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Role of Motherhood: A Study of Gujarati Novella Kadambari ni Maa by Dhiruben Patel

In his book Laghunaval Vimarsh, NareshVed argues that Laghunaval (novella) is considered to be an intermediate-genre of literature. He explains that there are number of narratives in west for 5000 years old (Ved 1) According to that tradition “myth, folktale, epic, romance, legend, allegory, confession, satire, novel, short story etc. number of narratives are developed among all laghunaval is a kind of possibility of genre.” (Ved 2) In addition he says “laghunaval (novella) talks about inner pain of person” (Ved 29). Furthermore, in his article “Gujarati Laghunaval na vishayvastuo” NareshVed argues “Laghunaval’ is different from other literary forms because it talks about person’s existence” (Ved 29). According to him Self-awakening, self-esteem, soul affection etc are the central themes of the novella.

This present paper attempts to undertake the notion of motherhood in the study of Gujarati novella Kadambari ni Maa by Dhiruben Patel. It talks about mother’s role in daughter’s life. While analyzing 20th century women journal Hina Maheta argues “Dhiruben Patel is an excellent author. In her books she writes not only feminine but also talks about existence of every human being” (Maheta 33). According to her relationship is the biggest and fragile matter. In her every book author binds relationships and breaks it easily. “In the present novella when Vijiya realizes that her son is trying to cross all the limits and his wife Kadambari is not able to face him, at that time Vijiya does not support her son but she helps Kadambari.” (Maheta 34)

Patel’s writing reflects women’s desire. Her every novella unfolds different women but eventually every female talks about women’s rights and freedom. Here, an attempt has been made to understand how Motherhood is constructed. This research paper also attempts to analyse status of female writers. In this context Jaya Mehta argues
“author and creation should not compare with the gender because creation and sex both are different from each other…. It is true that the women writer is less in comparison to male writer. In literature, women become symbol of love and soul only” (Maheta 28-29).

She says “Tripathi’s Sarasvati Chandra is also considered women to be treasure of virtues. In addition, Raghuvir Chodhari’s Amarita is so away from the independence (Maheta 30). “According to her in our society, there is a similar approach towards female, how can Nura’s liberty possible here?” (Maheta Jaya 31).

Similarly, this research attempts to analyse female’s progress and their real condition in the society. This present book reflects the owner of new women and that’s why Kadambari bids to make their own separate existence in the society. More over Patel explains that female can challenge the male domination and patriarchal mechanism. Her book Kadambari ni Maa gives women’s various kind of identity. Hence different kinds of female can be found here such as despite being a mother, Aruna supports occupational society on the other hand despite the mother-in-law Vijiya does not agree with occupational society.

While analysing “Puran Sahitya” Dr. K V Mehta argues “For the creation of the universe, mother goddess plays vital role” (Maheta 165). According to her matrushakti operates the worldly life and gives birth to the child so that is called goddess. ‘Matru devo bhava’ is considered to be Vaidik notion (Maheta 168).

In this context Malti Dube argues “Woman and motherhood both words are closely related with each other. Motherhood is extremely admired in vaidik times and therefore a traditional Indian woman strongly believes that her gratification or fulfilments realized in motherhood only” (Dube 365). According to her childless married women are not only abused but also ill-treated in Indian community” (Dube Malti 367).

In addition Chandrakant Topivala in his article “Feminism, role and reference” argues
“Female is seen only as a body whose function is to give birth to a child. For male female is the only tool to get pleasure. Woman is considered as inactive substance. Her screams were suppressed but this is matter of early 20th century. In the present time a new kind of female is born who knows her own right with male but now woman has realized that each kind of venture is also open for her” (Topivala 2).

According to him France, Germany and America are the main centre of this feminist campaign. Similarly, the present project advocated the subjectivity of new women in her article, Batrisputali ni vedna, …Dr. Kirtida Sha argues “Women’s work in the male minister’s society is only to make their marks green. Men define women as follow.

Women mean decoration and figure. Women must have a proportionate body long legs and flat stomach. Women’s life is limited to male, children and home (Sah 142). According to her apart from this her life remains simply zero and women should be considered the only holders of male (Sah 142). Further she argues that Women and cigars are identical to men because both burns for his pleasure. Moreover she says that women do not have right to receive higher position (Sah 142). Men are not ready to consider them as a human being. Furthermore, she argues that transformation is the sign of healthy society however after 100 years of change, men’s attitudes have not changed towards female” (SahKirtida 143).

Similarly, in the book Kadambari ni Maa, Kadambari’s husband loves only her body. Anil uses her body to satisfy his lust (Patel 13).In addition Niranjana Joshi argues, “Kadambari ni Maa represents clear picture of occupational society. Kadambari’s mother finds daughter’s happiness in a new car, bungalow, money and ornaments (Joshi 154). According to her Kadambari was taught to accept domestic violence. The life story of Kadambari was like a sculpture of glass but who can save the person? Who is suffering from injustice.” (Joshi 155) Moreover, she says “Such women get tram pled under the feet and then go away” (Joshi 155). But the novella ends with the new born of Kadambari. She starts thinking about her own existence and she want to live like a free bird (Joshi 155).

