BOOSTER BOOKS, 2021
Pages 140, Price INR 250
Navigating the Path of Parenthood
Divya Muraka’s debut book Purnah – The Complete Parent is a beautiful walk down the journey of parenthood, covering various aspects and dimensions. As a single, working parent, the author has been face to face with social stigmas and dilemmas, which have lent her greater insight into the parent–child bond. She shares with us her valuable learning that is replete with perspicacity, level-headedness and empathy.
The chapters such as ‘My family” redefined’, ‘Let’s fit into our own size’, ‘Keep yourself alive and kicking’ and ‘Mirror effect’ focus on the different spheres that are important for being not a perfect, but a complete parent and giving your child the best version of you. Also, the layout of the book is great, with each chapter beginning with an inspirational quote and ending with a summary of the salient points and a reflective exercise. This does not make for a passive reading and instead, helps the reader to proactively participate in the journey.
Among the various chapters, ‘ “My family” redefined’ is particularly eye-opening regarding the society’s conventional perceptions of the family and its impact on children who do not belong to the “typical” family structure. On pages 10 and 11, there are quite a few illustrations of what a family may look like. Drawings of friends, siblings and plants, a grandparent and a grandchild and a boy and his pet are some of the alternate families presented here, which are both insightful and heartwarming. The author also dwells on the importance of breaking stereotypes, helping children to come out of the feeling of entitlement and the need for parents to be mentors instead of merely monitors. The chapter titled Touch Tool elaborates on a great approach to calm an agitated child by touch therapy such as a pat, a caress or a hug. On the other hand, when parents are irritable (as mentioned in the chapter ‘Patience is a virtue’), it is often a great idea to take deep breaths as well as share with the child the reason behind their peskiness and the need for some time to overcome it.
There are certain grammatical errors here and there, such as the wrong use of the question mark on page 70, interchange of “rational” and “rationale” on page 44, wrong use of preposition on page 95 (“control on” instead of “control over”), and use of “now a days” instead of “nowadays” on page 52. Also, the introduction of two sons on page 122 appears to be a tad abrupt, when till that point the author had only referred to one child of her own. Providing a bit more context here would have helped the reader understand the scenario better.
Overall, the book is an engaging read not only for parents but also teachers, guardians, caregivers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all those who play no small role in a child’s life. In discussing the act of rearing up a child, it also underpins the importance of self-care and being happy and fulfilled from within. As stated by Muraka in the Preface, “The goal (of the book) is to be aware, to accept, to re-define, and to feel complete as a parent.”
You can get the book here.