In a nutshell, Shivangi Sharma’s I Made a Booboo is a book about parenting. But what sets it apart from hundred others already in the market? Take a look at its cover and though you might have been thoroughly instructed to never judge a book by its cover, you will be tempted to give this one a shot. And once you have moved past the creative illustrations, it’s the author’s self-deprecating yet witty style of writing that would make you want to, at least, glance through the pages even if you aren’t a first time mom.
by Shivangi Sharma
Rupa Publications Rs 146, pp. 208
Here’s a sample of what you can expect. The book starts with a hilarious test to determine whether you are the parenting type: l Are you fine with counting out loud till three, with some extra excitement at three — more like ‘thareeeeee’ at least 56 times a day?
l Can you live with getting physically abused by a person a third your size every day and not being able to do anything about it, not even yelling back? l Do you think it is morally right to insist on playing hide-and-seek with your kid, just so you can hide in the kitchen and gobble down some chips and/or chocolate?
l Are you a morning person? And a night person? And an afternoon and an evening person? Basically, a person who is on call 24*7? “I was (and still am) living in Amsterdam when my son, Amay, was born (in 2012), I had taken a break from work. I used to spend a lot of time on the Internet reading about parenting and babies,” says Shivangi.
What began as short, unconnected posts gradually evolved into a book that the publishers gave a nod of approval within four months. “The experience of being a parent was both miraculous and utterly hilarious! That was all that I had on my mind then, and I just had to rattle it out on a keyboard. Besides, I am nowhere near qualified to advise someone on parenting, even now. Also the parenting books were all about babies and how they grow etc., but hardly any about the parents. The parents are born with the baby too! So I decided to write one about them.”
Having co-authored an anthology titled Dutched Up — rated among the top travel books of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal — Shivangi admits that despite her profession (she is a marketing professional with an MBA from Indian School of Business) she has been writing for as long as she can remember. “Writing has always stayed with me like a faithful friend. Whether it was writing poems as birthday presents or scribbling about the meaning of life in boring legal compliance training at work — I have always loved to play with world of words,” says Shivangi.
So what’s the one piece of advice she would like to give to first-time moms: “Please calm down! You are doing alright as a mother and the baby doesn’t care too much right now as long as his basic needs are met. Whenever you are giving yourself a hard time, remember that you are not the only one and this won’t be the last time you goofed up! The title of my book suggests how I unlearnt parenting books and learnt while making a million mistakes on the way. Which is kind of how we live our whole life, isn’t it?”