An Ode to a Mother


Now republished as  Amma

The day a child is born , so is a mother… Being  the eldest child, this is doubly true, I guess, for my mother, who I call Amma.  A mother is your first teacher,  your first refuge, your eternal panacea for all troubles whether you are a one year ‘old’ infant or a 50 year ‘young’ woman. There exists an extra special bond between daughters and mothers which intensifies the day the daughter becomes a mother. An obstetrician by profession, I have lost count of the number of times I have witnessed the miracle of birth yet the novelty never wears thin.

My mother, a “simple homemaker” by definition, was and is easily one of the earliest and strongest influences of my life,as she inspired, coaxed and at times, literally dinned into us, her 3 daughters, the singular importance of being independent and self-reliant in the truest sense of the word.  That we were  “girls” never dimmed that determination even the slightest. I remember once on hearing  that she had 3 daughters, a lady at a local club get together remarked ” Oh I am so sorry!” Pat came my mothers reply… “Why? I am not!! In fact I am proud! ” She would go on to instill in us the courage to follow our dreams, never believe that there was anything that we could not do because we were ” girls”. The fact that we belong to a matriarchal society may also have helped.  The fact that we spent our childhood in Idyllic Goa also did.  Gladly supported by my father, we were allowed  tremendous freedom of choice and were vested with the power to choose from  a very young age. This manifested in me at a very early age when I refused to repeat a class because I was too young to be promoted to the next despite having topped that class.( Class I ) Continue reading