Saturday, January 15, 2022

Book- The Reluctant Mother by Zehra Naqvi

"Gift me a book for my birthday.” I asked Elsa. Looking through my wishlist, she picked the book, The Reluctant Mother by Zehra Naqvi. “This is something I can relate so well. Read this.” She suggested. 

She ordered way before my birthday but, it took more than a month to deliver this book. The more I wanted to read it, the more it got delayed in delivery process. Disappointed with the book delivery process 

At first, Zehra was a reluctant mother, doubtful of how to let another little human invade into her beautiful cocoon built with her love, Salman. Through tears of shock and dismay, she realises that she’s pregnant. She didn’t wanted any of this at that point of time. She couldn’t imagine letting her dream slip through her fingers. The dream of working, the dream of living with her loved one, her husband, the dream of loving and just being with him.  

She writes the journey of carrying her baby in humorous style. However, there’s immense pain, effort, struggle throughout her journey. So is every mother’s journey. Reading through it, I could relate how Elsa must have gone through out the journey. 

Talking about care, love, marriage, relations, Zehra takes us through the rooms of Aligarh, Delhi where she dreaded being a mother, struggled to raise the child single handedly when her husband was away at Oman, trying his best to get Zehra and the baby to relocate. The possibility of relocation remained a possibility until Salman gave up and returned to India after almost an year. That separation almost killed her. Introspecting on marriage, love, care, she wrote her story. 

It’s an honest account written in most humorous and raw style. It’s a courageous feat to write one’s fears, vulnerabilities and apprehensions about being as a mother.  This must be read by everyone, especially men to know what it takes to bring a child onto this earth and raise them with love. Also, Zehra shares her life- her father, family, husband and all who complete her.

Be it about Hamza’s journey through the woods or zehra’s 30th birthday trip, I just couldn’t stop being in awe of the author for her honesty and the way she narrates the anecdotes. 

I’m surprised by the way I was hooked to this book. I was reading this book even while I was cooking. I was reading this book, while I was waiting for my cab. I couldn’t put it down. Quoting her favourite books, lines and poems, she wrote her journey making the reader feel, “I know zehra, her mom, hamza, Salman and the granny who keeps irritating poor Zehra” That’s the kind of impression the author has left through her words. 

Zehra’s words on love, care, peace, romance are worth quoting. 

“People prove their love by telling you how much they care about your well-being. Yes, you cannot love without care. But you can care without love.”

“What is it with husbands and their absolute fear of transparency? You never share actual problems with your wife because you don’t want to ‘burden’ her or make her ‘worry’, when in truth, she would bee more than happy to lend you a sympathetic ear and more than eager to help out in whatever way possible. What worries her more ironically, is that you don’t trust the relationship enough to be frank and open about your problems, that you don't consider her competent enough to support you or help you out. Most husbands think they are protecting their wives this way, when in truth they are just isolating them.”

“Peace is not silence. It is not stillness. It is not found merely within building and holy lands. Peace is hidden within the patterns of our mind, the images constructed for years which suddenly come to life. Peace is contained in the heart, n its  responses to the universe around us, in the love we hold that enables us to experience everything more fully. Hardened hearts, emptied of love and mercy, can never experience peace.”

Order the book through this link. You’ll love it.

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Universe of Music- A R Rahman

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