When the cover photo of GurgaonMom’s Book Club changed to Sonali Bendre’s book launch banner, I immediately checked the banner for details. Reading further I was determined that this will not be one of the events that I will show interest in and never attend due to a full time job, managing a child and, lack of time. After all the book was on parenting, the other reasons why I wanted to go was to meet up moms from this wonderful community called GurgaonMoms. I have always heard them, seen their pictures often but never got a chance to meet them. So I decided….not matter what happens I will attend this one.
So I pinged Upasana and asked her if I needed a pass or something, she said no a plain simple registration would be good. While we were talking she asked me if I wanted to do a blog on the same, I was thrilled to bits.
So I prepared like the good old times (was a TV reporter back in time) armed with a handbook of questions, quotes to be taken from Sonali and meeting wonderful women from the community and exchanging notes on a subject now very close to my heart ‘parenting’.
So before she came, I had the chance to meet different moms from the community and spoke at length with some of them about their parenting experience in these changing times. What challenges they face, urban parent problems, how they spend quality time, and what values are extremely close to their heart. Then came the big moment, as Sonali Bendre walked in, the room was lit up with her smile, simplicity, and a look of complete ease. She came with her book editor and publisher. The editor introduced some particularly interesting chapters of the book before the discussion was opened up to moms from the community.
Many moms were particularly intrigued and wanted to know how being a celebrity mother was? To which Sonali Bendre beautifully replied ‘All mothers are the same, celebrity or non celebrity the pressures and tests may vary but they are all there’.
Talking about the book, we asked her why she chose to write on parenting in particular. She then told us how it was a lot of unanswered questions, discussions with fellow moms, friends led to this book.
Sonali during the course of interaction touched on many aspects of parenting, topics that are close to your and my heart. She talked about how it is important for moms to have their time offs, their breaks and how it is equally important for the kids to know that moms have their time, emphasizing the fact that these time offs are both important for the mom and the child.
A very important aspect that she touched upon was the role of dads in this journey; she has dedicated a chapter on the same in the book. She said ‘Parenting is not a mother’s job alone, fathers can do a lot more and add a lot of value to this journey provided they involved and an equal partner in the journey.
Ekta, one of the members of the community asked her why she chose the title ‘The modern Gurukul’ and the author said’ “ My home is a Gurukul where I am the teacher who is responsible for teacher my child everything ‘she also added how it is important as mother to sit and think ‘What do I want my child to be and what do I want for my child’ the answers to these questions are her guiding force in the journey.
Shweta, another mom from the community asked her about one ‘Gurumantra’ she would like to share with all, to which she said ‘Parenting is an everyday learning process’ emphasizing on the fact how it is important to not just hear them out but listen to children.
Then came a very pertinent question, since she is a mother to a 10 year old boy- It collectively came from mothers of boys- What is that one thing she is teaching her son that she thinks is imperative and she said ‘compassion’. Specially in the wake of changing times, how it is important to tell the boys how it is ok to be sensitive and compassionate.
My personal favourite take-away from meet is how ‘parenting is a continuous learning and not a destination’ so let’s cut the criticism, judging, labelling and make our journeys beautiful.
Pictures Credits: Anamica Cannivady