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The Saturday Book Review: Amma Mia, A Book Not To Be Missed!
What is interesting is that the book instead of talking about her profession as an actor, instead shares her stint as a mother where she shares her bountiful tips with Mothers.
Title: Amma Mia : Stories Advice & Recipes from One Mother to Another
Author: Esha Deol Takhtani
Publisher: Penguin/Ebury Press (2020)
TNA RATING: *****
When a celebrity Mother from Bollywood ventures forth into the world of writing, eyebrows are bound to be raised. So when Esha Deol, daughter of one of the the most adored and envied DNA - Dharmendra and Hema Malini, writes a book, releases it, it is bound to create a flutter. And it goes without saying that the curiosity it created shot through the roof.
What is interesting is that the book instead of talking about her profession as an actor, instead shares her stint as a mother where she shares her bountiful tips with Mothers on the blessed child-mother bonding, relationships with In-laws and the challenges faced by working mothers as they handle dual responsibilities.
She also speaks about 'mom guilt' in her maiden book. Esha is very forthcoming and candid about the problems and challenges she faced while bringing up her two daughters Radhya and Miraya Her words of wisdom come through from her first hand personal experiences as a Working Mother .
She has taken great pains to reach out to mothers on the challenges faced by them on feeding their children. She writes: "While writing this book I thought hard and long about why I was the way I was: one of the things that struck me was that food, or eating always came with the bludgeon of threats.
I know that countless mothers, house help and grandmothers have resorted to this tactic in a moment of frustration or to improve their efficiency because the good-ol’ scare seems to work like magic. In this chapter I want to examine a child's eating habits and consider what makes them tick, and what doesn’t, and to do so I am going to use my life as a template.”
She takes the readers through her early childhood years she so fondly remembers. "My mother, Hema Malini, remembers how anyone feeding me would switch my bottle of milk for another filled with tomato juice (my favourite apparently) or banana juice and other concoctions, which I would happily and sleepily guzzle.”
Remembers incidences about her perceptions of her father Dharmendra My father, a ‘pukka’ Punjabi , would often take us to Lonavala on the weekends for a quick family getaway. We would always stay at Fariaz Hotel. My father would book an extra room adjacent to ours where he would host a few friends with whom he’d play cards and hang out.
There was one thing I’d always wondered about my father, who otherwise did everything with us, usually took his meals separately. Once I happened to slip into the other room and discovered a big, covered dish. My sister and I were curious about what lay hidden under the cover, so we opened it and were shocked to find the remains of a monstrous insect.
I examined the remains of the insect and asked my help Bharti ‘ Yeh kya hai ? Itna bada keeda kidhar se aaya hai?’ Bharti said ' Yeh keeda nahi hai, ye lobster hai….. Papa ne khaya hai ‘ That’s when she realized her Father was a hard core Non-Vegetarian and he avoided eating in front of her Mother Hema Malini who was a thorough vegetarian.
She talks in detail how for a working mother to excel in her work, the family support system is a boon. She has given umpteen examples of friends around her who have talked of the great supportive In-laws during the growing up periods of their respective children.
Esha also has glowing tributes for her mother in law. "This brings me to my mother-in-law—Puja Takhtani -whose care epitomises the importance of family and selfless love…….she’s taught me the values of family and how to care for your loved ones.’
Esha has gone into minute details of how children could be best handled The love care and family togetherness … as to how important they were for the holistic development of the children. She has even devoted a chapter on Recipes for Babies- Amma Mia’s cuisine suggesting recipes corresponding with the age of the children from 6 months to 1 year and I year and onwards.
It is amazing how behind the glittering flash bulbs we have in our fold a lady devoted to family and family values. Leaving behind her profession she chose to bare her heart out on issues devoted to children, working mothers, motherhood and a holistic approach to bring up children.
Veteran actress, Rajya Sabha member and the better-half of mega star Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan has penned the foreword for Esha’s book, writing one of the most touching tribute to womanhood and motherhood.
“Just as a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly is not as simple as sprouting wings and flying away, a woman’s transformation into a mother is certainly not as simple as giving birth and returning to life as it was".
Packed with advice, tips, stories and easy and delicious recipes for toddlers. Amma Mia reflects the personal journey of one woman’s transformation into a mother. Informative and easy to follow this book will help new mothers navigate the ups and downs of raising a toddler and make their child fall in love with food
My parting advice : A perfect present for all daughters on their wedding and a must read by all to be mothers and mothers.
(The author of this book review is a Lucknow-based businessman and Co-Chairman PHD Chambers of Commerce and the Founder Chair of Confederation of Indian Industry-Young Indians.)
This Book Is Available @ Universal Booksellers