WEQIP caught up with the author of the book ‘Purnah – The Complete Parent’, Divya Murarka as she shares her inspiration, who the book is for and why parenthood is a wondrous journey of empowerment, acceptance and awareness of self.
Q: This is your first book. When did the realization dawn upon you that you wanted to write, and that too specifically on parenthood?
Divya: When my son and his friends curiously asked certain challenging questions, my throat dried up searching for answers. Finally, I came to terms with it and mustered the courage to answer them. A series of questions followed with time. At every step, I took guidance and drew on my inner strength to give a rationale and age-appropriate answer to my son. It wasn’t easy.
It is not that these questions have not been asked before, but they remain unanswered. As a person who was challenged by such situations in life, I connected to all those who were struggling with similar circumstances. Through these experiences, I realized that there is a need in society at large to be more inclusive to make all family structures a part of our lives. The best way to create awareness in society about the special needs of parenting was through a book. This compelled me to write a book about my experiences and the experience of other parents in similar predicaments.
Q: The name of your book is unique. What was the thought behind the same?
Divya: “Purnah” means complete. The journey started from my intense need to feel complete as a parent for my child. I strongly feel every parent irrespective of their family, social, or economic structure can be empowered to feel complete.
I started chanting this shloka from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad which gave me immense strength:
“Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavashisyate
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaanti”.
Q: Your book challenges the assumptions of a ‘typical’ family. Have people reached out to you and shared why this was needed and how it has helped them?
Divya: Yes, many people have reached out and applauded the bold step of challenging the assumptions of a ‘typical’ family. In today’s world, a family can mean different things to different people. One of my friends stays with her parents and that’s her family. Reading the book made her feel complete in her own way.
Q: Which of the aspects of your book resonates with you the most?
Divya: The book deals with various topics for millennial parenting. It shares many challenges from our day to day to life: how to balance love and discipline? how to feel comfortable in your own shoes? how to balance different roles as a parent along with self-care? etc. In this book, you will find the enriched experiences of parents in different situations and different stages of parenting that could resonate with you and hopefully help you.
Q: Were there any challenges you came across while writing? How did you overcome them?
Divya: Getting the right mix of emotions and facts was challenging. Some stories are deeply ingrained in my heart and I could go on writing about them. But was it really required for a reader? Was it making the story too long? These are some of the questions where I had to step back and ask myself. Reading my own work repeatedly and multiple reviews helped me overcome this issue. Also, as a mother, it’s easy to be preachy. I have consciously tried to avoid doing that and really let the reader decide what will work best for them.
Q: Do you have any advice from your book for parents navigating this pandemic?
Divya: The biggest lesson that the pandemic has taught us is “Nothing lasts forever”. In the book, I have extensively discussed how we can prepare our children to deal with uncertainties. Three things are the key:
• Provide age-appropriate information to children
• Talk to them about their fears
• Live in the present moment and create a positive environment
In the book, I have also discussed, that it is important for us to build on our inner faith and have trust in the universe.
Q: Do share any tips that you might have for budding authors, especially those who are juggling a full-time job, book-writing and personal responsibilities.
Divya: My biggest tip would be to follow your dreams. It may take time, you may face lots of challenges, but as long as you are at it, it will definitely happen. The other mantra is don’t be difficult on yourself. Be compassionate towards yourself as you juggle between roles.
Q: Which other writers/ books have inspired you?
Divya: “How to talk so kids can listen and How to listen so kids will talk” by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. I find these books really practical and well written. I had attended a talk show on the book way before I was blessed with parenthood. The practical tips shared by the author stayed with me. I also really love the book, “Freedom, Responsibility, and Discipline”, by J Krishnamurthy. It speaks a lot about how we should look at life.
Q: Please let our readers know more about your book and where can they get a copy from.
Divya: ‘Purnah – The Complete Parent’, is for all parents and educators to be prepared and to prepare kids for the everchanging course of life. With the evolution of the family structures, society, and the economy at large, there is a need to adapt our parenting styles for the millennials. The book weaves in stories of the experiential learning of many parents. It helps you build your emotional and adversity quotient. It also touches upon some special things we need to bear in mind while raising children singly.
The book is now available on Amazon. You can also share your stories on parenting with the author at email@example.com
Q: What can the readers expect next from the author in you?
Divya: My first step is to really live every thought I have put down in the book. The next step is to create a community of parenthood, where people can come together and share their stories of tears and laughter.
About Divya Murarka: With a dual degree in Clinical Research and Business Management, Divya Murarka has over a decade of experience in regulatory writing. She is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and it is her endeavour to create an ecosystem where diversity is welcomed.