Blessings of a Mother to a Son
by Kamal Krishna Laha

"There is no word sweeter than ‘mother’, which reminds me of my mother and motherly gods."

The author wishes to share memories with his children and grandchildren. This memoir was inspired by a grandson’s question: “Where did you come from?” Laha was born in 1942 in a cowshed in Bengal, India. The family house had no running water. Laha had typhoid fever three times. He did not walk in his early years but built up his strength by swimming in the Ganges River. After basic schooling, he attended a Hindu-based college (Ramakrishna Mission Shilpamandira, Belur Math). With a diploma in electrical engineering, he worked in India, began to travel for his employment, and ultimately emigrated to Australia with his wife and children.

Despite the poverty and uncertainty of much of his life, the author recalls happy family interactions. He remains devoutly religious, speaking in highest terms of the spiritual ideology of noted gurus Aurobindo and Ramakrishna. The “mother” referred to represents both his physical mother and Mother Earth, along with many women whose lives have touched his over the years.

Laha’s book is written in short episodes—some offer information on Hindu religious teaching, some recount family incidents such as the death of the author’s birth mother, and many concern the author’s international travels. He has a prodigious memory for very small details. After losing his luggage on a business trip to Brunei, for example, he was treated sympathetically by an Indian-born laundryman at his hotel, noting, “Sometimes God gave me special persons to guide me.”

The author’s well-organized narrative is clear and evocative as he recalls the many towns and sights he has had the good fortune to visit in what he calls his “interesting and eventful life.” Written primarily as a family chronicle, Laha’s autobiography may inspire others to see the positives in people and happenings and strive for better outcomes.

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