“Aaj mere paas building hai, bank balance hai, bangla hai, gaadi hai. Kya hai tumhare paas?”

It’s been 40 years since the film Deewar hit the big screens, yet even today, those words are intensely moving and resonate deeply among us. If you’re Indian or South-Asian no less, the profundity of the words may be enough to make you think you’re in the scene with Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan (two major Bollywood powerhouses) themselves!

That’s Bollywood for you. But one thing our film industry has been able to capture uncompromisingly is the role of the Mother. Mothers are revered in South-Asian culture and play a central role in the family (as indeed they do in many cultures around the world). We learn from an early age that everything begins and ends with her. She is our ultimate teacher, protector and source of love there is and ever will be. She is Ma, Amma, Mai, Ammee, Mom.

It’s unsurprising that many celebrate the Mother as incarnations of the Hindu goddess Durga – who with her eight arms was able to multitask with grace and impeccable character, stopping

at nothing short of providing for and nurturing her four children. Our mothers work tirelessly juggling home and the workplace – and doing it successfully – because to them, family is their top priority. 

I am already astounded by the sheer number of things my own mother is able to do with just two hands that I shudder to think what she’d be capable of with eight!

By Diya Dasgupta

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