It is often so difficult to imagine that our mothers have an aspect of their personality which is sort of unknown to us.
Thank you Adriane, Anushka, Shenali, Shrishti, Sneha, and Vishnu for sharing your beautiful stories and photos with us. —Apoorva, Vatsala and Vartika
“I think my mom must have been really nervous, as she had just entered a whole new world. It must have been a big day for a young girl like her, her first official party at the military school, I think it was her seniors’ graduation party. There must have been some emotional moments, lots of tears and hugs, exchange of letters. But she also seems excited here and she appears to be the confident woman I know who ended up making really brave decisions in her life.
I can’t even begin to imagine what her days must have been like in the military school. The young girl in the picture is nervous, excited, and experiencing a lot of mixed emotions. She is a lot stronger now, but at heart I think she still is the same brave girl in the picture.” —Anushka
“It looks as if my mom was the whole day out, with my dad. Maybe they visited some places in the city that they haven’t seen before. As my mom is dressed quite chic it must have been a special day. Maybe they celebrated their wedding anniversary, or maybe they just wanted to spend a nice time during a pleasant cold and clear winter Sunday.
I selected this photograph because there is something in the way she touches the menu card with the fingers of her right hand. I am sure she didn’t do that just because of practical reasons, I guess, she needs to feel things, unconsciously. And she will remember the feeling of that laminated paper. These gestures are just so emblematic for my mom.” —Adriane
“This photo was taken at the Taj Mahal, I think in the evening. My mom would have been 15 or 16 years old. When I first saw this photo I felt a deep sense of familiarization, maybe because I felt I could really relate to the girl in the picture, actually more than I can for the same girl who I have known my whole life as my mother.
I think she is trying to contain her excitement. She loves history and romance, so I guess she would have been really looking forward to explore the Taj Mahal. I love how she is looking away from the camera, but still standing delicately in front of it. It seems like she is distracted by some thought, or maybe looking at her friends or cousins, or maybe just tired of waiting for my uncle or grandpa to click a photograph of hers. I like how the photograph captures a fleeting moment of an experience that my mom, I guess, really treasures.” —Vatsala
“I like people telling me I look like my mom. Who doesn’t? I guess? I was shocked in a good/ecstatic way because of how alike, we look, particularly in this photograph of hers. It’s such a natural photograph and the photographer has been able to capture her innocence. It looks like this picture was taken late in the afternoon. They may have been wandering about- enjoying their youth, basking in the sun—that feeling you get that you might just get to be this young forever.
She looks so self assured and confident (at such a young age), yet at the same time, naive and unaware of her own beauty. I love this photograph of her.” —Shenali
“I was really surprised to see how young and assured my mom looks in the picture. I see her as an independent, strong woman today and this picture made me think of the time when she was figuring out what she wanted to do with her life and that just brought a smile to my face.
It’s funny how she still looks the same somehow, but maybe has different dreams in her eyes. My mom and I are very different people; she even looks good in passport-size pictures! But this picture sort of reminds me how she has always taught me to be a patient and calm person.” —Apoorva
“From the photo, it looks like my mom is definitely going to hang out with her friends. My mom looks really cool, like I can imagine her rocking a leather jacket with this sari. I love how she has done her hair and how she is not smiling. She looks relaxed and so sure of herself. Even though she has dressed up a bit, wearing a sari and a bindi, a nose ring, I like how she is not trying hard to look good in the photo.
I wish I knew the girl in this photograph. I hang out with my mom a lot, but this girl seems different, like I want to be in her gang or something. And I would love to take loads of photographs of her just like I take of my friends. She looks so effortlessly beautiful, I love it!” —Vartika
“I’m not sure, I guess my mom is 21 years old in this photo? I’m guessing it was taken by the NSS parade documentation team. As I’d never seen her wearing a uniform, I was a bit taken aback when I came across this photo of her.
I cherish my mom’s life before she became my mom—imagining the stories of her youth, adventures in a different kind of India from the one I’ve grown up in. And one of my mother’s many stories is of her joining NSS and marching in front of the nation on Republic Day. I feel so proud!” —Vishnu
“I guess my mom was in the ninth grade when this photo of hers was taken. I think she had just returned home after spending the whole day at school, and tried on a new kurta, which she got as a gift from someone. Looking at it, I felt a bit weird because it is kind of hard to imagine your parents as kids, because we are so used to seeing them in the role of parents.” —Shrishti
“I think this was taken in Mauritius by my dad with his Kodak disposable camera, which he carried around the whole of the this trip. She definitely looks happy in the picture. I guess she was in her 20s and clearly followed the trends. She looks like she is having a good time and feeling great about herself. So effortless and carefree, I love it!
Years later, after spending a lot more time with her than I had when this picture was clicked, I would close my eyes and go back to this picture, a picture where she reminded me of who I wanted to be.” —Sneha ♦