Mothers and daughters

23 May 2011 § Leave a comment

From My Mother’s Last Sari, by Madhulika Sikka

I didn’t really think about the braveness of that, of wearing a sari in 1960s London. Actually, I never thought of my mother as brave. That was an accolade more suited for me and the women of my generation, the immigrants’ children who broke the barriers.

My own journey has been blessed. I had the benefit of a stellar education. I’m successful in my career (I’m the executive producer of NPR’s Morning Edition) by any objective measure. I’ve been married for 22 years. I have two daughters for whom everything is an option. Aren’t I the very epitome of the success that women strived for? I’m so courageous, independent, brave, pioneering—an Indian girl who married a white American and moved to the U.S. from England, far away from my family.

But as we dressed my mother for her last journey, the reality dawned on me. She was the brave, pioneering one.

Unlike the author above, I have always thought of my mother as the brave, pioneering one. The one who left her family and life at the age of 23 to travel to a country with a man she barely knew.  But the piece still resonates.

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