At the risk of sounding like a snob, I’d be less than honest if I didn’t mention that I’m not too much of a reader of Indian authors. I prefer the writing style and language of foreign authors. When I started this book, I had just finished one of Jeffrey Archer’s books and was dying to pick up the next in the series. So you can well imagine my surprise when I finished ‘Babies & Bylines’ in less than 48 hours. I just LOVED it!! I fell for it hook, line and sinker! My son, over 10 now, watched incredulously as I laughed out loud, muttering “Yes” to myself every now and then.
Like the author, I had read a lot of pregnancy books and knew what growth stage my baby was at week 12, 18, 22, 29, and so on. Being a stickler for perfection, I ate a model diet and did everything right to the ‘T’. In short, I was in control as I’m used to being. In control of my life and to an extent of people around me.
It seemed my mission would be over once the baby arrived. What a rude shock I was to get! How I wish this book had been written some 10 years back. I would have survived that period of my life with more grace.
Pallavi has done such an awesome job of putting across threadbare emotions of a new mother, the trials and tests, the craziness, the sleeplessness and the peripheral role of the better half. I was laughing and hollering with glee as I read along. I wasn’t the only one who went through all of this – the breastfeeding nightmare, the constantly wailing baby demanding to be fed again and again, the colicky screaming (though I didn’t get a solution, had to pass the test of time), the feeling of life being totally out of control, the inability to control another human being. It’s a book I would recommend every woman, wannabe mother as well as fathers to read.
The harsh reality of intelligent, successful and even headstrong women compromising on their lives, careers and ambitions, could not have been better expressed. Seems we have a long way to go before the equations gets balanced for women. Pallavi brings that out with her characteristic honesty, giving the reader many a laugh throughout her memoir.
What I didn’t quite enjoy about the book was the last chapter. I would have done away with the summarizing bit. The take-aways were so wonderfully entwined in the fabric of the narration that it didn’t need a repeat.
Other than that, I would strongly urge you to pick up a copy. Even if you’ve not had too many challenges with managing kids and career and home (which I find difficult to believe), it will take you back and bring in some nostalgia, and in my case validation.
To the wannabe moms out there, grab that copy and manage your expectations now. This is not to scare you but other than the rosy picture of a glowing mom and kid rubbing noses that most adverts will convey, there is another side that no one has told you about.
Thank you Pallavi for writing this book. It takes great courage in sharing your personal life thus. I am so glad I got this opportunity to read and review it. Thank you GurgaonMoms and Upasana for asking me to review it. I will always cherish this book as it has finally given me closure! And of course I’ll be gifting this to a few people who were constant in their criticism and loaded me with heaps of unsolicited advice.