Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sonali Mehta and the Art of Chaki Peesing

After you read a book as huge in content, thought, events and descriptions as Shantaram, you deserve a quick and preferably a light-hearted read. I found the perfect comic relief in an off-beat book by an Indian author - Sonali Mehta. What attracted me to the book was the title - Millennium Moms and the Art of Chaki Peesing. The title was self-explanatory - I knew it would talk about the 21st century Super-Mom-Syndrome, and it carried the promise of explaining how to master the art of becoming an Alpha female.

The book is a series of essays, written in a very casual, rib-tickling, “blogging” style with generous and unabashed use of “Hinglish” and also Hindi words. Needless to say, it’s targeted primarily for an Indian audience. Had Sonali Mehta not found a publisher, the series of essays encompassing the myriad trials and tribulations of the “damsel-turned-dame” (rather, “dome” with reference to the ever-increasing girth of the married Indian woman), she could have very well created an absolutely hilarious blog.

Mehta is witty, wise, and is able to find a reason to laugh even in the most weird and worrisome of scenarios.She discusses various aspects in an Indian woman’s life - from the “arranged marriage” scenario, to the travails of a new bride, a new mom, a new “school-going-kid’s ” mom, to an in-depth analysis of joint families, television serials, hard-to-keep-pace-with fashionable moms, and the role of the Indian male in a household. Sonali has an eye for detail, and the details usually manifest in a hilarious satire of sorts.

A quick and hilarious read, this book may not provide an actual solution to handle the “daily grind” but it will provide you solace to learn that you are not alone in your battle of the bulge or competition for the title of “my mommy best-est”. What gives this book a thumbs-up is that my hubby, who doesn’t like reading, flipped through some pages, and found the writing style easy and buoyant, and he told me, “Lend this book to me once you are through!” I said, “Sure, will.” and I now am wondering how he will handle all the male bashing (and MIL bashing) that the book entails! You see, sometimes the truth is hard to digest, even if sugar-coated, as done by Sonali Mehta.

A must-read that falls in the genre of Indian-Chic-Lit, the only difference is the Chic is a Hen (Mom).


moonrat said...

thanks for the review--i hadn't heard of this book, and it sounds delightful.

a quick question--would you say the "Hinglish" and Hindi is used in a way that would make the book difficult for non-speakers?

Aneesha said...

@Moonrat - the Hinglish/Hindi terminology used is easily recognizable by Indians. It may pose a challenge for non-Indians.