“A collection of stories that strike a chord and then etch their tune on your life”
Title- Parenting & A Slice of Everything
Author- Anupriya Chowdhary
No. of pages- 116
Format- Ebook Pdf
Why is a mother having sleepless nights just because her daughter doesn’t want to have kids even after years of marriage? What kind of gender predicaments does an expecting mother find herself in as she nurtures her unborn child? How a 5-year-old infers matters about his inheritance? How pained is the life of aging grandparents who live miles away from their grandchildren? Why is a mother-in-law, daughter-in-law relationship doomed forever? Can anyone ever justify the extravagance of marriage ceremonies in India? And last but not the least how are people doomed when relationships go ugly and there are tiny lives involved?
Parenting & A Slice Of Everything is a collection of 26 stories that bring forth a galore of characters, incidents and emotions directly or remotely related to the parenting life-cycle and its tyranny on life and relationships.
I picked up this book for two reasons: firstly, the cover was attractive and got me curious(whoever said do not judge a book by it’s cover!). Secondly, I read the first story of the book and it was humorous and decided I definitely wanted to read this book. The stories had me laughing, nodding along furiously and shedding a tear or two. Hence, I would say I did like the read.
Anupriya is an eloquent storyteller who has given depth to day-to-day stories making them memorable. Many of the stories are structured as solutions to tangles we face in our everyday life. The stories reemphasize my belief that with a little bit of empathy, thought and work we can find answers to all our problems.
Her characters are well-defined and rounded and drawn from real-life, individuals we find all around us. The toddler with a mind of his own, young parents in need of some ‘marriage heat’, middle-class grandparents who have worked all their life to give their daughters a life and now pampering their grandchildren, a stay-at-home mother, and so on. I identified strongly with the character of Amrita; as a mother of two kids less than 5, her stories were right up my alley and enlightening. The clincher is that the author is able to put herself in the shoes of each of her characters and portray their emotions.
Mentions of some of my personal favorites from the book:
Xerox habits: There have been innumerable times I have discussed this with my husband: prospective couples should discuss their preferred “fan speed” before making the decision to get married to each other. Read this story to find out Anupriya’s take on it.
‘Letting go’ was written powerfully and answered the question: why even highly-educated women stay in abusive relationships as long as they do.
The ‘Jealous Mother-in-law‘ was heart-warming and made me wish for an ideal world where everyone has empathy.
The parenting stories were insightful and contained a host of perspectives for parents of young children. I did learn a lot from them.
The only suggestion I would give is to shuffle the stories around a bit, to improve the continuity(maybe group the parenting tales), but I guess the author knows best about her babies.
All-in-all a wonderful read.