Tag Archives: Mother

PHOTOGRAPHING MOTHER

ABOUT THE POET

Tribhuvandas Purushottamdas Luhar, better known by his pen name Sundaram, (22 March 1908 – 13 January 1991), was a Gujarati poet and author from India. He was born on 22 March 1908 at Miyan Matar, BharuchBombay PresidencyBritish India. He completed his primary education in the local school of Matar and five grades in the English medium at Amod, Gujarat. Later he studied at Chhotubhai Purani’s Rashtriya New English School, Bharuch. He graduated in languages from Gujarat VidyapithAhmedabad in 1929. He started teaching in Gurukul at Songadh. He participated in Indian independence movement and was imprisoned for some time. He was associated with Jyotisangh, the women’s organization in Ahmedabad, from 1935 to 1945. He was introduced to Sri Aurobindo in 1945 and he moved to Pondicherry. He presided Gujarati Sahitya Parishad in 1970. He died on 13 January 1991.[1][2][3][4]

ABOUT THE POEM

The poem photographing mother by Sundaram shows the poet’s regrets and also the tragedy of the situation; of his mother’s sorrowful state of disease-ridden health and years of neglect. The photographer tries to be kind to the poet’s mother and calls her Ba. He tries to create her feel comfortable and relaxed and tells her to use caution to not blink. Even the slightest error would mean the waste of a plate and repetition of the entire procedure, The silver-tongued photographer fussing around his mother is barely doing his job unaware of her illness but his request to the poet’s mother has the other effects. The poet’s mother spent all her time doing the housework that she got no gratitude. Since she was passionate about her in-laws we are able to presume that she never protested. forgetting about her own problems she looked toward her children’s future. The poem is structured around the artificiality of the photograph and therefore the harsh reality during which the poet’s mother lives. The poet and his brother try and compensate their mother by trying to alleviate her pain and pleasing her in various ways which are shown within the poem as taking her bent show her town and therefore the palaces, parks, cinema halls, and theatres. But this just looks as if a measly token of appreciation. The poet doesn’t hesitate to require the blame partly for his mother’s condition and feels shame and regret as he sees her lifeless smile plastered on her mother’s face and lastly, it’s shown that s a memorial of affection, he takes her to the studio for s photograph for the last time.

The box-camera, because the name suggests, was basically an oversized box with a viewing
window at one end and therefore the lens at the opposite. Within the box was a sliding frame, which held
a ground glass plate and which the photographer could draw back and forth. The image could
be seen on this plate. Once the photographer had arranged the background and seated his
subject he would go under the black cloth with which the camera was covered. This helped
to keep the sunshine and adjust the main target. Since it had been out of the question to physically move the heavy
camera, the photographer would slide the frame back and forth until he was satisfied with the
result. What made his task harder was the actual fact that the image on the glass plate was
inverted. After that, he would cover the lens, replace the bottom glass plate with a glass plate
covered with a light-sensitive chemical like collodion, and so remove the duvet over the lens.

MOTHER: THE TRUE WARRIOR

One-person on the frontline may have different names. When the entire universe bows down and love that person from the bottom of the heart, even if someone criticizes or tries to create rumors, still the word “mother” won’t fade away. The only person who loves without expecting anything in return, there’s nothing; comparatively, it’s priceless and cannot be quantified. She is the person who survives the aftermath of sequences of struggles in her entire life, beginning from discarded as a female child from birth itself.

A newborn in the caring hands of a mother.

Let us talk about the reality of a patriarchal society. Where the voices get suppressed, but now it’s reflected in the reports. According to the World Population 2020 Report released by UNPFA (United Nations Population Fund) conveys that in India, almost one-third of the total missing females in the world accounts for an estimated figure of 45.8 million people. The children below the age of 5 years, where one out of nine females foresees death due to early gender detection.

A girl child with this mother in a rural village in India.

This pandemic may heal nature, but not the people surviving in the nation, an increase in violence and discrimination is likely to be seen as a consequence of no income source. The practice of child marriage may have vanished, but there are still traces of such incidents where they tried to flout the laws. The technology may have been a boon, but when undauntedly used by the culprits to gender bias by ultrasound, it has crashed their compassion and dreams before it ignites.

