceted girl😀

  4. Wow…what a beautiful sketch! And love the opening lines so very much! After reading your life story of Or to AND I have just become a fan of yours. You are a wonderful person and keep adding more feathers to your cap just like this.

  5. Pingback: Believe in the power of ‘And’ – Scribble and Scrawl·

  6. great post Mani … Yes I am and will keep on using my ‘Ands’ there are too many :p AND its not necessary that one has to be the BEST in every And .. A thing I realised a bit late .. but then As long as I am All that what I want to be .. its fine and calm🙂 Truly a great post. Th sketch of Gurudev is awesome .. loved how you have have given that look called as ‘soft focus ‘ of Gautam Rajadhyaksha fame ..🙂 Kudos to your sketching And Girl🙂

  7. Maniparna,

    Tagore is one of my absolute favorite writers, and your sketch of him is excellent! You should include as many “ands” as you wish, and I hope with time that society will become more accepting of whatever endeavors women may wish to pursue without exception.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog……John H.

  8. Oh my!!! I should just take down my sketch.😛 First of all thanks for acknowledging my tag. Are you still making sketches? Please do it more often. This one is just perfect. And all those ANDs… Yes you can easily use them. We all can. No one has the right to restrict us with ‘OR’s. Loved this post Maniparna🙂

  9. Hats off to you, ma’am, i have always wanted to be multidimensional, but am still struggling with just one. Gender aside, I think it is, or was,the general rule of society in earlier days, and thus the saying” jack of all trades, master of none”. Do keep posting!

  10. Loved it Aparna! I feel it all depends on the parents and their outlook in bringing up kids. Pleased to know more about you. btw I learnt new word bloviation.😉

  11. Hey there,

    You are one hell of a woman, aren’t you? I never knew you were a mom too😀 Glad to know that.

    That said I always wanted to learn about stock market. I could never understand money. One of these days I am just gonna enroll in some free seminar about market. Lets see.

    Great to know some insider facts about you🙂 Good going friend.


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