Book Review: A Pathography – My Mother Did Not Go Bald by Nazeem Beegum.

A Pathography by Nazeem Beegum, My Mother Did Not Go Bald is set in Southern India. It is a young girl (the author) who sees her mother becoming the victim of cancer, and who finally passes away. Nazeem Beegum has shared her harrowing experiences as a caregiver… as a daughter who is like a helpless bystander watching her mother ebb away. There is nothing that Nazeem Beegum can do to stop the cancer from spreading from the gall bladder to the other parts of Sainaba’s body. Her Ithatha (for that is what she calls her mother) is going to die!


The first lines of the Preface will draw the feelings from a reader’s heart to the slim book of 78 pages. ‘Where is Sainaba’s bystander? You there, the doctor wants to meet you.’


Moving between fear and despair – the helpless circumstances of the true story are such that they reveal the human mindset – when mortals will become frail in body and mind – when the shadow of death is no more a shadow but the stark truth of finality… when intellect can wander off linking fireflies with the dead; when the roohani bird’s singing tweets are considered frightening and dark… darker than death! 


Nazeem Beegum’s trial was not easy.   


The book demonstrates not just the captivating saga of relationships, but also leads the readers to some hard core truths.  Nazeem Beegum writes: ‘I think, witnessing a mother’s agony is the most disturbing and unfortunate experience in any individual’s life.  True.  Another quote: ‘But who doesn’t know that life could never be the same when the head of the family is no more?’ True.


Eventually, the bleakly beautiful and sad story of Nazeem Beegum’s Ithatha will make a permanent nest in one’s memories.  The book prepares the reader for the only certainty in life – which is death… only death.


Nazeem Beegum belongs to Kerala-India.  She is an ardent follower of international socio-political issues, and specializes in analytical news stories.  This is her first book, and is in the form of pathography, a genre least experimented in Indian English literature.


My Mother Did Not Go Bald is Nazeem Beegum’s first book.

Geeta Chhabra

Geeta Chhabra Comment Form
Form a link. Comment inside the box below. Your views will be published in a coming edition.