Rajni Arunkumar, a twitter acquaintance and a blogger has just launched this rather interestingly titled book (which I confess I haven't read yet, but intend rectifying soon.) Since it has to do with motherhood and such like, here's a bit about it.
About the book:
MOTHER OF ALL BOOKS
From baby bump troubles to nappy changing
woes, follow Sense's humorous look at modern motherhood in India.
From “Are you throwing up yet?” and
“Where’s the belly? I want to see a belly!”to "Do you have milk?" and "No leaking?" , Sense has
to grapple with not just her new found feelings with pregnancy and motherhood,
but the barrage of oddly disturbing questions and advice from friends, family
and so-called well-wishers.
This book traces the journey of a young Indian
couple through the eyes of the mother. As she goes through a myriad of 'first
time' experiences, with often hilarious results, she hopes to get though
motherhood with her sense of humour (and sanity) intact. All the while hoping
she hasn't permanently scarred the baby.
Sense has been banned from a discotheque, a
multiplex, several restaurants, a shopping mall, a plane and many other places
of recreation*. And this was even before the baby was born. Yes, Sense was
expecting. A baby.
To make things worse, she has to contend
with having no permanent address, a set of friends who think nothing of
scrutinising her like a specimen under a microscope and relatives who mean hell
well. Then there’s the journey of re-discovering her constantly body, which for
anyone who has crossed puberty is not in the least pleasant – now it’s cold,
now it isn’t; now it’s fat, no, it isn’t; now it fits, Ha! Now it doesn’t! All very confusing.For someone who’s prided on knowing her mind
since she was three, this was all going horribly wrong.
Come due date, and Sense, as usual has
managed get herself into a pickle and is once again, very nearly banned from
the hospital*! Can the Baa-lamb (who
has the patience of a saint) and Senses’s parents (whose understanding
parallels the Dalai Lama) guide her through these tumultuous times? Will the
little one survive Sense’s adventures unscathed? And what other adventures are
in store for Sense and family in this journey called Motherhood?
staunchly insists this is through no fault of hers and blames it squarely on
About the Author:
Daughter. Friend. Sister. Wife. Mother.
None of them quite define Rajni Arunkumar. But they are a part of what makes
her her. Rajni is not a psychologist.
She is definitely not an expert in
child-rearing. In fact she’s a self-confessed domestic disaster. And a bit of a
drama queen. But she realised that the more she wrote about her experiences on
her blog (www.senseslenses.com), the more other mum – and dads were able to relate
to it and were secretly glad that someone had the good sense to laugh about it
all. And that’s how the idea for ‘The Mother of All Books’ germinated.
Says Rajni ‘Somewhere between being a DINK
with absolutely no responsibilities to becoming a full-time mother, I
discovered what I was truly meant to be doing – making people laugh at my
She is currently hard at work being a
seasoned ‘disaster-mum’ the second time around, or as she claims ‘researching
book number 2’.
Here's a very very short Q&A with Rajni:
What prompted you to write this book?
really didn't picture myself as a 'natural mother' and I didn't take to
the process like a duck to water. I had several shocks along the way
and it led me to thinking that I couldn't be the only one dealing with
these changes. That's how I started the blog - senseslenses.com.
From blogging to book-ing seemed like natural progression. Although
getting a publisher to take a punt on someone with no literary
background wasn't that easy.
How do you think first time motherhood has changed in modern India?
belong to a generation that has witnessed radical changes in a span of a
few decades. I still remember having spent my childhood in an India
where buying a car simply meant choosing the colour of your Fiat.
After India opened up in the 90s, it was a completely different world where we were spoilt for choice.
When it came to first time motherhood, we were caught between two
worlds- traditional wisdom and then the constant bombardment of ideas
and visuals from the western world which often gave both Arun and me
completely contradictory information. This left us slightly clueless and
confused a lot of the time and we are still struggling to find a
balance between the two. (My poor kids are often receptors of statements
like 'Well, when we were kids we had ghee with everything and we turned out just fine.' followed in the next five minutes by 'No, you cannot have sugar with your dosai,do you know what refined sugars does to your body??')
Adding to the confusion are the opinions of friends and relatives (this is the one topic everyone except the two of us seemed to be experts on. Some things never change, even in modern India). Sometimes, there can be such a thing as too much information.
How difficult/easy was the shift in medium from blogging to book?
think my writing style fits in brilliantly with blogging. With
blogging, the posts can be short, snazzy and it gives me the freedom to
flirt with various topics that grab my interest without having to worry
about continuity or flow. I picture blogging like a sprint.
Writing a book would be more like a
marathon. You do need to keep pace, but you also need to be persistent. I
had to alter my writing style a bit to be more descriptive, to allow
the reader to settle in before rushing them off on an adventure.
With the Mother of all Books, I
think it's a bridge between the two. It would read like a series of
posts about my journey through motherhood. Like a mum keeping a journal
between feeding and nappy-changing and everything else a child throws at
you (including duplo blocks and projectile vomit).
