The 7 Sins of being a Mother: Funny, insane & intimate

Kashyap feels you’ve got to be a little mad to write something like it. “Nobody writes about such intimate and stupid stuff,” says she

Book Cover
Book Cover

Garima Sadhwani

Why do her books have such Biblical names? ‘The 12 Commandments Of Being A Woman’ followed by ‘The 7 Sins Of Being A Mother’? “Because my father is a numerologist,” she says laughing, quickly adding, “No, no, I’m just kidding.” She used the names, she says, because both her books are tongue in cheek accounts of a life that beats the stereotypes.

Right after her last book came out in 2020, Tahira Kashyap and her publisher sat down to discuss what they could do next. Kashyap wrote something and gave it to the publisher, who said she was in splits.

Kashyap feels you’ve got to be a little mad to write something like it. “Nobody writes about such intimate and stupid stuff,” says she, adding, “When I take to the writing table, it’s a very unfiltered approach. It’s when the entire script is with the publisher that I start getting anxious…“why did I do it? What was I even thinking? Why?”

She hopes the book isn’t limited to only mothers because of the title. “I’m just admitting to the blunders that I have committed, to the sinful side that each woman has, mother or not,” says she. And she believes it’s a book that’ll be enjoyed by all, men and women alike. For instance, Kashyap feels that a lot of people will relate to her mid-life crisis, when she inadvertently reached out to a man who had a crush on her in high school, because she didn’t know how to fill a void in her life.

And she’s sure that a lot of people will find it funny that her husband, Ayushmann Khurrana, used her breast milk in his protein shake. Or the time when she left her baby behind at a restaurant.

She talks about coming to terms with her own identity and “owning it”, rather than being someone else, who she wasn’t entirely happy with. “After a rough patch in terms of my mental health, I realised that each one of us is unique and while we can be inspired by each other, I need not be somebody else. I can be me and I can live my life to the fullest,” she smiles.

Kashyap also talks in the book about how women are made to feel guilty for everything they do and don’t. “I was judged for not having motherly feelings towards my just born child. I was judged for not wanting to hold my baby right after the operation, for not having a vaginal delivery, for not breastfeeding my son for a year or more. I felt guilty about gaining weight and for wanting to lose that weight,” she recalls. There was a point when she felt perpetually guilty. But it wasn’t long before she realized that she was being too hard on herself, and that it was okay to take a breather.

Talking about her writing process, she confides that she never takes to the laptop directly. She ideates for a few months, lets the idea bloom, takes mental notes, and when all of that is done, she writes in one long session, which could last for a few weeks or months. “My style of writing is a little volcano-ish, it all comes out in one go, and after I’ve completed, I’m shocked at my own self,” she says.

Oh, and if you’ve read her book, don’t meet her with a copy of the book for her to sign because she’s scared you might be savouring graphic visuals of her “sins” in your head!

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