She's a success story of many 'ands'.

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I will write about a woman I've never met but I know her story intimately well. I'm sure many of you would, too. Because she is the writer of one of the most popular children's book series in the world. Yes, I am referring to J K Rowling, writer of the Harry Potter series and one of the richest women in the world. We all know her rags to riches story and I admire her for the fact that she found inspiration to be so amazingly creative at a time when she didn't have enough money to feed herself and her child. She is a mother and an author and she excels at both! Opting for and instead of or doesn't mean that you have to do a shoddy job of both. Rowling proves that excellence is possible in varied areas of your life.

I identify with her particularly because I'm a writer myself and while professional success is certainly important to me, I would not give up on a family for that. One of my teachers during post-graduation is a successful media professional but her personal life is in shambles. That is not a choice I want to make. As a writer for a newspaper, I keep encountering readers who have trouble balancing their personal and professional lives. Sometimes, it's the in-laws expecting the woman to stay at home and prioritise housekeeping over a salaried job. At other times, it is society itself and organisational restrictions that prevent women from aiming for the sky.

Rowling lost her mother; she lost her husband; she lost perhaps the naive idea that a perfect state of affairs could last forever. But in spite of it all (or perhaps even fuelled by it all), she crafted for herself, a miraculous story of overnight success and adulation. My childhood wouldn't have been the same without Harry Potter's coming of age, the life lessons and the arresting new world that the books allowed me to slip into. I had my own periods of darkness, as did Rowling and the character she wrought. Although women are often praised for their multitasking abilities, when push comes to shove, they are expected to be a stellar homemaker or a ladder-climbing professional. Women who settle for lesser jobs post marriage and motherhood, often get nods of approval from family members, friends and society while those that fight for opportunities equal to their abilities are seen as 'wanting too much'. Rowling emulates the #UseYourAnd spirit and I believe the time is right for many more women to follow her example as well.

This world is far from equal but it has definitely become more tolerant towards the non-conformists. We do have the occasional success story of a women who did it all (and well) and with this campaign, I hope the number will multiply and society will shun unfair expectations and limitations.

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

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