We all know a superhero when we see them: they’re the ones who manage to pull off balancing a career, a social life, and a family. By the time you get home, they have already finished the dishes, made dinner, finished laundry, and are now curled up on the couch with your favorite movie. They are the ones who can make anything, from scratch, and leave you wondering how they had time to cook dinner when you were gone all day. They are the ones who remember to send the birthday cards and thank you notes. They are quiet while others are loud, the ones who are strong while everyone else is weak, and the ones who are generous when no one else could give another person the time of day.
Presenting Our Superheroes
Dr. Harmeet Bhalla, Sonia Patnaik, Dipti Naik, Ami Parekh & Shehrebanu K
1. What was your experience while working on publishing a book, and facing additional responsibilities as a parent?
Dr. Harmeet Bhalla: As a mother, I brought up my children well and now the time had come to fulfill my dreams. Writing is my passion and writing with the experiences of being a mother is helping me to bring out certain vital aspects required in the upbringing of children. I feel I am successful in doing my duty by writing for them.
Sonia Patnaik: It was an amazing experience! Not to forget my kids who supported me throughout my journey to work on my book.
Ami Parekh: Indeed a very enriching experience as it became a wide platform to share my stories with the world. In terms of added responsibilities as a single parent, it becomes very judgemental at times to the crowd, hence needed to be very crisp and accurate on the information shared.
Dipti Naik: Honestly covid added to the load. I was worried, as my ‘me time n space’ was now shared. Amazingly my daughters helped me with cover ideation, design and became my cheerleaders in the process.
Reema Ghosh Majumdar: Priorities have always been the children, so working for the book had been the ‘Midnight, Me Time’.Thankfully, both the daughters were supportive enough and played a major role in assisting in publishing the book.
Shehrebanu: Writing my first book was quite a challenge, and I never thought I could finish it because I have a busy schedule in my life – that includes my work, my responsibilities as a single mom, my social commitments, and more. Then I tried the “eating the frog” approach – prioritizing approach. I decided that my task of writing the book should be tackled first and this would give me an immense feeling of accomplishment, and motivated me to complete the other tasks of the day without a hitch!
Luckily, I had enormous support and guidance from my publisher and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!
2. What was the best advice you received when you decided to pursue your dream of publishing a book?
Sonia: Trust your heart and the mind will follow!
Ami Parekh: Reaching zero to one and then the one to many just multiplies was the best advice shared by a close friend as it was all about my journey doing the rounds and a voice lent to my passion for writing.
Dipti Naik: “Come on Mom, you are a Rockstar. You are the best!”
Dr. Harmeet Bhalla: Always consider writing as a passion never a profession.
Reema Ghosh: My elder daughter said ” Maa it’s time to introduce your babies ( she meant my poems) to the world”. Younger one encouraged by promising to give all the technical support.
Shehrebanu: My daughters who have always been my sounding board and cheerleaders were my best advisers throughout my journey of writing. This is what they would say. “You can do it, mom, you have the experience, expertise, and knowledge. Just make it a point to write every day” and, I kept writing
3. Could you tell us about the best memory you have of your mother?
Dipti: A superwoman! Who being from the vernacular medium insisted we went to English school. Sat with translation dictionary at our schooling level and heard me read my postgraduation chapters, just to show her support.
My success at work or balancing work life and achievement as a published author is totally thanks to her.
Sonia: I strongly believe “motherhood is a fact” and my mother happens to be my best friend, mentor, and guide even today, the best memory I have with mom is when I became a mom for the very first time she held my hand saying “be a friend to your child and nothing will ever go wrong” which I follow till date with both my boys Raj & Anuj.
Shehrebanu: There are countless memories! But if I have to reminiscence, this was when I had taken her for a pilgrimage (a small holy town in Rajasthan) in the last years of her life. She had become very old and decided that traveling would be very difficult for her, but she badly wanted to visit that place.
She had so many diet restrictions, she was very weak and could not walk without support, but she was a very strong woman and as expected she managed all the travel adjustments despite her many health problems. This brought her a lot of happiness and when I returned home and reflected on my experience, I realized that my favorite memories were seeing her so happy and contended.
Ami: The best memory with my mom is my YOY birthday as with just simple efforts she made it the most enjoyable day. No big gifts; but simple palette cures. Her passion for cooking delectable cuisines brought the best joy to my plate. Miss that the most now!
Reema: My mother was my first best friend, every memory with her is the best.
Dr. Harmeet: The best memory is the day when I a five-year-old stepped with her in a convent. I thank her always for sending me to a very good school. Today whatever I have achieved is because of her.
4. What advice would you give to mothers who aspire to publish a book someday?
Ami: Spread your own wings and be ready to take the flight off. The world is waiting.
Dipti: Women are natural multi-taskers and storytellers. What overwhelms or discourages is the process of getting a book published. Just dare to tell your tale, leave the rest to your publisher.
Reema: Neither it’s rocket science nor a halwa, thus if publishing means a pursuit to create your identity through your creativity, nothing could come between you if you don’t allow it. Make a schedule and follow your instincts.
Sonia: I would sincerely advise all the mothers who aspire to publish a book to go ahead with their work and yet spend quality time with their kids.
Dr. Harmeet: Perform your duty of bringing up the children well. Give them ample time and once you are satisfied that you have brought them well you can easily continue with your dreams.
Shehrebanu: Balancing work/life with motherhood is elusive. The first and foremost advice I would give is to ‘make it a priority. Stay laser focussed, limit social media, find the in-between time to write, if possible, hire help (child care), and do not bother about timelines and if it is affecting your health then let go of writing for some time. Balancing work/life with motherhood is elusive. The first and foremost advice I would give is to ‘make it a priority. Stay laser focussed, limit social media, find the in-between time to write, if possible, hire help (child care), and do not bother about timelines and if it is affecting your health then let go of writing for some time.
To conclude, Lisa Ling said, “Personally, I’ve always known that I wanted to go back to work because I’m confident, and I’m certain that my daughter will have a better mother in me if I’m doing the things that I’m excited about and that I’m passionate about.”
There is no one better to symbolize this, than our authors, who have always juggled their passion and their responsibilities so successfully. We look up to them, today and every day!