September 26, 2006

Mother Incarnate

Filed under: Of men women and Eunuchs,opinions,Relationships — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 4:07 pm


Kaveeta Kaul

Each language has its own unique mode of expression. Often translating , say an urdu ‘shair’ into English, results in its innate sweetness and essence diminishing by several notches. Hindi, as a language boasts of words which defy restatement of the version in its original intention.

A case in point is the word ‘MAMTA’. All efforts to capture the spectrum of emotions this word conjures up, prove futile. The closest perhaps is ‘motherhood, motherliness..which is there, but not quite.

The reason for this quest was triggered by the news of a baby, found abandoned in a train. Whats new? Eight couples, among them a Muslim and a Christian, queued up at the hospital with offers to adopt this baby. In a world riddled presently with hatred, animosity, terrorism, suspicion, where love seems an alien concept, especially among strangers, a little life, barely a few days old had managed to evoke instincts which reside at the core of all human beings. An endearing story that truly warmed the cockles of ones heart while simultaneously re-affirming the belief in the inherent goodness of human beings,

So fierce was the battle for adoption that a court had to decide on who ought to be given parental rights. The couple finally awarded had been childless for 12 years. According to the wife, the visual of the child on her T.V. screen compelled her to rush to the hospital, driven by the faith that this child was hers in a previous birth, and has come back for her.

With the turn of events, it does seem difficult to refute that logic…considering the child had been abandoned in her city, coincidentally, as also the fact that the court had decided on her as the best option for bringing up the child. While she could not control the tears that welled up on finally holding the baby to take him home, the ones who were left childless with their hopes dashed had tears streaking down as well.

“usko nahin dekha humne kabhi, par iski zaroorat kya hogi

aye maa teri soorat se alag bhagwan ki soorat kya hogi”

As oft repeated, God could not be everywhere so he created mothers..with a heart capable of unconditional love.

Why was not the the caste of this child a cause for concern? Love had transcended all such boundaries which elsewhere and in other circumstances lead to blood baths.

It did appear as if in this auspicious period of Navratri, Mother had decided to end the pain of a woman devotee, miraculously.

Should this be dismissed as an inordinate exemplification of human kindness or considered to be a pointer towards the possibility that India is finally emerging from the shadows of dark beliefs and irrational divides? The optimist in me tends to affirm the hope of a newer India, more tolerant, enlightened and progressive.

Why then are the orphanages teeming with deprived, undernourished, children? Why are these childless couples not approaching agencies for adoption? I guess that is material for another post, since irregularities are rampant and child trade a shocking reality.

Somehow, this also brought out the longing for a world where children received love from all, irrespective of parentage,. a concept I have witnessed first hand at a Kibbutz in Israel.Children are afforded care, supervision, affection, nurturing, warmth by the whole community. Can this world be transformed into a safe haven for all future generations. If this can happen in cases of this kind, can it not occur universally? Its just a matter of reinforcing deep down the transcience of life and the permanence of just a single

Its all we seek but not all find it.


  1. you have given the story a slant which is thought provoking.

    I dont have any answers tho

    Comment by sanjay — September 27, 2006 @ 12:45 am | Reply

  2. Digression:

    mumta reminded me of this

    on our last trip M and i visited some functioning mandirs in karachi and in one of them on one wall someone had written mata with the ‘glitter’ that is used in garlands — meem, alif, tay, alif in urdu – reading that was such an exhilarating feeling…

    Comment by temporal — September 27, 2006 @ 12:58 am | Reply

  3. ‘what we get, we want not… n what we want we do not get’… rabindranath.

    still dream on.. wishes are safe n sumwhere these incidents do help us look out of the box!! the box of ills that society is full of.. why n how wud require a lot of patience n thought- wud not it be better just to act?? on the gut feel, coz, sum where deep inside all is not lost yet πŸ™‚
    harakiri of black n white πŸ™‚ wish i cud really paint my love in sum different colour.. sigh! life din give me a chance… πŸ™‚

    Comment by saptarshi — September 27, 2006 @ 10:59 am | Reply

  4. I too am is difficult to love anothers child frankly if you ask me and that too in such circumstances where the parents are totally unknown. But if a woman has found it in her to do it then it is creditable. One mother abandoned her kid..she 2 was a woman and another fought a battle for the same kid. Quite unbelievable..the kids destiny too was something.. I mean imagine being left in a train and then receiving so much love from strangers..In a hindi film one would never have believed it, but truth is stranger than fiction.

    Comment by puja — September 27, 2006 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  5. @ Sanjay..speaks of your sensitivity to have perceived it.

    As for answers, I dont know if anyone has them.But questions have to be asked in the hope that the Universe in its largesse provides us with positive responses.

    Hi T,

    That is quite remarkable..can understand the euphoria. Come to think of it,Mamta is actually quite basic to Godliness, in any religion..Good to hear of mandirs in karachi. And I am not surprised at all that you visited it πŸ™‚

    Hi Saptarshi,

    Chin Up boyo!! you are too young to be sighing..reserve that for later…enjoy it all..the roller coaster of ups and downs.

    Hey Puja,

    So true.. it does seem so magical ,,faction.. if you like. Sometimes adversity brings out the best in us. In this case a mother found that she was blessed and touched by the hand of God through this child..leson for all of us ..look for the salt in brings forth a better, refined, kinder, version of ourselves.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 27, 2006 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  6. Dear Kaveetaa–one thing that puzzles me in a situation like this is… why so many would adopt an abandoned baby on a train, when it reach’s the media–yet thousands of baby’s lay abandonend in orphanages?

    With Loving Kindness,

    Comment by North — September 28, 2006 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  7. @ Hi North,
    It is indeed I mentioned in the post. Not inclined to look askance at it as a method of publicity gaining, since there was no guarantee on who would be the appointed couple. What perhaps seems the plausible explanation is the rather long, laborious, tedious, never ending procedure of legal adoption from orphanages which appear prohibitive to the average person. This opportunity may be a ready made offer from the heavens so to speak.
    There is undoubtedly a vast number of orphaned children in India ..but I am told there is a bidding for them from foreign shores. Since economics are a sore consideration, the authorities often succumb to those pressures. Resultantly, the average middle class couple finds it difficult to adopt achild..or so I think.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — September 28, 2006 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  8. hey! i do enjoy ’em all.. the water n wine of life!! just that i don like hiding the taste n smell πŸ™‚ i wear them n so its visible…
    nonetheless, the journey is being great!

    Comment by saptarshi — September 28, 2006 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

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