A proud mother with her three daughters.

The developing countries are already trying to fight problems like reducing poverty, boosting literacy rate, abandoning illegal trade. Additionally, other matter of concern arises like child trafficking and drug abuse are acting as barriers to the roadmap to success. An abundant investment in terms of money as well as time from renowned leaders, influencers can save the lives of the hapless fate of being such a victim of unfortunate events.

One inspirational story I can share is about a small family where a baby girl enters their life. This incident may sound as a non-fictitious story, but in Mumbai, India, where after three years of marriage, god showers happiness as a unique member enters their life. A 32-year old father was happy to see his baby after ten days free of the contamination. The mother was a patient in the COVID ward in Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital. They are safe now and returned thanking the efforts taken by the hospital. These doctors and parents who abide by the guidelines do deserve appreciation rather than criticizing uselessly on the health system. The slow curve can take steady growth any day when we won’t be able to see each other, and the day isn’t too far.

Two mothers in a single frame. Such a beauty.

Even a mother can fall into depression; after all, she is a person like all of us. On a positive note, motherhood is seen over drugs while parenting their children. After testing it on rats, contributes the information in the research related to the infralimbic cortex, which is responsible for emotions, preferred the acceptance towards maternal behavior over other addictions. This action shows immense love for their offspring. We as a part of the nourishing society, we can pledge that we will never let their name die, and forever keeping her head upraised in pride.

MELANCHOLIC MEMORY

The silhouettes of my dreams

your lingering presence, a faint smell of ecstasy

an enigmatic memory, a nagging remembrance

your honeyed words and scented presence, my thoughts still reek of

your disheartening essence

My body yearns for your sweet gentle caresses

but my mind has grown weary of your wicked ways

Of your abhorrent reassurances and unfaithful eyes

my heart has crumpled from so many scars

creating an endless, endless abyss

Those moth-eaten letters mean nothing to me, because you still live,

in the chasm of  my memory

losing all sense of humanity and bonding with ingenuity

You lost me the day you dashed, making a run for the sun dipped skyline

your melancholic memory now a mere distress

and thoughts filled with the agony that now I must let rest

For now, I know you no more to remember you

As my mother

ANALYSIS 

The poem is set on a somber note where the poet is remembering her mother and at the same time berates her for abandoning her. At a very early age, the poet’s mother leaves her and now only some essence of her is left in her memory. Although the memory is of happier times, of her mother’s sweet presence, of her honeyed voice, it is still painful for the poet to remember all of this. The poet is having conflicting thoughts, whether she should hold on to her memories of her mother or let go as it is still crystal and still painful for her. The letters that her mother left her now means nothing to her as it is a reminder to her that she is not coming back. Because she was deceived by her mother and her unfaithful reassurance, that she doesn’t believe her anymore. This poem shows the thin bond shared by a mother and her daughter and how abandonment caused such great pain and scarred the poet lasting a lifetime. Repetition is used to emphasize each memory and the mood of the poet in the present as she is recounting her old memories. At first, the poet could not come to terms with the fact that her mother had left her and so she was always in a state of restlessness and anxiety, always waiting for her return but when she slowly started to grow up and started accepting the fact that her mother was to coming back, those melancholic memory change to distressing ones and now the word mother brings a bad taste to her mouth as it opens up fresh wounds. The poem is set on a beautiful yet sad background as the memories are beautiful yet a painful remembrance. The poet has personified the pages of the letters that the mother used to send to the poet. Like forgetting a painful past, the poet must also let go of any love left for her mother that she still holds and must not dwell on her past. The concluding lines of the poem shows how the poet is coping up with the after-effects of finally forgetting her mother.

KHAKI SHIRT

Feather as unique as she

decorated the lining of the leather-bound book

not a day spent outside the library

the ancient library enhanced the scent of musk

deeper every day she nestled

her thoughts in his books

whilst he knotted her braids

in babyish pleasure

Till she dug her head deep in his Khaki shirt

Till she met the warmth of his soft brown eyes

Humbled, but his smile didn’t reach his eyes

a flicker of sadness, a pang of guilt

why was he spinning, the web of lies?

