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Raising Mamma by Lalita Iyer, a simple book about the spirit of communication

Parenting is no cakewalk. Many a time through trial and error paths are forged and here in, “Raising Mamma’ the expression ‘Out of the mouth of babes’ holds true. Children though inexperienced, are capable of making wise decisions and being insightful.

In the book, ‘Raising Mamma’ by Lalita Iyer (published by Om Books International), we get to read the story of endearing young (Mo) Mohit and his mother.  Mo is a young boy of nine who lives in Mumbai with his mother, his ‘Paati’ and his two feline cats. Mamma is an author and writes blogs and loves reading children’s books, Paati (his mammas mother) is his constant supporter and the person to whom he teaches tech-use. His two feline cats are his most loyal companions Well, they are almost like siblings as he is an only child. Dadda is part of their life too but in recent times is more out than in. 

What would parenting advice sound like from the point of view of a child? If you’re brave enough to address this question, hop on to this exciting journey!

Sensitive and soft spoken Mohit loves art and dress up and believes in magic and mermaids. More importantly, he shares a wonderful rapport with his mamma. Both of them try to reach a balance in life though sometimes she goes in her angry mode of shouty voice if her instructions are not adhered to! 

The book follows Mohit’s experiences from toddlerhood to present age, his school life to forming friendships with people young and old, learning about empathy and gender stereotypes, why having pets or rather cats in the house is extra special, discussing pertinent issues of life and life experiences as an only child.

Though usually amiable Mo, does have a few pet peeves about adults. Why do adults and grown-ups invariably love to ask certain annoying questions to children which are not so needed. Or just maybe they love collecting information about children. For instance, grown-ups have this thing about growing up too soon. When they meet a child first thing they say is “Oh my god, how much you have grown up!” But all of us have to grow right? So, what’s the big deal! And how was your day at school today? Or When I was your age we did not have …. And the most annoying, what do you want to be when you grow up? But that is so difficult when you want to be someone different every day. Whew! 

Is Mo cheeky? No, just being a kid with his head in the right place.

While reading ‘Raising Mamma’ I realized that many a time my young daughter tells me to chill or take a chill pill and not worry so much about issues. She takes life matter-of-fact and I see, there is truth in that. Conversation is the key to strengthen the bonds between mother and child. 

For Lalita, writing the book ‘Raising Mamma’ from the point of view of the child made the narrative more authentic and different. The voice of the child lent the book a sense of purity, of raw unfiltered emotion of clarity of thought that one can never find in a self–conscious grown up voice. She says that we come to parenting really cold and it is perhaps the only job in the world that people are free to have without prior qualification. 

Lalita found that whenever the journey was child-led, it always felt more meaningful, as it allowed her to surrender completely and accept her flaws. It allowed her to be vulnerable and recognizing the wisdom in a little human. She often was offended by high-handed parenting books doling out wisdom, like ‘HOW TO TALK SO KIDS LISTEN’ and other such and wondered, “what do they know?”. But she felt she too was guilty of doling out parenting wisdom through her blogs and columns till she realised that she too was learning every day from her child! The book is an apt read for children over 10 years. Join Mo and his mamma in their journey of LIFE with Raising Mamma


Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, freelance storyteller, and storyteller with the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She writes travelogues and articles on various topics. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds, and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti her indie pariah dog.