All about Mothers – Esther David

This week, as the IPSC results were announced, it was interesting to read that many young women were at the forefront. So invariably one starts thinking about the Hindi film ‘Nil Battey Sannata.’ Here, some scenes show the protagonist Chanda and her daughter Apeksha, almost regularly have a quick dinner of noodles. As, today it is one of the easiest of meals in almost all sections of society. Some years back, when Lilaben, who looks after my home; returned after her son’s marriage, she was rather agitated, that her daughter- in-law, who works as a labourer; wanted noodles for breakfast, instead of chapattis. And, that her son obliged; was even more shocking for her. So, this scene in the film, did not surprise me, as Chanda, a single mother who works as a bai at her Doctor-Madam’s home and also does multi-tasking in a variety of menial jobs; has very little time and can only cook lunch in the mornings, specifically for her daughter Apeksha’s dabba.

The bright side of Chanda’s life is that; she has an affectionate relationship with her enlightened Doctor- Madam, who motivates her to go back to school and also inspire her reluctant daughter to study further; although Apeksha is convinced that she will follow her mother’s footsteps. But, Chanda has a dream. She wants Apeksha to join the Indian administrative services. And, after a long struggle; makes sure that she does.

The film stirred a deep chord within me, as it had so many tones to the complex mother-daughter relationship. If most women could be like Chanda and her Doctor-Madam, India would be a different place for women and the girl-child.

In contrast, the American film Mother’s Day with stars like Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston; had other connotations, as women go through a variety of emotions as celebrations of Mother’s Day begin; and seemingly unconnected mothers and daughters come closer. Like the divorced mother of two comes to terms with her ex-husband’s new wife or a popular author, who had given up her daughter for adoption; but denies the relationship when she comes face to face with the child, now a grown up woman; but eventually accepts her. While another older woman gives a surprise visit to her two daughters’ and is shocked to meet each with partners she finds hard to accept, like an Asian husband of one and the lesbian relationship of the other. But, then; all’s well that ends well, when they eventually come to terms with their reality.

Interestingly, both films were released close to Mother’s Day, albeit with different story lines; yet, we realize that, when it comes to mothers and daughters, one need not celebrate this relationship for just one day, but if the bond is deep and strong, everyday could be; maybe, a special Mother-Daughters Day!

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