We happen to go through many dilemmas as a mother. It is perhaps inevitable when a parent or as a mother one faces numerous hurdles while raising children particularly in a country, far away from homeland.
Kavita Kulkarni shares her thoughts with Mums and Stories through this blog and shares a poem penned by her son Naman Kulkarni.
She shares, “ When we leave our Matrubhoomi, it mimics the feeling of a married girl leaving her “maikae” to join her “sasural”. The same happened to me. I left everything I knew and loved and moved to America to start a new life and explore a new land.
In India more often than not, your future depends on where you come from, which caste you are born into, and how much you can pay to secure your dreams. However, America was built upon a belief that it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are going. Success is directly proportional to effort. This mathematical equation is what is enticing about my Karmabhoomi. I am integrated into its values and beliefs as well.
The beautiful and best adventure of a woman is her transformation into a mother. We start that journey with nurturing and caring and soon add the dimension of becoming their teacher. What do we teach? First and foremost, we teach values, culture, and heritage to lay the foundation of who they are. I have attempted to pollinate these lessons into my kids, who are born in America. I feel responsible for a new hybrid generation where their parent’s native culture is not in exchange, rather, in addition to their American identity.
(Kavita Kulkarni with her family)
The challenge we face is to balance both cultures, especially when there are many diametrically opposite values. How do the children keep their Indian heritage alive while embracing their own American identity? While pondering this conundrum and reflecting upon questions that haunt me as an immigrant mother – Am I being enough of an Indian, Am I being enough of an American, did I fail my “maike”, or am I making my “sasural” happy, I stumble upon a poem written by my 14 year old son. As I read the poem, my lips curve into a smile as I am convinced my questions are being answered.
I am from cacti
And from the dust.
I am from the hot sun
And from the winds that gust.
I am from the spices,
From Saffron to Cumin.
I am from “The Land Beyond the Indus,”
Which is inhabited by my favorite humans.
I am from the journey of the immigrant hustle,
One that started from the bottom and rose to the top.
I am from dignity, humility, and perseverance.
These memories are ones I would never swap.
My ancestors went through lots to provide these opportunities.
Every move I make is with the intention of pleasing them.
My past made me so I can make my future.
Starting now, my journey shall stem.
(By Naman Kulkarni)
(Image is subject to copyright. Featured cover image for the blog is from Internet).