Deccan Chronicle

Book Review | The cut-throat world of momfluencers

Deccan Chronicle.| Rachna Chhabria

Published on: April 29, 2023 | Updated on: April 29, 2023
Cover photo of 'Moms in the Wild' by Nidhi Raichand. (Photo by arrangement)

Cover photo of 'Moms in the Wild' by Nidhi Raichand. (Photo by arrangement)

The cover of Nidhi Raichand’s Moms in the Wild is quite attractive. It’s the kind of cover that whispers seductively, "Pick me up." Turning the book around as I read the blurb, a smile crawled over my face. The blurb gave me thriller vibes. A dead body floating in a lake. It sure will be a page-turner, my greedy, thriller-loving mind thought.

The story is about Sneha Talwar, a 24-year-old reporter, idealistic and a bit naïve. Working in the online magazine Cactus’ lifestyle beat, she bags the assignment to interview Natasha Babani, an environmental activist and multi-talented mommy influencer, who had undertaken the onerous task of cleaning Lake Ahilya, Bangalore’s most polluted lake. This turns out to be the trained pilates instructor and mommy to two adorable boys’ biggest achievement in life, putting her into the spotlight.

Sneha arrives at Whispering Willows, the posh residential complex where Natasha lives, to interview her. Though she hadn’t met Natasha, she had exchanged a couple of WhatsApp messages prior to the interview. Natasha is the president of the residents’ welfare association of Whispering Willows. Sadly, there is no sign of Natasha and Sneha ends up meeting Jaya Venkatraman, the vice-president of the RWA. They try to figure out Natasha’s whereabouts. At Natasha’s house the maid informs them that she has gone for a walk.

Jaya takes the young reporter to show her the clean lake. They find Natasha’s body in the lake, floating a few feet below the surface of the water. Sneha decides that, instead of the interview she had planned, she will do a profile of Natasha for her magazine, a posthumous report on Natasha Babani and all the good she had done in her life. After getting the approval from her boss, she meets Natasha’s friends, all mommy influencers for their soundbites and is sucked deeper and deeper into the world of social media influencers and their rivalry. This also estranges her from her friend and roommate Aalia and shows her the materialistic side of her boss.

One sees most writers improving over a course of their books. When I say improving, I mean the quality of their writing and storytelling ability gets better with each book. But in this book, I saw Raichand’s writing, which was modest in the first half of the book, improve by leaps and bounds after a certain point. That point was where Raichand firmly stuck her small banner as a writer into the ground. Though this chapter arrived quietly, a little more than halfway through the book, it gave the entire book a whole new meaning. It also captured the essence of the book. The chapter was actually a feature Sneha had written on her laptop, on a whim. The feature, titled Moms in the Wild, compared the different kinds of moms to a slew of jungle creatures, giving each kind of mother an attribute similar to the animal mother’s special skill.

That chapter made me sigh. It was wonderful. It not just showcased Raichand’s writing skills; post that, her writing improved drastically and she put the story through a series of small plot twists, ending with a flourish. Raichand has taken a contemporary theme, that of the fiercely competitive world of social media influencers, and weaved a neat story around that theme. The book is a light and breezy read, perfect for a hot summer day.


Rachna Chhabria is a Bengaluru based children’s authorand a freelance writer


Moms in the Wild

By Nidhi Raichand


pp. 238; Rs 350


About The Author

Rachna Chhabria is a Bengaluru-based children's author and a freelance writer

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