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Of Mum and gajar ka halwa

SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY assures you a joyride with Sonali Mehta's debut book, "Millennium Mums and The Art of Chakki Peesing".



MOTHERHOOD MISERY: Sonali Mehta posing with her debut book, "Millennium Mums and The Art of Chakki Peesing".

THIS IS no laughing matter. Why does nobody tell you before having a baby, that being mum is actually excelling `the art of chakki peesing'? Having `a bundle of joy' is not so fine an argument if you don't tag on that it can be a pain in the neck too. Well, most of the times.

Gosh! Indian mothers are not supposed to say so, have not your mother taught you this? `Motherhood is a wonderful feeling, beta.'

So, how often you young and working mother faces this cross-current? No, don't be so hopeful. This is not a write-up on how to eject yourself from such a hopeless scenario. Actually, it is talking you into how to grin and bear it. The person in context is Sonali Mehta. The magic wand that she wields to conjure that smile on your face is her debut book, "Millennium Mums and The Art of Chakki Peesing", recently launched by Jaico Publishers.

An out and out chronicle on the package deal of motherhood and the daily grind, this Rs.175 worth tome can very well alert singles against motherhood for good or find mothers cursing the writer for coming out so late with her warnings. But, what all would do surely is to laugh, laugh and laugh their way through it, back to back. "Most readers found it funny. Someone told me that she liked it so much that she gifted all her friends a copy! Once I walked into a book store in Mumbai and saw a stranger read the cover, laugh out aloud and buy it," says Sonali. "But my husband carefully picked and chose those chapters where male-bashing is minimal," this former copywriter with Ogilvy & Mather adds.

Motherhood has made Sonali forget her advertising degree from England's West Herts College and the job too. Instead, she picked up her school hobby, casual writing. "Every time something tickled my funny bone, or I felt strongly about something, I began to write it and show these essays to friends and family." And has now become a professional one. Interestingly, she tells you that writing can be an ideal vocation for mothers. Write on when the kiddo is off to school, play or asleep! But then, not many like Sonali wrote "nonsense verse and spoofs on Shakespeare and attempt to write Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in rhyme in school!"

"I think what has made motherhood worse are our Hindi films. Mere paas maa hai. That maa with a sari, bindi and a beatific smile and ready with gajar ka halwa gospelled by St. Manmohan Desai has made it unbearable," laughs this millennium mum. You laugh too, for you know there rests more than a grain of truth in it.

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