I'm A Single Mother And A Widow: This Is How My Son Made Me A Writer

Urmimala Das Urmimala Das in Let's Face It on 1 June, 2017

Writing is not my passion; it never was. Most of the time, I’m mute. But at times, I need to express myself and my thoughts.

I’m a widow and a single mom, in an Indian society. I should be living a very calculative life, a careful one, so that no one can harm my dignity or my self-esteem. That’s why a cheerful woman like me, decided to stay mute, except for the few professional conversations through the day.

At times, I feel like with the loss of my ability to talk gracefully, I’ve gained a new strength: to write. I’m not sure of the literary value that my words have, but I know that it’s touched the hearts of some people around me. And so, I write. Not because it’s a passion, but because it’s my responsibility.

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My first tryst with writing began because of my son. He’s a devoted reader, even through his childhood. It was a time when I couldn’t afford to buy storybooks for him, especially after I bought his school books. I knew how much he enjoyed reading and so, I began writing his stories myself. 

It was really exciting too, watching him read my stories with my funny drawings. Much later, many children read those stories, as I started publishing them.

I realized that I wanted to write more. And yet, this had nothing to do with passion. I was a mother, doing her duty. That’s all. 

I began writing short stories, articles in Assamese for various magazines like, Priyosakhi, Prantik, and Bishmay to name a few. The Assam Children Literary Trust also began publishing my work for children. I’ve been lucky to get a chance to write in India Abroad too.

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A journalist once asked me, “What does writing mean to you? How passionate are you about your writing?” My answer was simple, writing, became an expression for an introverted person like me.

I read somewhere, that “Pain creates wonderful literature.” From Charles Dickens to Harriet Beecher Stowe, there are countless examples.

We all accept our own share of sorrow and pain in our lives, of course not all of us can transform this into amazing pieces of literature. I don’t believe myself to be a talented person, but I know that I will always do justice to my pain. This urge will always provoke me to write. Despite not being able to create wonderful literature, I am not discouraged to keep writing: for my son or for myself.

Today, my son is a grown man and a student of English Literature. My journey as a mother, had its share of limitations, but it’s because of those that made him and I who we are today.

Being compelled to walk through unknown paths that I never imagined myself to be walking on. I know there are numerous mothers who go through the similar situations, with different colours.