A lot of thought and prayer went into titling the documentary and I did initially struggle with the phrase “Calcutta is My Mother” simply because I do have a mother and her name is Pamela. While I believe it to be an appropriate title for the film because it best encompasses the driving force behind the project, I want to clear up any misconceptions that I view myself as motherless because I most certainly am not. The fact is I was abandoned by my biological mother and adopted by the woman I call “mom”. Adoption can be a beautiful, life-giving gift. Yes, I have voids in my life but having a mother is not among them. I have never had to worry myself with questioning the depth of my mother’s love for me and I am so thankful for her; a type of gratitude that is immeasurable. My mom has loved me in such a way that I do not believe she could have loved me more had I actually come from within her body.
She loves me the way I love Rubina. Wholly. Deeply.
In the early days of planning the documentary, Michael (Director of Calcutta is My Mother) and I had many long conversations about my feelings surrounding being an adoptee, the connection to my family and what I hoped to discover in Calcutta. The phrase, “Calcutta is My Mother”, was something I stumbled upon during one of our discussions. As I’ve said before, my mission does not entail finding my biological mother/relatives and while we cannot foresee what I will find in Calcutta, it’s highly improbable anything of the sort would take place, anyway.The context surrounding accidentally landing on the films title was in me explaining to Michael how profound and overwhelming my need to know Calcutta and to familiarize myself with the place of my birth. Calcutta is likely the closest I can get to the biological connections I lack. Embracing her culture and fully immersing myself into life in Calcutta is probably the most intimate relationship I’ll ever have to my genetic makeup. As I said in the films trailer (which you can see here), I don’t know if Calcutta will be enough but I have to go.
When Ruby was born I was absolutely overcome. It might be difficult for a non-adoptee to understand how new and all encompassing the feeling of biological connection is for the first time; it’s unreal. In my case, because I always felt so deeply connected to my family, the feelings I had when Ruby was born knocked me off my feet. I have loved so much in my life but her existence has intensified any love I’ve ever known; it not deeper or wider but it is more intimate. It’s a love I feel in my bones. For most of my life, blood has meant nothing to me. Regarding my parents and brothers, it still doesn’t. Regarding Rubina, it means everything.
And I hope Calcutta will be bring immense satisfaction and wholeness to me in the way Ruby has. I hope for further fulfillment and connection. I hope…