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Just mommy

Two yummy mummies tell us how their babies changed their lives forever...by Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi.

entertainment Updated: May 08, 2009 21:36 IST
Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi

"Calmness within and a total sense of balance and grounding” is what Kalyani Chawla, entrepreneur and VP marketing and communications, Christian Dior, India, says her 9-year-old daughter Tahira Tara has brought about in her.

Kalyani always wanted to be a mother. So she couldn’t thank God enough when she had Tahira. She tells us about becoming a mother and motherhood in her own words:

Beautiful baby
I love children and craved to be a mother. Tahira is my consistent source of joy and happiness. And nothing takes away from that. I had Tahira late, in my 30s, when most of my friends had their second or third child... it has its advantages and disadvantages... the latter due to one’s health as your energy levels are depleting which is really what you need the most to bring up a child!

I had a very difficult pregnancy. I was working throughout and didn’t rest apart from the day I delivered... when I saw her, I was just relieved she was finally out. That little gooey bundle who was finally cleaned and given to me made me howl with emotions that I didn’t know existed. I had gained 28 kg and looked my worst but I have never ever felt as beautiful as I did holding my child in my arms for the first time. That was a life altering moment for me.

Life changer
The sense of responsibility that comes with being a parent makes for a lot of sacrifices. My priorities have changed. My time with my daughter is sacred and I know how precious those moments are for both of us. We are growing up as friends and today have a relationship based on trust and a healthy communication of total honesty. And that really is
primary.

Then and now
Women earlier didn’t really have careers as such. There was no question of divorces either in spite of the many miseries. Being pregnant and bare feet in the kitchen and living in joint families made life hectic enough. Also the exposure and distractions were far less.

My mother was with us 24x7. She cooked for us the most delicious food, made scrap books and stitched and designed all our clothes when we were growing up... she exported hand made children’s clothes for a while but gave it up soon... she never pursued her real desire of singing as with three children to bring up, and a very demanding husband and in-laws to look after, she didn’t have a moment for any indulgences.

I am a single working mother and my mother has sacrificed her life to look after the two of us. Tahira is never without one of us around. Tahira respects my work and understands how important it is. She takes great interest now, asking me a million questions about my shipments of accessories. She also visits my office regularly!

I want to give Tahira more time and if I could be even a per cent of the mother that my ma was to us three siblings, I would be proud of myself.

Apple of my eye
My parents brought us up with values and principles which form a strong base of our characters. I am trying to imbibe the same in Tahira Tara. Tahira means pure, Tara means star and is another name for Durga as well. She is my Pure Star, my greatest strength and my only weakness.

TV actress Urvashi Dholakia isn’t the usual mother. She had her twins when she was just 17, so her relationship with her 13-year-old sons, Kshitij and Sagar, is more that of a friend than a mother. “I know every modern parent says that, but it’s rather true in my case,” she says. “I had them very young so that makes us very close in age. We have more similarities than differences. It’s very funny. We swim, go for coffee and gallivant around like friends. In fact most of the time, they don’t even call me mum. They call me by my pet name. We bond at every level – small and big – just the way friends do.”

But wasn’t it difficult being a mother when she was just a kid herself? “On the contrary. I think my children brought a sense of maturity and responsibility in me. It wasn’t that I was not mature, but I obviously understood things better after they were born. To have my children at 17 was a conscious decision. And thank God for that. Because when you are that young, you are more capable of taking in changes and moving on in life despite problems or apprehensions. I had to be both mother and father to my boys and I am sure I wouldn’t have been able to cope if I had to do that today,” she says.

With her sons now in boarding school, Urvashi feels things are a little easier. “Thank God, I have the support of my parents so it’s much better for the children and me as well.”

But surely she’s a very different mother than her mother was?

“There is definitely a big difference. My mom is very conservative. The age gap between my mom and me is 42 years. So though our values are the same, our styles of bringing up children is very different. My parents now indulge my kids far more than they ever indulged me. As for me, my kids and I are growing up together,” she laughs.