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  • Writer's pictureMohit Ahuja

Winning at Breaking Stereotypes

I love the internet and how it has transformed our lives. Especially with the coming of social media where one gets to see, know and meet some amazing people doing amazing work. I came across one such person a few months back. She’s someone who is setting an example for many. This article is about her as much as it is about you.

I promise, in a few minutes, this will be personal to you but will also leave you smiling.

The person I’m talking about is Vinayana Khurana, a young individual that I came across on Instagram a few days back. Vinayana has a condition of Cerebral Palsy, but that is not what got my attention.

Randomly scrolling across Instagram, I happened to see a reel where Vinayana was enacting a judgmental relative and in the process very beautifully putting out how we as a society are still massively struggling on how to deal with disability.

A classic example of creating awareness by turning your weakness into your strength.

As many would do, I immediately followed Vinayana and told her what an inspiring person she is. An instant reply came by and we started following each-other. 

Now, what sets Vinayana apart is how she's chosen to transform her weakness into her strength. But then, something happened that in an instant made her one with you and me.

While there are so many positive comments and fans (like me) messaging her, someone on Instagram abused her, shaming her for her disability. 

The more such comments affect you, the farther you move from your goals.
The Abuser

As a sibling, I have seen that happen with Neeru, my eldest sister. If you're reading this and you are a parent or a sibling, I'm sure you would have seen it too.

And, if you're nowhere related to the disability spectrum, I am still very sure that you would have been labeled by someone in life, a label you wouldn't have liked.

That makes us all the same doesn't it? A very human response to a situation like this is where we tell ourselves, "Wait till you see me up there on a big stage. My success will silence you!"

But, I don't think that's a big win. A medal, a trophy, a newspaper article or just being there on some big stage with people applauding you are just an act of recognition of the fact that you are doing good. That's the smaller win in my very honest opinion.

You know what the big win is? The big win for me was when Vinayana uploaded another funny reel and then another and then another. The big win was when my mom took Neeru to the vocational training school day after day to get her into a social circle she deserves.

The big win is when a sibling, a parent, a teacher or a friend says, "Hey, you did better today!"

The big win is when nobody was watching, nobody would have cared if you or me or Vinayana gave up and disappeared and yet we all showed up because we knew we deserved what we are aiming for.

In simpler terms, if I had to give you a choice between winning a little everyday or going on stage once or twice a year, what would you choose?

I see Vinayana on my Instagram feed, parents of my students, my mom (72) and my dad (77+) showing up everyday for Neeru, and I see how they refuse to give up. If you're reading this and you've come this far without finding my rant non-sensical, you are a winner too.

It is “showing up” that matters and while we are at it, let's do it, one day at a time, all 365 days. Before long, there will be many Vinayanas rising up claiming the universe that's theirs as much as it is yours or mine. Yes, disability needs awareness but for what I have seen, it is best achieved by breaking stereotypes, surprising yourself with what all you can do, knowing you might not be the best at it and doing it anyway.

I hope you keep winning, keep smiling; and on days that you feel like giving up, I'll be there to tell you Vinayana's story.

Here’s the link to Vinayana’s instagram profile. Please follow her and tell her what a marvelous job she’s doing at being herself. It will mean the world to me.

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2 comentarios

Sanjana Thakur
Sanjana Thakur
07 abr

This is such an inspiring blog. Totally love it.

Me gusta

Neerja Khurana
Neerja Khurana
07 abr

Beautifully written ..

Me gusta
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