The Mother I Never Knew: Sudha Murthy

The Mother I Never Knew: Sudha Murthy

What started off with an unlikely event of finding Venkatesh’s lookalike; lead to the revelation of a life time for two brothers distanced from each other by birth and fate under a harsh society. “My mother says that everyone in this world has six lookalikes. I believe that mine are in other countries, because I haven’t met anybody here who looks like me. Maybe your lookalike is right here in this district.- Page 37” .Similarly, after losing his father, Mukesh stumbles upon a photograph which opened a whole new world for him; and he embarks on a quest to find his true identity. The Mother I Never Knew by Sudha Murthy encompasses two novellas spread across different states, class, caste, situations and yet bound together by an invisible thread of social taboos, social evils and social consciousness inflicted upon the characters.

Murthy beautifully captures the essence of motherhood – the love of a mother for her son amidst the limitations of the social conflicts. Motherhood is an experience that needs to be felt and understood. The chord between a mother and a son is a very special one which cannot be seen and understood by anyone save them. Often, a mother might be misunderstood for her actions, but the steps taken are always for the betterment of the child. The Mother I Never Knew  portrays an important lesson- to never judge the actions of the mother. Onlookers never really know the situation that the mother had to go through and hence take harsh steps.

A frequently asked question under the circumstances outlined in the book is that of loyalty. Does it lie with the mother who gives birth; or the mother who raises the child; often drawing parallels towards the eternal relationship savoured between Devki, Krishna and Yashoda in the Mahabharat. There is no fixed answer to this question as both mothers are part of the same scale to balance the life of the child. Neither is greater than the other. Nevertheless, the scale maybe slightly bent towards the mother who raises the child. Murthy too hints towards this in the following lines, “Giving birth is simply a biological event but parents must move mountains to raise a child to be a good human being. I salute the mother who made you what you are. – Page 202”

Thus, The Mother I Never Knew is an extremely emotional novella which portrays how the search of two men for their identity uncovers the truth from the clutches of the stereotypical patriarchal society. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. It is available in your nearest bookstores or can be ordered online through Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.

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