There is no better feeling than the movement of life inside you and every mother experiences it in a different way. The journey of those nine months may look similar but it is not the same for all mothers.
One such beautiful journey has been narrated in ‘Emotions and Elation’, a book by Banani Das Dhar, a mompreneur-turned author from Bengaluru. Banani Das Dhar became a mother to a handsome boy, Lakshya, last year and got inducted into the wonderful phase of motherhood.
An entrepreneur, a blogger, traveller and curator of a lifestyle and cultural digital magazine, she has now added another feather to her cap by penning a book titled “Emotions and Elation”. The book, which is due for release on July 1, is creating buzz on a various social media platforms. In an interview with Dalu Jose, Banani talks more about the book.
What motivated you to write this book?
I love expressing my thoughts on paper. I love documenting my childhood experiences, my journeys in the form of travelogues and of course, the happiest moments or milestones in my life. Similarly, my pregnancy was an inspiration for me to express myself, to embrace my own self and reform the thoughts about it for all men and women in the form of a book called 'Emotions And Elation'.
Would you like to share something about the book with your readers?
The book is bucolic in nature and that's the best part about it. I have kept my feelings and thoughts intact in it. I haven't modified anything, so everyone can relate to and feel the story.
If you see the book cover, the picture of mine is very rustic. I have kept it natural. My hair became rough during those days and I have kept it like that in the picture. There is minimal makeup -- just a stroke of kajal and lipstick to brighten my face. Basically, I haven't changed anything in this book. One will get the essence completely when one reads it.
When I started writing it, it was not to publish a book but to put across my day-to-day experiences in my journal. The thought of getting it published made me hopeful and when I was done with the manuscript, I felt content and happy. "How will it feel when my son reads it?, I asked myself.
I drafted the book during my nine months of pregnancy but of course, this was not at a stretch. It took me 16 months to complete the book. There were days when I didn't want to write and there were times when I spent the day doing nothing but writing. Personally, when I read the manuscript today again, things just reflect in my eyes. I can sense and feel each moment described in the book. This is a big achievement for me as whatever work I had done earlier, I wanted to modify it, but when it comes to 'Emotions and Elation', it was born out of me. It gave me satisfaction once it was completed.
How is this book different from the other books on pregnancy and motherhood in the market?
When it comes to pregnancy and maternity books, undoubtedly, the market is full of guides and manuals but 'Emotions and Elation' is a first-hand account of my pregnancy journey. It’s all about the journey -- the emotional imbalances, the hormonal changes, the learning and the unlearning. So basically, it’s the true tale of my journey towards motherhood.
When did you decide to publish your book?
I think I was in my third month. It was only after the vomiting and nausea phase ended, I could think of doing some work. That was then I thought of penning down my thoughts into words.
Every experience teaches a lesson, so what’s the most interesting thing you learned while writing this book?
The pregnancy and the book taught me many things. During my writing process, I learned as well as unlearned many things. Out of the many, one is patience. Writing a book doesn’t happen overnight, it requires a lot of thinking, writing, reading, editing, and the process just continues until you get a piece that you yourself are convinced or satisfied with. So you have to be patient during this whole process. It may take days, months or years. Secondly, I learnt to sit back and relax. There are so many things that I want to achieve in this one birth. My life is no less than a fast racing car. I loved speed until I came to know of the power of relaxing and leisure. If you relax, you regain more energy and can be more productive than before. Try and you know it!
Is there any author you admire?
There are many writers whose works I love reading but I admire Ruskin Bond the most. Somewhere, I found my writing style similar to his -- writing about childhood memories, short stories, adventure and more.
After the success of BananiVista and now 'Emotions & Elations, what are your future plans?
I want to write more and publish more of my works. I will take it as it comes. There is a lot coming from my digital magazine too. As it evolves and grows, the responsibilities are growing too and I need to focus on it.
As a mother, what are your worries when it comes to bringing up your child in today's world?
As a mother, bringing up my child is no picnic. I fret about many issues like introducing my child to the internet, rape cases in schools and stuff about religion. These are the things that trouble me personally too.
Your advice to other women preparing for motherhood...
Try to be happy as your happiness lies in the happiness of your child, engage yourself in whatever you love doing and learn something new. During pregnancy, don't sit idle as this can aggravate frustration and anxiety. Try to learn something good and positive every other day, give proper attention to your physical self and don't stress yourself. Do something to de-stress like listening to music, cooking, walking, anything that suits you.
What makes your book unique?
The book is not a pregnancy guidebook or a manual. It's a tale of a woman becoming a mother. It talks about the personal pregnancy journey of the author. The journey is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and breaks myths revolving around pregnancy. The word 'pregnancy' is always associated with the mother, people hardly think about the father's emotions during that time. This book gives you a glimpse of the father's feelings too. During pregnancy, it's not just the wife but the husband is also pregnant.
(Banani is an ex-clinical data analyst and founder of the lifestyle and cultural digital magazine BananiVista. Although she hails from Assam, Bengaluru is her home now)
Book Name: Emotions and Elation
Author: Banani Das Dhar
Price: Rs 225