New Delhi: Terming motherhood as a "contradiction" of life, actor-director Nandita Das Tuesday said the happy stereotypical perception about motherhood is very different in reality.
Das was speaking at a book launch of an anthology "Of mother and Other" at the Indian International Centre here.
"When I was pregnant, no one told me how many difficulties one actually has to face. Everybody is happy and they congratulate you, but nobody shares the issues of motherhood," the actor said.
"The whole journey of motherhood is full of contradictions," she added.
Stating that having a child is a matter of personal choice, the award-winning actress said that being a mother has completely changed her life.
Jaishree Mishra, editor of the book, said: "When I was introduced to the figures of child malnutrition, infant mortality rates, female foeticide, I choked with an overwhelming emotion of sadness. It motivated me to bring about the issues of women and that reflects the realities our mothers face."
"The most common discourse about motherhood in our society does not usually talk about children with special needs. There are many children in our society which are differently abled but our discourse would generally neglect it," contributing writer of the anthology Shalini singh said, asserting that the motivation to write was more personal to her, as she herself is a mother of a son with special needs.
Talking about the sensitive issue of gender determination, writer Smriti Lamech said the issue is engraved in the mentally of society and there was an immediate need to change it. "I was a privileged mother. I was determined to have a girl child. But not many mothers are that privileged," she said.
Journalist Humra Qureshi, who has reported in various conflict areas, said many people in India don't know about the mothers of disappeared people. Terming her experience with such mothers emotionally exhausting and upsetting, Qureshi said that to understand the helplessness of these mothers, people need to relate to these women.