Is motherhood only about bearing a child for nine months? A woman can be revered as a mother only when she goes through the anguish of childbirth? Is motherhood an experience every woman must go through?
These were the many questions being debated Wednesday evening here at the launch of Janani - Mothers, Daughters, Motherhood edited by Rinki Bhattacharya.
The book was released by Renuka Chowdhury, minister of state for women and child development, who said: "Indian women have an inherent strength which has sometimes helped us and hurt us as well. We easily become what others want to be and we need to stop that."
"Time has come when we should stop looking back and respect our dignity because each one of us is special," she added.
Said Rinki Bhattacharya: "I believe this book is an ode to those who understand the essence of motherhood and have seen it through their mothers or grandmothers."
The book consists of real life experiences of motherhood, by mothers and daughters who in some way or the other have experienced motherhood even if they have not gone through childbirth.
This Bhattacharya's second book after the much acclaimed "Behind Closed Doors" and includes pieces by well-known names like Kamala Das, Shashi Deshpande and Mallika Sarabhai.
Janani is priced at Rs.280 and brought out by Sage Publications.