I am Born: A Short Story by Lakshmi Ajoy 

Today, I narrate the story of my birth. A story rather unheard or lesser known amongst the community.
For those who have laid down their precious lives for my greater good, for those who have worshipped me at par with my sisters’ Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, for those who have offered me an identity through their artful vision, I am Bharatmata- your motherland.
That fateful day when the great artist and visionary, Abanindranath Tagore had portrayed me as a four-armed Hindu Goddess.
I was adorned with a richly embellished saffron-colored sari depicting the greatness, joy and sacrifice of Bharathavarsha.
On one hand, I was holding sacred manuscripts evocative of enriched wisdom and a quest for deeper knowledge.
One of my four hands held sheaves of rice indicating prosperity and abundance throughout.
My third hand held a beaded mala, and a white cloth testifying peace, love and meditation.
The last hand held the national flag, as I was the mother, the protector of my land and this flag was symbolic of it.
I felt like a newborn with an enriched mission to act as an icon creating nationalist feeling amongst all Indians during the freedom struggle.
There were many who admired my form, that iconic painting created by master artist Abanindranath Tagore. Sister Nivedita was also one of them.
She opined that the picture was refined and imaginative.
She further suggested enhancing the depth of the background on which I stood with pastured earth and blue skies. This was to portray unison, abundance, and perfection.
At my feet were lotuses on which I stood. The idea was to convey strongly that I was positioned as a symbol of purity, rebirth and strength.
My four arms meant the power of Divinity.
A white halo around my crafted humanly form and those sincere merciful eyes just showcased that I remained enlightenment and full of compassion for the children of my land.
I was representing the precious gifts of Shiksha-Diksha-Anna-Bastra (Education- Initiation- Foodgrains- Clothing)
to my children.
I wanted my children to flourish, cherish, nurture, preserve, grow and uplift themselves through this humble form I was envisioned to be.
How much was I able to achieve? Could I live up to everyone’s expectations? Did I manage to become the ultimate icon I was symbolized to become?
These queries remain unanswered. But the country became independent from the hands of its foreign rulers.
But aren’t we all still slaves of our desires? The future holds a plethora of promises. I have intense faith in my children.
Today, I remind you all of my birth, so that the legacy of victory is carried forward. I ideate the most spectacular glory of my origin as Bharathmata- Mother India- your Motherland…