From Sex Worker Mothers to Lesbian Parents: The Changing Face of Motherhood in India

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05/10/2020

‘You’re not complete as a woman unless you become a mother.’ With these brilliantly misleading words that every woman in India must have heard at some point of her life begins Pooja Pande’s book ‘Momspeak: The Funny, Bittersweet Story of Motherhood in India’. This spectacularly inane piece of wisdom is of course attributed to all the ‘aunties we know’ because who else would say such things, right? Pande’s book busts myths about motherhood in India, and therefore, it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who had ever asked a married couple when they would announce the ‘good news’, or preached to a single woman that she should get married fast because her biological clock is ticking. It is for those women who only say half-truths like, ‘having a baby is the most wonderful feeling in the world’ and it is definitely for those people who think that the primary identity of a woman after she gives birth is that of a ‘mother’. Others should just read it because it is relatable, uplifting and packs some really heavy punches in kid gloves, as it delves into the personal lives of mothers whom we often exclude from popular mainstream narratives — like sex worker moms, lesbian parents, as well as mothers of children with special needs.

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