When she wears many hats

When she wears many hats

Actor Sonali Bendre Behl took a break from her career in 2005 when her son Ranveer was born.

She says that it was only after he started going to school and she was confident of the quality of time she spent with him that she resumed work— as a judge on television reality shows, small screen actor and ambassador for various brands.

And now she has donned the hat of an author with her latest book ‘The Modern Gurukul— My Experiments With Parenting’. Recently launched by Sonali at an event in the City, the book documents the actor’s journey as a mother and her learnings along the way.

She has shared her principles of parenting that will help one find a balance between tradition and modernity, and how to raise their child in the digital age. It highlights the need for a return to our roots to raise a healthy, curious and most importantly, a compassionate child.

“The Vedic system of Gurukul was a well-rounded and holistic way of educating a child to become a good human being so that they integrate well into the society. The child was taught the concept of ‘dharma’ by a teacher who lived with them, who they looked up to and who lead by example.”

“Today the school is there to help him with the knowledge of subjects; but when I thought of how I could get those all-round teachings to my child, I realised that I needed to be that teacher. The book is about bringing the modern gurukul home, things that the school cannot provide. Also, we needn’t treat the digital age as a villain— we have to look at the good part of it, adapt to it, understand and respect it,” she says.

For Sonali, the book wasn’t a planned attempt— it took a life of its own as she started writing it.

“There are no dos and don’ts of parenting. I never found my answers in a parenting book. This book also doesn’t intend to be one. It’s just my journey. I took my parenting tips from various sources all around me— from an interview I read somewhere, a song, a poem or even a conversation with friends. Whenever I felt I could use and apply something, I would note it down carefully in my housekeeping notebook.

During one of my discussions about kids with friends, they suggested that I put my experiences and conclusions in a book.

And then it became personal. As a mother, I have written it in such a way that it is easy to just pick up and read in between all the chaos that surrounds a parents’ life,” explains Sonali.

She highlights that the gist of it is that if one wants their child to be a certain kind of person, then they need to be that person, create that kind of atmosphere for the child to grow and find joy in doing things together with them.

The actor also entertained a series of questions from the audience who attended the book launch and posed for pictures with fans.

She is also currently judging TV reality show ‘India’s Best Draamebaaz Season 2’.

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