Dr. Kamala Maddali
© 2021 becomingakamala
We as parents are pleased and humbled that our only daughter is writing a memoir of her life. Having been born with high myopia, she couldn’t see what her teacher wrote on the blackboard at the age of three. She now writes a book based on her own name, Kamala a Lotus.
As parents, if we don’t mention our blessed child in this preface, we don’t fulfill our duty. Every week in her childhood until her 10th grade, as a dad I remember the school vehicle in which all my kids and my brother’s kids rode together. As a token of appreciation, they are given a delicious gourmet candy treat halfway to their commute to school every Wednesday. Kamala was a young girl with thick eyeglasses and a pair of ponytails in her school outfit as I recall her. As a token of appreciation, she would wave her little hands in delight whenever she was given her favorite candy, “Cadbury’s dairy milk fruit and nuts”. It is an experience Kamala still relishes whenever she visits us
A fearless and brave young girl, she bravely confronted each new situation and, despite her deformity, earned unanimous ratification as the institution’s pupil leader, which demonstrated her leadership abilities at the time. It is not surprising that, as a child, she was called a tiger or a lion by her peers. As parents, we vividly recall the most heart-wrenching moment for any student, when our little girl came home crying, being denied a school seat and asked to stand outside the doorways of school. It was because her daddy could not afford to pay school fees in the right period, yet she could become a “School pupil leader” in her middle school and highschool education and rise as an outstanding student.
Regardless of what she did, she was the best at anything she aspired to, from school debates to provincial competitions. So daring and visionary that she took biological sciences in her pre-university, despite her deformity in her eyes, as per her mother’s wish to become a medical doctor. Given the tough educational selection criteria with EAMCET mimicking SAT and ACT, she instead became a veterinary doctor; again the old theory as said in the past her daddy could not afford to pay tuition fees in private medical schools then. Her hidden strengths revealed themselves during times of childhood challenges as she’s been said to be one of a kind. During her 12th grade, we remember her telling us, “If we could succeed as pharmacy entrepreneurs in human and veterinary medicine with no medical background and receive blessings from patients and farmers, I will indeed leave a lasting legacy.” The timing will be right this time since it won’t be just sons, but daughters too. The very daughter we adore, Kamala Kalyani Maddali.
Love for all and standing up for justice is her passion, we do say it’s a divine gift—love all, stand for all, and stand by justice even when it costs her, and sometimes brings heart wrenching situations in subsequent phases of her life.
Occasionally, I, as a dad, believe she is a symbolism of “Vasudaika Kutumbam”, a phrase used by Sri Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister in a speech at the World Culture Festival, organized by Art of Living. In India, it is considered the most important moral value in Indian society. It is a Sanskrit phrase found in Hindu texts such as the Maha Upanishad, which means “the world is one family”.
At times, the above virtues make her conflicted with herself. Yet, she challenged herself and stood up irrespective of the losing of an academic year. Graduating as a topper in her undergraduate, she expressed the fact that this was only the very beginning of what she would learn in her path to knowledge. As I have known her, she has blossomed into a unique Kamala through transcending her challenges, accepting everything with gratitude in every aspect of her life.
Lastly we put our pen like this. She is truly what Kamala means in our mother language, though she is risen from muddy water and blooming into a magnificent lotus blossom, nevertheless, there isn’t any muck or muddy water on her leaves and flower itself.
As her parents, we have only ever taught her to fly high, never to push herself for higher altitudes. She, nevertheless, gave herself to her passion,
persevered and endured, much like the Greater American Eagle and the Indian Garuda, god of the sky, who have always been a magnificent sight.
As she endeavors to bring this book to the universe, it is our blessing that she become the “Sahasra Kamala,” the thousand-petaled lotus which is eternally held in the palms of Goddess Lakshmi—the personification of all “treasures of knowledge” in Hindu mythology. Kamala will always be in our hearts.
Daddy and Mummy