Thursday, 8 January 2015

Short Story: The Journey From OR to AND

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I'm Pragya Chauhan.

I'm a Woman.

And an Independent Woman, at that.

Today, I'm going to pen down my journey.

The Journey from OR to AND.

I took charge of my life, to make a choice, and not a comprise, with my dreams and aspirations.



I feel proud to acknowledge that I have had the privilege of attending an all-girls convent, for twelve years of schooling.

I was a ten year old, attending the fifth grade, when Karate had been introduced as a new sport, to us girls, meant for students in grade five, up till grade eight.

It was however, not a compulsory discipline.

I had always been fascinated by ladies serving in the Police Force.

There was a certain grace and authority, that came along with the pride of being in uniform and wholeheartedly serving the nation,

If I had to pursue my dream of becoming a Police officer, I had to build upon my physical endurance.

Thus, compulsory or not, embracing Karate as a sport was not an option for me.


However, I come from a conservative background, and my parents were skeptical about allowing me to learn Karate.

There were discussions with one point rising above all.

Physical strength is attributed to the men of the house, and in general, boys.

'Why do you want to interfere with a masculine domain?

You girls are supposed to be graceful, gentle, feminine.'

This statement from my elder brother pricked me like a thorn.

I was resolute.

My parents' perspective was clear.

'Decide if you want to be a good daughter OR a Karate champion.'

OR was their keyword.

I changed it to AND.

Good daughter or not, I was a Brown Belt Karateka, by the end of my seventh grade.

A Karateka is one who practices Karate, by the way.


I still remember the date, 12 March 1997.

Our eighth grade was to begin in April.

It was during the one month break we get after any end term examination, that a horrid accident was averted owing to my Brown Belt.


One of our neighbor's daughter, Reena Di, had rejected her to-be-groom on grounds of dowry harassment.

I was with her, when we were returning from the market-place that day.

That man had sent some four other masked men to attack her with acid!

Thankfully, I'd been alertly noticing that they were following us back home.

They were on some mean machines.

But sometimes, physical skill and knowledge beats even some crazy people on machines.


One of them was carrying a bottle of acid.

I was quick to notice their intention and timing of attack.

That was it.

One strike from my side was enough for that assailant to lose all sense.

I had hit him on his hand, thus breaking the bottle.

And, acid spilled on the road.

I tackled him further by rendering him unconscious!

Reena Di panicked and ran towards her house.

Two of the other assailants tried to follow her, while the  fourth one cowardly fled!


One of the passers-by was walking his pet, in our neighborhood and was carrying a stick too.

He saw them chasing her, and was quick to knock one of them, by hurling his stick, at him.

He also commanded his dog, Roger, to chase the other one on wheels.

Being a Labrador, that dog was quick to catch up with his speed, and chewed at his tyre, thus unbalancing him.

Thus, all of them retired hurt.


Reena Di's father visited us that evening, to inform my parents of the entire episode, praising me for my bravery and guts, even when I was a girl.

That was my moment of Victory.

Being a girl, I had put to test, my physical strength.

That was my answer, to my elder brother's comment in the past.

After all, self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-defense aren't solely masculine domains!


Now, eighteen years down the line, I feel proud to acknowledge the fact that I am now, a Black Belt Karateka.

Above all, I am now posted as a Senior Inspector in Delhi Police.

Now, my parents wholeheartedly agree.

They say, I proved myself to be a good daughter AND a Karate champion.

More than being a Karate champion, I feel proud to have pledged my service, to my nation.

Had it not been for my instinct and my heart, which guided me by saying - #UseYourAnd.

Senior Inspector Pragya Chauhan refused to choose one thing OR the other, and instead followed her heart! :)


This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus.
The theme is Journey From OR to AND.


  1. Inspiring .....really inspiring....

    1. I'm glad this inspired you, Sushree.
      Keep Visiting. :)

  2. Wonderful. Always so inspiring to read real stories like these, Poonam!
    Thank you for promoting my post on Indiblogger! :)

    1. Thanks for reading through and reciprocating, Vidya.
      Indeed, such stories never fail to strike a chord.
      Keep Visiting. :)


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