Last month, the spouse was ill and needed to be admitted into hospital
rather urgently. In the last minute chaos of organizing a school pick up
for the brat in the midst of the panic of hospitalization made me
realize the importance of having a solid back up plan in place in the
event of any unforeseen circumstances. Luckily for me, the brat has two
doting grandmas who take excellent care of him in my absence. But, I
realized, what about those who have no such back up, who have no
extended family, what would they do if they are taken seriously ill and
need to be away from their children for an extended period of time like I
Read the rest here: http://parentsquotient.thefuturegenius.com/?p=132
A mom in Canada got this note back in her kid's lunch box.
I am a serial offender when it comes to unbalanced meals in the brat's lunch and snack boxes. Put it down to early morning crisis when I'm up by 4.30 am to get the lunch boxes ready and packed by 5.15 am by which time we need to hot foot it out of the house in order to make it to the swimming pool in time for practice. So. My lunch box and snack box offerings often fall short of the four food groups as mandated by this little note. I would have one fruit in the actual plucked off a tree, some fruit spread on bread after being converted into jam (organic nonetheless to assuage my guilt), grain in the form of bread, brown if you must know, milk in the form of cheese slices and meat in the little ready to fry nuggets and patties I bung in between the bread. I am ashamed to say, I pack no veggies.
Occasionally, I do some self flagellation with the BadMommy Cat-O-Nine-Tails and resolve to make fresh, healthy, nutritious stuff every morning and then tuck my good resolutions back where the sun don't shine, given that the sun truly isn't shining when I'm awake before dawn, holding my eyelids open with clothes clips, and narrowly missing falling in face first into the frying pan. Thankfully, such resolutions don't last too long. I slip back into my errant ways and get whatever gets done quickly into the boxes and slam them shut, before racing out of the house.
I do however draw the line at chips and chocolates (except in a real bad time crunch situation, forgive me lord for I have sinned). I do make up by ensuring that the brat has real healthy food when he's home. He does need it, given the amount he works out and trains. His diet is well balanced and with zero junk. He has no colas, no sugary sweet stuff, we eat out or order takeaway rarely. It is just the tiffin box that I need to get into order.
It isn't often that the brat is invited to be a guest at an event, and I'm delegated to escort duty but this is one duty I quite welcome. Ergo, when the kind people at Lego invited the brat to be part of the launch of their Lego Ferrari collection in collaboration with Shell and Puma in Bangalore, it didn't take much convincing for the brat to agree to give his weekend to it. It entailed of course, travelling down to Bangalore. Which was great fun, because we got to see a Jet aircraft painted up with Disney characters which quite made our day.
The launch event, held at the Puma Social Club in Bangalore was one that was quite different from regular launches. Given that the target audience for the product--the Lego Ferrari Model Collectibles--were children as well as adults who have a passion for cars and Lego (trust me there are quite a few of those, we were even introduced to a gentleman who has such a passion for Lego that he has had to buy houses just to accommodate his ever growing Lego collection), the small gathering comprised a mix of adults and children, who ran the gamut from toddlers to the brat, who was perhaps the oldest of the lot.
A bit about the cars.
Shell introduces six exclusive Ferrari Model Lego collectibles based on some of the most iconic vehicles in Ferrari's motoring history. The models included in the collection are the Scuderia Ferrari Truck, the Ferrari F40, the Ferrari 150 Italia, the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Ferrari FXX and the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetto.
Featuring the smallest pull back motor ever produced by the Lego group, the unique range represents the first time ever in the toy company's history that any vehicle of this size will have powered wheels. (The brat discovered this, much to his dismay when he was toying around with the vehicles on display and a slight touch had one model roll down from the display stand and crash down much to his embarrassment.) Each of these vehicles have a micropropulsion motor that is powerful enough to drive each vehicle at high speed.
Available for purchase exclusively at Shell stations during the promotion period, these are priced at Rs 249 on offer at a Shell station. They come with a 25 L pump of Shell Unleaded or Diesel , a 20 L pump of Shell Super Unleaded.
That was about the cars. Now more about the event. The event had fun games where adults and kids were asked to assemble the cars against time and I am shamed to say I was terrible at this when it was my turn. I will now look at them tinkering with Lego cars and dinky stuff with much more respect than I did earlier, it calls for much more mind application than I assumed it would, and given that I have half a mind to begin with, I barely managed to get the base in place before another raised his hand to announce that he had completed the task.
The brat though, much to my consternation, won a prize for creative writing--his task to creatively put down his experience for the day. This was where his dreaded English Language syllabus came in handy and he wrote down his experience of the day in the form of a letter to his friend. He won a gift voucher from Puma which he insisted on encashing at the store on the ground floor itself.
The brat gazes on at the collection.
The brat receives the prize for the best creative writer, kids.
Me, with Mansi Zaveri of Kidsstoppress.com, the other blogger from Mumbai who was there at the event.
I took the boy to watch Krrish 3 yesterday. Now, you must know
that the boy has done his share of superhero movie watching in the past
but this series is special, well, ermm, because he was named Krish much
before the first Krrish was released. While he hasn’t been rushing off,
cape flying dramatically, to save people from disaster and such like, he
does feel a moment of pride in the transferred glory of sharing a name
with a superhero.
