In conversation with Aparna Santhanam, a woman who wears many hats – a sucessful author, dermatologist, mother, wife, and an ardent supporter of social causes. We spoke to Aparna on life after a baby, family holidays, food, and more…..
1. Has Mommyhood changed you? If yes, how?
I think becoming a Mother has been the most defining moment of my life.Everything else
in life is on one side and Mommyhood is on the other side.To me,it is the only unselfish and
unconditional relationship in life where you never think about what you are getting back.
2. One ‘aww’ moment/incident with your child
When my daughter was nine years old,she was asked to write about a famous figure who truly
inspires her.So,naturally I expected she would write about some musician ,politician or some
other famous person.She wrote her composition on me and said that “My mother is a very good
doctor who is going to be famous!”It was not just an aww moment but has often served as an
inspiration to me.
3. One getting on the nerve moment/incident with your child
When Sharanya was about seven,she stopped being amenable to suggestions about oiling her
hair.I remember,one Sunday morning,she screaming and running around the room,while I
chased her with a coconut oil bottle and finally giving up in frustration and flinging the bottle!
4. Favourite Family food with recipe
This was a recipe I devised to make my daughter eat Beetroot and it was such a hit that no
family party is complete without it now!
2 cups yoghurt: 2 cups
1 grated Beetroot (grated): 1
2-3 cloves Garlic (finely chopped): 2–3 cloves finely
3-4 sprigs Fresh mint (finely chopped): 3–4 sprigs finely
Salt and pepper to taste
Tie the yoghurt in a fine muslin cloth and leave for 2 hours to drain out the water for 2 hours.
After you have drained the water, place the yoghurt in a bowl, add the beet, garlic, mint, salt
and pepper. Whip briskly with a hand whisk or lightly with an electric blender. Chill for an hour
Serving Tip: Serve with Juliennes of cucumber, carrot, celery, capsicum and other vegetables as
a dip. It can also be used as a spreading paste for sandwiches.
5. Favourite family holiday destination
This one is easy, definitely Goa!
6. What do you do when you need a break from home, husband, and child(ren)?
I have a lovely Girl gang; we meet at least once a month and completely unwind, away from
Family et al!
7. How do you unwind/relax?
Watching TV shows or shopping with my daughter, reading and chilling at home with a glass of
wine and close friends and playing with my lovely Labrador, Rocco!
8. What you miss most from your pre-child(ren) days?
My husband and I are very impulsive and would just pack a bag in five minutes and head out for
a holiday wherever our fancy took us. It becomes harder with passage of time!
9. A woman who inspires you the most
My Mother ,who always encouraged me and my brother to follow our dreams,who supported
us through a childhood where we moved every couple of years to different states and who have
always made us realize that the most important thing in life is to learn the secret of being happy
in every situation.
10. How have you managed to keep your dreams alive (most of us change /alter dreams after our
I wear four different hats : A practising dermatologist,a brand consultant,a writer and secretary
of an NGO called Apnalaya ,apart from being a Mom of course!To me,it is important that
a.Keep their personal dreams alive and well defined
b.Pursue them with the same vigour that we pursue our dreams for our children and
c.Keep believing that they will come true and ensure they do by letting people who love us know
how important the dream is and ensuring their support!
Finally it is all about self belief and how badly we want it!
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