Motherhood has forever been for me an all-encompassing experience. Today, I shall share with you the different ways that I have looked at motherhood at various stages of my journey. I will also share with you a few of my poems that have been representative of those phases of my life, documenting my feelings, sentiments and perceptions of a mother-child relationship at each of these times.
As a child
Humanity’s first contact with life is through a mother… from the moment a baby is conceived in the womb, a mother is born. Born with the promise of endless and unconditional love for her baby that only grows with time like the little cell in her womb — the bundle of joy on her lap forever.
My contact with motherhood has been no different since the time I was conceived as a thought in her heart. My Maa, as I call her. I have been an integral part of her being as she has been mine. Can’t remember knowing myself any earlier than from when those vigilant eyes, those loving hands, that beautiful smile and that warm hug constituted my world — presence that has forever meant stability, protection, sacrifice, security and endless, unconditional, irrational and instinctive love.
That’s not to say that our relationship hasn’t been through mother-daughter turmoil at times, or hostility and rebellion that are common between mothers and daughters. She has been the security that I have thwarted with both hands at times to assert myself and my independence; those times when all that she wanted me to abide by meant irrational restriction, suffocation and oppression. Those days when I didn’t want to see her face, or hear her voice, at all.
But, perhaps, those days were necessary for my understanding of the depth and profundity of her love and care in later years. In my moments of decision-making and choosing paths, I found my mother in me and moved ahead with all the values she had implanted in me. That’s, perhaps, when I had conceived the mother within and realized that, through all the turbulence and challenges of life, it was her light that has largely steered my ship and guided me to come ashore safely. It still does so till date.
You are the light in which I breathed my first
The darkness which nestled me
The fingers that clenched me in a grip called love
And held me unflinchingly
From before the I in me was born
Through moments when the I in me
Is battered and bruised
To when the I in me resurrects again.
You are the warmth that surrounds me when I most need love
A love everlasting that needs no words
Those eyes that weep in my pain
And smile boundlessly in my joy
You are the wind that has egged me to soar higher
The calm that has doused all storms in me
I believe there is a reason
Why we belong to each other Maa
A reason that can’t be spelt
But only felt in overwhelming tears as I write this
You are me turned inside out
My rough edges mellowed with your time
My protests merged in your prayers
The perfect cocoon I sheltered in before you pushed me to life
The perfect refuge I push myself to
From life at its ugliest
Your womb is where my soul sleeps
Every night after its first waking
As you are me turned inside out
And I am myself because you are with me.
(published in Mosaic Vision)
As a woman craving motherhood…
There is a time in a woman’s life when her mind, body and soul are ready to be a mother. Nature conspires to make her want to hold a baby in the womb of her soul and give birth, nurture and play with it. In my life, there has been such a time and a fairly long one when I took some very important decisions, choosing motherhood over everything else. I had felt the undeniable urge to be a mother despite several personal crises. And, as I was overcoming that difficult phase of my life, I had held my dream child in the womb of my soul all the time…
My child, you lie there in the warmth of my dreams
Can feel you weigh down in the deepest crevices of my soul
Your fingers rummaging for me in all my veins
Your shriek in the frosty silence of my suffering.
Many a sunshine have I given you
Many a cloud and rain
Have run across sunflower fields with you
In moments of utter inaction and frozenness.
I have carried you in my womb for ages
Our communion is not today’s
So, will wait till it is warm enough outside
To show you the light of the day.
(published in Mosaic Vision)
As a mother who found solace in her child…
My understanding of motherhood came round a full circle when I became a mother myself. That moment when I held my son for the first time is unforgettable. The child I held in my being through so many storms and challenges was right there in my arms and when, as a newborn, he looked at me with his twinkling eyes for the first time, I broke down in tears, helplessly perceiving in his blinking eyes and puckered little mouth his first words to me ‘Maa, I am here!’ Since then, he has been my source of sustenance, fulfilment and the greatest truth and reason to live…
My Son, My Light
I have walked a life of thousand miles
In search of truth after each dark night
My wounded soul craves not for a while
To walk anymore and see the light.
Is there really a new story to tell?
To ring in hope with a silver bell?
A magic wand that will erase the pain?
The wound, the hurt, the darkness vain?
Do you remember how they won that fight?
And laughed a scorn with their truth-less might?
Yet, there is light, there is, you say
The light of hope to wipe dismay
The light that will arrive one day
The lies for the truth will sure make way
I trust you not, if you truly ask
I have seen it all, the lies, the mask
The new is old turned inside out
Rust seethes in that enamelled spout
The bones will show when the paint shall fade
It’s all a game of light and shade
But wait, my friend, did I just see
A glitter in those eyes of my son of three?
Oh! how celestial ’twas, that shine so bright
Hope, love, truth and the dream of light!
I can’t deny the strength of those eyes
That fills me with hope, makes me forget my sighs
Come home to me, my dreams tonight
Together we shall wait for the morning light
If all was lost then there wouldn’t be
That serene smile of my son of three.
(published in Mosaic Vision)
On this Mother’s Day, I wish you all and myself a deeper understanding and a greater respect for motherhood in all its shades and bearings. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
(Vaijayantee Bhattacharya is an entrepreneur, author, poet, editor and PR professional. She is the author of her anthology of poems, called Mosaic Vision. She has several years of experience in the print, publishing and publicity industry. She is also the Founder & CEO of a Bahrain-based company called CreaTree Services that provides PR, Marketing, Advertising and Event Management services.)
For more information on Vaijayantee, please visit