Popular culture the world over refers to motherhood as the ultimate destination for women. Amma, maa, mata, ammi, mom, mother, maa-ji, aai, mummy – call her by any of these names, she is expected to respond immediately. with love, concern, care.What does this word mean to people who have gone through the experience? Is motherhood really the gold standard for women it is assumed to be? Apart from being the most glorified and celebrated word in our cultural history, is mother also the most abused? The Oldest Love Story, a collection of essays, addresses motherhood through the prism of personal experiences. Some of India’s celebrated writers – Kamala Das, Shashi Deshpande, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, C.S. Lakshmi, Vaidehi and a rare gem by Mannu Bhandari – star in this extraordinary collage.These writers introspect with admirable honesty their experience of mothering and the cost demanded by years of giving. Many others – including Shabana Azmi, Chitra Palekar and Saeed Mirza – explore their relationship with their mothers to provide a holistic understanding of the complex phenomenon of motherhood.
About the Author
Maithili Rao drifted into writing on cinema after a stint as lecturer of English. She is the author of Smita Patil: A Brief Incandescence and the forthcoming MillennialWomen in Bollywood:A New Brand?. She has written for national and international publications and contributed chapters to many books. Rinki Roy Bhattacharya was born with cinema in her veins. She is the daughter of celebrated auteur Bimal Roy. She contributed prolifically to the Indian Express, the Times of India, Filmfare,Telegraph, Hindu. She has also edited books on her father’s cinema and women’s issues.