Motherhood is a daunting task. It becomes an even steeper hill to climb for women who are forced by circumstances to raise their children all on their own. Through the years, the society has not been any eager to appreciate the trials, tribulations and the hardships that single mothers undergo. Through her book, Asha Bandele seeks to make people see the light through the eyes of the woman. The book, Something like Beautiful is a true-life story of Asha Bandele. Set in New York, the story highlights on the relationship the main character had with a prisoner Rashid. Rashid was sentenced to between twenty years and life but despite this fact, Asha Bandele still had hope that their love could wade through the murky waters and blossom (Bandele, 23). With the hope of getting married on release of the man she loved, Asha got pregnant with Rashid while he was still in prison. However, things did not turn out as they had hoped for. Rashid was to be deported back to his home country and that only meant that the two could not get the chance to raise their daughter together. Asha, therefore, set about to recover from the set back and get back to her normal life. It is understood that this process was not easy.
Being a single mother was not going to be a walk in the park for Asha, especially bearing in mind that she was a black woman living in New York. Famous for its bright lights and glamour, New York is known for one more factor: the high standards of living associated with living in this city. For a young woman struggling to raise her daughter single handedly, the pressure and demands of life could be overwhelming. It gets even worse if the woman is just recuperating from a broken relationship, a broken dream. Such was the agony Asha had to undergo. When she discovered that the man she loved was to be deported back to his native country, she realized that she had to step up and be both the father and mother to her young daughter Nisa. Working as a journalist, the career that paved way for the meeting with her soul mate and later the father of her daughter, Asha managed to pick up the pieces and move on. However, the immensity of her predicament drove her into drug abuse. She adopted a tradition of drinking and smoking and found her way in another relationship with Amir. She tried to fall in love again but things only got worse. She was frequently subjected to physical and mental abuse by her newfound love. Pain and heartbreak, once again dominated the relationship. Even though she had a well-paying job, the burden was still too heavy for her to bear. She constantly fought internal battles that never seemed to have an end. The only thing that kept her going in the wake of all this was the joy of having her daughter Nisa and the love she had for her. This statement is backed by her very words, “There are times I have to force myself to remember to breathe when I think of all my mistakes, my slips of judgment and the way they have tracked me.” She settled on being a single mother (Bandele, 167).
Nisa’s connection with her mother is strongly portrayed as early as her childhood days. In the book, Asha describes how she suffered physical abuse in the hands of Amir, her new lover. On one occasion, Amir beat her up and caused her severe injury in the foot making it impossible for her to walk. In the wake of this assault, Nisa who was then a mere baby cried her heart out in hysteria. Asha had to crawl to reach her just to soothe her and stop her from crying. Asha goes ahead and describes the guilt and pain she felt at realizing that the person who was losing more than any other party in these events was her daughter Nisa. “Can I have a do-over? I would beg because how can a mother not beg to erase anything ugly, anything wrong that entered the lie of her child?” this statement highlights the resolve she made to accord her daughter more time. After parting ways with Amir, Asha and Nisa’s relationship saw a marked improvement as they found solace in each other’s support and goodwill.
Description of Child
Nisa is described as a peaceful child who saw rough times at infancy. She was supportive of her mother during such trying times even though she was young. Having to grow up in a country that is rife with cases of racism and on top of that growing up without a father must have come with a lot of mental torture for the young girl. However, she handled it well and was able to give the much-needed support that her mother needed. Her strength of character cannot be under estimated (Bandele, 189).
Description of Mother
Asha Bandele, like many other women in America struggled with a fight that threatened to engulf her. She showed motherly instincts when she crawled to her daughter’s crib just to comfort her despite the fact that she could not walk. When she says, “ when I think of all my mistakes, my slips of judgment and the way they have tracked me and my baby like some madman stalker all the way through” she explains that she made mistakes but was more than willing to make amends. Her undying love for the father of her daughter Rashid also makes her stand out. The hope, the courage, the belief, even the audacity to dream that a convict doing a possible life sentence would eventually be free and marry her is in itself moving. Later, her involvement with Amir demonstrated her conviction to move on and live a happy life. When the relationship did not work, she walked away. These factors point to a determined woman, one who believes in her abilities, in her freedom and in her rights.
My idea is this; women need to come out more and tell their stories in an effort to liberate the rest of the female population. Through sharing experiences, women empower themselves and get the confidence to live guiltless lives like the subject in question.