"Taking care of our women and children builds not just a generation but the nation itself," writes the Indian film star Shabana Azmi in her introduction to this unique volume. "We neglect mothers at our own peril, at the peril of society. If we are to lead as a nation, we must put our women and children first." Of Mothers and Others takes a step toward the fulfillment of this goal. A thought-provoking collection of stories, essays, and poems by a wide range of Indian writers, it challenges cozy assumptions about motherhood to reveal messy but affirming truths about this vital role and the way we experience it. These works portray motherhood from a variety of perspectives, illuminating its difficult, funny, and tender moments while addressing such topics as single motherhood, adopted children, surrogacy, bereavement, special needs children, grandmothers, and reluctant mothers. Motherhood emerges as far more than a state of being: it has profound implications, the contributors show, for personal identity, one's place in society, and the very nature of the self.
Contributors to this book include Urvashi Butalia, Tishani Doshi, Shashi Deshpande, Namita Gokhale, Manju Kapur, and Bulbul Sharma.