The bond shared by a mother and a child is special and inexplicable. Often, habits, private nicknames and idiosyncracies contribute in making it beautiful. It goes without saying that you learn from your mother in more ways than one and nothing you do can ever add up to her efforts toward making your world a safer, better and happier place. But you can always pamper her in ways only you can think of or, even better, if she is a bibliophile, leave her alone for a while with a new book in hand to enjoy during those solitary, summer afternoons.
Ahead of Mother’s Day. indianexpress,com approached a few prominent authors and asked them to share their list of must-read books that they would recommend to their mothers.
The first in our series is Anuja Chauhan, the author of The Zoya Factor.
“My mother has always been incredibly available to us,” Anuja Chauhan says while recollecting what she owes to her mother Pushpa Rahman the most. The author of books like The House That BJ Built, and The Zoya Factor remembers her mother with overwhelming fondness — she breaks into a smile while talking about her, takes pride in remembering how her mother was never judgemental and confesses how her absence still hits her in waves. “I am not done grieving her loss,” says Chauhan who lost her mother in August 2016.
She still remembers the time spent with her mother in vivid details and admits the indelible imprint the latter has left behind. Hailing from an army family, Chauhan reminisces how her mother would read a lot and the practice formed an important part of their relationship. “There was always some literary references in our conversation,” she says and adds how she was given Animal Farm when she was only eight. “She would give these quintessentially important books for me to read but while speaking about them she would do that in the most relatable manner.”
Growing up with four siblings, the author remembers how all their clothes were stitched by her mother and though all of them had diverse interests, her mother was always equally interested in all of them. “She has influenced me as a writer but also as a parent. I have learnt to be emotionally available to my children from her,” she says.
Ask her to describe her childhood with her mother and siblings, the literary reference she had hitherto spoken about comes to the fore. “It was like residing inside Little Women,” she says with a nostalgic glee. One can hardly disagree.
Ahead of Mother’s Day, Chauhan spoke to indianexpress.com and listed out five books she would have recommended to her mother.
My Family And Other Animals
I would recommend this book to her because ‘Mother’ in that book is just like my mum – so calm and tolerantly loving in the middle of a bunch of maniacs.
A Suitable Boy
This book is set in the fifties which is my mum’s magical decade. It was the time when she and her sisters and friends and admirers were all young.
Three Act Tragedy
It is one of those rare Agatha Christies which she hasn’t read and would have perhaps enjoyed.
Pride and Prejudice
This is mainly just to re-read because it was a favourite of hers.
The complete works of Oscar Wilde
Mum loved his sarcasm and wit. Also, I think she would have really enjoyed this book as her daughters had acted lead roles in his plays (The Importance of Being Ernest and Lady Windermere’s Fan) when they were in school and she was so proud of them!