It’s not often that you encounter women who motivate you to live life to its fullest, on your own terms. Alaknanda Dasgupta’s story is one such inspiration. Her journey of choosing the less conventional path is nothing short of remarkable. From being a skilled Kathak dancer to an art enthusiast and a devoted mother, Alaknanda plays multiple roles with ease.
With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, we’re honoring mothers who are unapologetic, resilient against societal norms, and break free from all restrictions. Alaknanda Dasgupta is a shining example of such a mom, and her story is worth telling!
On Being A Mom
Regarding her parenting approach, Dasgupta shared, “I am quite lenient with my sons, yet firm when necessary.” When we inquired about her most challenging lesson as a mother, she replied, “The most difficult lesson is realizing that your parents’ parenting style cannot be replicated for your own children. Each child is unique, times have changed, and acceptance levels differ. Therefore, every mother must handle her child with individualized love, attention, and a degree of discipline.”
On Mom Guilt
Many mothers experience feelings of guilt, commonly stemming from societal expectations of the “perfect mom.” This can lead to anxiety for many women. While some mothers struggle to conform to societal norms of an ideal mother, others simply disregard them entirely, like Alaknanda Dasgupta. In regard to mom guilt, she shared, “Yes, I did feel guilty when I made the decision to become a single mother. However, I overcame these feelings by reminding myself that I wanted to provide my children with a happy and fulfilling home.”
On Toxic Glorification Of Moms
The sacrifices that mothers make are often praised and put on a pedestal, but this glorification can have negative consequences. The toxic glorification of mothers who seem to handle everything puts undue pressure on mothers, which can be harmful. When we asked Dasgupta about her thoughts on this, she replied, “Absolutely! The toxic glorification of mothers only adds to the pressure for them to be sacrificial lambs. In a world where equality should reign, it’s unfair that women or mothers are always the ones compromising. The society is smart in using its tools to ensure that its needs are met.”
On The Idea Of Being A Good Mother
Mothers are often pressured to be labeled as “good mothers,” which can add to their stress levels. When asked about her thoughts on this idea, Dasgupta replied, “No! The concept of a ‘good mother’ is fictional. Sometimes, even children may disagree with her methods. As they mature, they develop their own ways. Society will always find ways to criticize and shift the blame without taking any responsibility. A mother should live her life with an honest conscience, while still nurturing her children and pursuing her own dreams. A strong mother will raise strong individuals.”
Alaknanda Dasgupta has had an impressive career, spanning 40 years, which includes numerous national scholarships, honorary titles, and ICCR empanelment. For the last 32 years, she has been managing the largest performing arts institute and examination center in the NCR. Additionally, since 2019, she has been the State Icon for the Election Commission in New Delhi and since 2021, she has been the Brand Ambassador for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. She is a prominent figure in international festivals and also curates independent dance festivals throughout India. Despite being a cancer survivor, Dasgupta’s passion for Kathak remains undiminished, as evidenced by her performance in 15 shows while undergoing six chemotherapy sessions.