Selfless in his pursuit had he been

undaunted, his intentions clear

then why did he hesitate,

his forehead beaded with sweat,

his eyes filled with tears?

Oblivious, she swayed

to the sound of Sinatra

mirroring her mother’s

a faint remembrance

the sweet serendipity

now made him shudder

Hollowed by her loss,

staring at the stone-cold body

he couldn’t have left her orphaned

Every dawn, now a sweet presence

of her exuberant self, and his khaki shirt

a mirror image of her mother’s

of her dimpled smile and her turquoise eyes

radiant as her, she filled the hollowed space of his

like a breath of fresh air

strolling hand in hand, the moist earth beneath

their bare feet

in her yellowed sundress

and his khaki shirt

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

The poem signifies a father-daughter relationship and how much the father loves his daughter. Every day the girl sits in his enormous library and spends all her day reading with him, the sweet scent of his khaki shirt fills her nose every time he braids her hair. Here we are made to understand that the girl’s mother has died and she has only her father left to take care of her. There is a hint of sadness and regret looming in the air. The father feels guilt because he couldn’t save her wife and for that, he feels intense remorse. But the girl is seemingly unaware of this, an exact replica of her mother, mirroring even her dance moves. The father hesitates with once what had been determination to tell his daughter bout the truth and finds it difficult to bring him to tell her this. The last five lines of the poem describes how his late wife had been, radiant and full of life, and had made him complete. The poem is composed of a sad note which speaks of loneliness and longing. The story also represents how beautiful the bond between a father and a daughter can be. The girl unaware of anything gives all her love to her father and adores him while the father is still guilt-ridden and refrains from fully loving her daughter. Her every step is a painful reminder of her wife’s death and how unjust it is for the girl to grow up without a mother. This story ends on a semi sad note but also shows how the husband is remembering his late wife, of happier and blissful times.

The poetic devices included in this poem are mostly metaphors

SCATHED LIPS

Seafoam, her rhythms matched the sea waves

a perfect duet

At dusk, she knelt at the altar

bent low, with an air of tranquility, prayer at her lips

eyes shut with grave devotion

all the emotions that she felt, now flooding

stained glass of the church halls

and the whitewashed walls couldn’t do justice to what she held

as candles flicker, a memory fresh, as the pain she felt

a photograph, that bound her heart, that she cherished

of her and her mother’s, of her tender scent, endearing touch, like a ray of sunshine

like the bells of  a church her laugh, ringing

she reminisced, her voice, a warm embrace, singing carols in the dead Christmas nights

the crackling of the firewood, of hot embers and her hand, clasped  in her mother’s

A sudden jolt and she was rudely awakened from her memory

the bullets came first, devouring her, famished

destroying the stained glass

diminishing the light within until it was extinguished

Her faith wrecked, her body, broken

sudden flashbacks engulfed her, her mother’s sudden urges awakened her

as she stumbled for what her life was worth, couldn’t reach the altar

the bombs shook the walls

resonated far away

and there she lay

with her memories

of happier times, of sweeter days

the prayer snatched from her scathed lips

Desolated shorelines, now nobody danced with the sea waves

nobody caressed the sea foam.

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

This poem showcases the memories of the girl who danced along with the sea waves. The waves remember her rhythmic footsteps with the soft sand beneath her feet. It is understood that she is a very religious person who used to regularly visit the church with her mother. Now her mother is no longer by her side and she keeps having flashbacks of happier times with her mom. They used to pray together, sing carols during Christmas night, and dance together. She misses her warm embrace and rendering touch and her scent still lingers in her memory fresh as if she is still by her side. It seems that her mother died a very tragic death and might have been killed in the ongoing war. It is painful for the girl to recount those memories and she tries to bury them deep in her heart. All that she holds now of her mother is the old photography which was the only thing left behind of her mother. As she kneels down to pray at the altar she is suddenly awakened by the bullets which starts destroying the church windows and one by one starts wrecking the whole building, the girl tries with all her might to run as fast as she can away from the bullets but all in vain. Lastly, we see that the girl faces a similar fate as her mother and ends us dead inside the church walls. With all that fades away, the church in ruins now no longer can hold her memories of sweeter and simpler times. Now the shores miss the girl who danced along with the waves, the girl who came to pray with her mother.