We’ve watched the entire Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Ironman series
both on the big screen, in regular form, in 3 D form, on DVDs at home.
We’ve watched the Avengers, we’ve seen how The Hulk goes berserk when he
can’t control his temper. I encourage him viewing superhero movies,
despite my regular warnings delivered in All Caps levels of seriousness,
that he is not to emulate the actions of the superheroes he watches,
that their actions are the result of much training, special effects,
rehearsals and precautions in place to prevent injuries. I cannot repeat
that often enough, sometimes even as a scene with kickass special
effects is on, I’m the nagging voice of reason at the back of the brat’s
head telling him that this was done on a computer and there is no way a
person could pull such a jump off a tall building off without a) a cord
tied to his waist and a safety harness on or b) ending up as spatter on
the pavement below.
I like the brat watching superhero movies because of the very
important lessons they teach a child, which no amount of sermonizing as a
parent can achieve. Namely, that there is good and bad in the world,
that not everyone will be nice to you, that you need to try to help
others as much as you can without expecting glory, and by god, if you
want to be a superhero you need to get yourself a good costume designed
Seriously though, there are sound lessons to be learnt from superhero
movies. Spiderman (which of course was originally a comic book series
but which the brat knows only as the movie series) is all about how a
bite from a spider can change your blood composition and give you
superhero powers, and resulted in much hunting down of hapless spiders
and getting them to settle on one’s hand for a meal by the brat in vain
hope. There’s a lesson to be learnt about a capsule hurtling through
space from an exploding planet, with a child within, a child who has
powers that let him enter and exit the earth’s atmosphere without his
internal organs getting sucked out through his ears. There’s a lesson to
be learnt from a man who tinkers around with technology building
himself gadgets and weapons to fight crime in his city, for no personal
glory. There’s a lesson to be learnt from the man who needs to learn to
control his anger or he lets loose a monster within himself. There are
lessons to be learnt from a group of superheroes who must band together
and tide over their personal animosities in order to save the world. A
child needs to know this. A child also needs to know that superheroes
aren’t the ones with the superpowers and the flashy costumes, but that
each and every one of us can be superheroes in our own right.
Is there a takeaway from the superhero movies the brat hasn’t got
yet? Yes, there is. He still doesn’t get that sometimes, one needs to be
one’s own superhero and do one’s own rescuing. But wait, that’s what we
parents are here for right now. He can do his own rescuing when he
Celebrate Children’s Day at Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest2013
The 2013 edition of Tata Literature Live! Will celebrate children’s day on 14th November, 2013 by organizing interesting workshops and discussions for kids that supports writing and reading in order to improve and enhance creativity, literacy, connectivity and well-being using a multi-art form and collaborative approach. The workshops are aimed at children, young people and families.
On 14th November, celebrate Children’s Day with workshops for kids.
12pm-1:30pm, Junior Writer's Bug: learn Storytelling & Art with Deepa Balsavar, a writer and illustrator of children's books. Balsavar also develops educational material for organizations such as the Avehi-Abacus Project and UNICEF’s empowerment series for children. Her picture book, The Seed (Tulika), was selected as an Outstanding International Book for children in the White Ravens Catalogue in 2007.
Later there will be a Prose/Poetry workshop led through puppets and conducted by Shazia Jifri from Kahani Karnival. And after, a session on recycling called ‘KIDS Reduce, Recycle and Reuse’, conducted by authors Bhairavi Parekh, Abid Surti and Shabnam Minwala from Kahani Karnival.
Apart from learning fun ways to talk about sustainability and recycling, enjoy, Mr Jeejeebhoy & the Birds with your kid. Two siblings, one very strange Aunt, and a flock of escaped birds... magic and mayhem all the way. Shaili Sathyu, who has been adapting children’s literature for stage will get Gillo, her theatre company, to enact Anitha Balachandran’s quirky, little book of the same name. Performed in the open air, it promises to be a unique and enjoyable experience for children. The play has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. The play will be performed at the Sunken Garden from 5 p.m – 6 p.m.
There are more children related festivals over the next three days:
On 15th November, 2013
4:30pm-6pm,Writing Books That Make Children Laugh: Revisit your childhood as
English children’s author, Philip Ardagh, known for the Eddie Dickens series of books, conducts an informal workshop for adults on writing humorous books for children. Ardagh has written more than 70 books including adult fiction and children’s non-fiction. He is also a BBC Radio scriptwriter and presenter.
On 16th November, more big-ticket workshops
10:30-12:00pmIllustrating Stories by Olivier Tallec, a French children’s book author and illustrator
4:30pm-pm, Green Poems for a Blue Planet: A poetry workshop by British composer, musicologist and librettist Martin Kiszko, best known for his film and television scores.
On 17th November, the final day of workshops
12:30pm-2pm, Create your ownComics: Abhijeet Kini, an illustrator for several national publications (including Tinkle) and creator of Angry Maushi and Gryll takes you through the process.
The festival is free, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. More details here: