A casual talk with a friend brought up the name Banani Das Dhar. An entrepreneur, a blogger, traveler, curator of a lifestyle and cultural digital magazine; she has now added another feather in her cap by penning a book titled “Emotions and Elation”. The book due for release on 1st July is already creating buzz on various social media platform.
With an intention to introduce Banani’s latest work to my readers, friends and fellow bloggers, I decided to feature her on my blog. Here I have posed a volley of questions to Banani which she answered all with patience and humility.
1. Banani lets begin the interview by talking about your latest accomplishment; your first book. I am sure it was not out of the blue that you decided to pen your journey to motherhood; so the obvious question: when did you realize that you have to frame your thoughts into this beautiful book called Emotions and Elation?
Since the beginning of my pregnancy I started expressing my thoughts into my journal and once my nausea and vomiting subsided, the idea to publish my journey of 9 months in the form of a book hit me. My thoughts were shaping up well and I was sure many would love to read and could relate to them.
2. How is this book different from the other books in the market?
When I talk about pregnancy and maternity book, undoubtedly the market is full of guides and manuals but Emotions and Elation is the first-hand account of my pregnancy journey. It’s all about the journey, the emotional imbalances, the hormonal changes, the learnings and the unlearning. So basically it’s a true tale of my pregnancy journey towards motherhood.
3. What was the easiest n the most difficult part to write?
The easiest part- The happenings, the incidents.
Difficult part- On how to put in words the emotional upheavals during my pregnancy. But I think I have done justice to a great extent.
4. You have spoken about your husband as a pillar of strength in the book. Very few women actually give credit to their partner; I mean usually its either mother or sister. Can you let us know how your husband was of help to you in your accomplishment?
Oh yes! He is my life savior, my best friend, a true companion, and my real life “Hero”. Even though we had known each other for around 15 years, yet he found it difficult to handle my violent behavior, if I may phrase that way, during my pregnancy. But I know I married a strong man, he didn’t give up. He took care of me like a mom. No doubt, for few hours he has to leave me alone at home to attend office but even then he never missed to call me and ask whether I have taken my meds and food. He gave the priority to me than his work during those days.
When my negative-self vocalized that I can’t write this book, it was my husband who gave me the confidence that if I really want to publish the book I should go for it ; he was sure that I can do that.
5. Give us an interesting fun fact about your book and pl. add your favourite part also.
My husband’s take on handling me both as a “mother-to-be” and now as a “mother” are an absolute fun to read in my book. He is an introvert and talks less so while writing the book when I asked him to share his thoughts; he would not be very expressive. I had to persuade him hard to share his feelings and the whole attempt was absolute fun for me.
My favorite part is when I went into labor. I enjoyed writing it more than writing other chapters.
6. You have talked about myths related to pregnancy in your book, have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone tried to preach you and how did u handle it?
Oh yes, a lot of “gyaans“; I can sum it up in a book and publish it as “Pregnancy Manual”: what should you eat, how you sleep, what you should think; people tried giving every piece of advice they knew. But Subhashish always said listen to what doctor says and I was saved!
7. Banani every experience teaches a lesson; so what’s the most interesting thing you learned while writing this book; I am sure there must be one or two?
The pregnancy and the book taught me many things. During my writing process I learned as well as unlearned many things. Out of the many, one is Patience. Writing a book doesn’t happen overnight, it requires lot of thinking, writing, reading voraciously, editing, and the process just continues until you get a piece that you yourself are convinced or satisfied with. So you have to be patient during this whole process. It may takes days, months or years.
Secondly, I learnt to sit back and relax. There are so many things that I want to achieve in this one birth. My life is no lesser than a fast racing car; I love speed until I come to know the power of relax and leisure. If you relax, you regain more energy and can be more productive than before. Try and you know it! 🙂
8. Sure, indeed a good advice. Ok Banani as we know writing can be an all-consuming process and I presume you started jotting down your “ideas” into a form of book after your baby was born. How were you able to maintain a balance between the motherly duties towards your baby and the commitment towards your book?
Oh No. I started writing in my pregnancy itself. However, writing still continued even after delivery. This part was very difficult, I must say. The post-partum has its own challenges and the baby needs you too. I was juggling between my work and baby. I took only a few days off from my work and then I was back. I compromised my sleep with writing and my magazine’s (BananiVista’s) work. People suggested, “When the baby sleeps, you sleep too and then I said to myself “When the baby sleeps, get back to work.”
9. What authors do you like to read? What book or books had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I generally enjoy fiction. But few non-fictions too are close to my heart. My personal favorite is Ruskin Bond.
10. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It certainly did in a huge way. My writing skills have evolved with time and I’m improving day by day. I started reading a lot to write properly and in a correct way.
Thanks for the lovely interview. I wish you all the luck for your future endeavors.
Banani Das Dhar