Furthermore, Niranjana Joshi argues, “Kadambari ni Maa shows inferior status of women. Kadambari was given treatment to kill her desires. She did not have any freedom but at the end she became powerful. This novella also talks about role of motherhood” (Joshi 155). Here the protagonist of the novella Kadambari was afraid of her mother-in- law because her mother Aruna taught that her mother-in-law is not trustworthy for her. She is able to spoil her married life. She could not understand Kadambari’s condition but her mother-in-law plays vital role to change Kadambari’s inferiority (Joshi 156).

This paper attempts to analyse contribution of motherhood in the existence of female character. Kadambari ni Maa is a small novella which shows different kind of motherhood in different female. Here Dhiruben Patel has tried to bring strong motherhood. The story moves around Kadambari who is the protagonist of the novella. The story opens with Kadambari’s fear and ends with her powerful strength.

Dhiruben Patel makes powerful Kadambari, after being mother. When she was daughter, she was afraid of her mother. When she became wife, she became victim of her husband but when she became mother, she broke all the rules and became free (Patel 51). In her essay Feminist Critics and Literary Mothers Deanna L. Davis argues “Motherhood is an institution, which plays vital role in the life of her daughter. According to her it was very difficult to define motherhood as a very stronger and powerful supporter role-model (Davis 4). Moreover, she argues that Gaskell's own experience for motherhood were complex Davis (3). She lost her mother when she was young so she could understand task of motherhood in daughter’s life” (Davis 3).

Similarly the present book attempts to study of mother’s care for her daughter but in real sense Kadambari’s mother-in-law becomes her literary mother who helps her to be powerful woman (Patel 159). In this story Kadambari is a daughter of Aruna. Kadambari is married to Anil. Dhiruben Patel begins this novella with mystery. “Both women were looking at each other like a chess player. They smiled dramatically which did not have any meaning. Any one of them will open the mouth and can speak something which also did not have any meaning” (Patel 3). Above quote explains terrible condition of Kadambari. The protagonist of the novella Kadambari was afraid of her mother-in- law because she was given treatment like this. Kadambari’s mother-in-law Vijiya is the back bone of Kadambari’s life. She helps to develop her inner spirit.

In addition in her article “Visamay ane gothe rahasya” Dhiruben Patel argues
External life and inner life reveal both aspects of human life. External life can be seen by all and evaluates when the internal life is just its own only. External life is quite different from internal life only a person can know its inner life and can see and understand it (Patel 100). According to her if the inner life is rich it’s creativity and desires instinctively grow. She says that everyone should get proper education and give them the opportunity to develop their own creativity. Desire and life are closely related to each other if desire is removed from life then there is no value in life. Furthermore, she argues that independence and equality are related to each other every person has its own right (Patel 101).

Similarly, Kadambari represents contemporary women, who does not get liberty and suffers but at the end of novella Kadambari challenges the male domination and patriarchal mechanism. This narrative shows Kadambari’s inner life as well as external life. Kadambari had money but she did not have peace, self-respect and true love of her husband.


In this way mother plays very significant role in daughter’s life. Educated mother is able to change the old tradition towards female. Mother is able to give proper direction to their children. Dhiruben Patel explains the task of motherhood with the examples of Aruna and Vijiya.

Works Cited :::

  1. Chandrakant,Topivala. ParabSamahik. 1-7. Print.
  2. Dube, Malti. Shakti Harish Ranjana, and Darshna Trivedi. Gurjar Ratna Kariyalay, 2003. Print.
  3. Davis, Deanna L. “Feminist Critics and Literary Mothers: Daughters Reading Elizabeth Gaskell” Chicago Journals 1992. Web.
  4. Joshi, Niranjana. Kadambari ni Maa. Gurjarat Nakariyalay Ahemadabad, 1988. Print.
  5. Maheta, Jaya. Vismisadi nu Gujarati Nari lekhan Raghuvir Chodhari and Anila Dalal. Sahitya Academy, 2005. Print.
  6. Maheta, K. V. Shakti Harish Ranjana, and Darshna Trivedi. Gurjar Ratna Kariyalay, 2003. Print.
  7. Maheta, Hina. 1940 Pachhini Gujarati Samajik Navalkatha ma Nari vibhavna. Navbharat Sahitya Mandir: Mumbai, 2008. Print.
  8. Patel, Dhiruben. Vismisadi nu Gujarati Nari Lekhan Raghuvir Chodhari and Anila Dalal. Sahitya Academy, 2005. Print.
  9. Sah, Kirtida. Shakti Harish Ranjana, and Darshna Trivedi. Gurjar Ratna Kariyalay, 2003. Print.
  10. Ved, Naresh. Laghu naval Vimarsh Parshaava Publication, 2-17. Print.

Tadvi Dakshaben Kantibhai, Ph. D. Scholar, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar