Journey of Motherhood: From Innocence to Achievement

The most beautiful sight on earth is the cherubic, innocent, dimpled smile of a baby. This pure smile, full of trust and expectation of love, brings joy to any face.

Let me share the story of my baby girls—the joy, tensions, frustrations, sadness, excitement, and pride. Like all expectant mothers, I dreamed of my child doing all the things I couldn’t: speaking well, dancing, singing, being outspoken, and enjoying life without too much stress.

Looking at my tiny baby, I wondered how to care for her as she grew. I was fortunate to have my parents nearby to look after my elder daughter, Anusree, while I worked. With her big innocent eyes and doll-like appearance, Anusree won her first competition at two and didn’t cry on her first day at school, quickly becoming the teachers’ favorite.

However, after a year, she suddenly refused to go to school, crying and begging to stay with me. She later revealed that a teacher had shouted at her when she tried to cover up after throwing up. It took the same teacher’s smile to make her feel safe again, teaching me the profound impact a person can have on a child’s tender mind.

‘People need to learn that their actions do affect other people. So be careful what you say and do, it’s not always just about you!’

As Anusree grew up, she blossomed into everything I had ever dreamed of. She recited poems with confidence, performed in plays from a young age, and learned singing and dancing. Her essays, though filled with spelling mistakes and unreadable handwriting, were beautifully spoken. She won the Best Girl prize in KG and Class I. Yet, was I a carefree mother without worries about her studies? Far from it. She disliked anything to do with a pencil, often making wildly incorrect calculations in problem sums and guessing answers without knowing which was right.

Before an EVS exam, she refused to draw and label a dog, wailing that she couldn’t draw one. Her father confidently drew a sausage with four vertical lines as legs, making her laugh and try herself. She managed to draw it better. The next day, she said the drawing had indeed come in the exam. When I anxiously asked if she labeled it, she comfortingly said, “I drew it but didn’t label it. It’s OK, I’ll do it tomorrow!”

Her class teacher called her “mama’s girl” because she always said, “Mama told me to,” whether it was about sitting in front or drinking water. It sounded good to have my child follow my advice, until one day she didn’t write statements in problem sums because I had once told her it was pointless to get the answer right without writing statements. She came home after a math test saying she left some sums incomplete because she had worked them out in rough but didn’t write the answers, following my earlier advice.

In history, she missed scoring a hundred because she answered “The cell mate” to “Who wrote ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’?” I had been overly meticulous, while he dictated how Marco Polo’s cell mate wrote the book. Naturally, the teacher expected ‘Marco Polo’ as the answer.

Once, in Class 1, she cried seeing a dance performance, wanting to join. Despite my own inability to dance, I enrolled her in Thankamani Kutty’s dance school for Bharat Natyam. Dance became a joy for her and those watching her. In college, she participated in inter-departmental group dance competitions, always winning a prize. She used to say she’d show these medals to her children, who might think she won them for her studies since only the institution’s name was on the medals.

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Time flies. Amidst fairy stories, playing dolls, and posing for photos, she grew up. She graduated from school with a 98 in mathematics. She joined medical college, completed her MD in Anaesthesiology, got married, and is now a mother to a little boy. She no longer needs to show her dance medals. She can show her real Gold medal for securing the 1st position in West Bengal in MD Anaesthesiology in 2018.

Although patients sometimes mistake her for a nurse and ask, “Maa Doctor Babu kokhon dekhte ashbe?” she doesn’t mind. She faces challenges with a smile and spreads happiness wherever she goes.

I share this story to encourage young women who hesitate about motherhood, comfortable with high-profile jobs and lifestyles. Having a child brings unthinkable joy and makes life more meaningful.

“You may be busy, you may be stressed. Your house may be in a terrible mess. But don’t miss the joy of seeing them run, of blowing soap suds and dancing in the sun. So precious are the tiny arms around you, that paint your life in the brightest hues.”

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