Rohini is a superhero in disguise on a mission to raise readers and writers. She loves telling stories and urges others to tell their stories as well. Rohini is a new-age edtech entrepreneur focused on building life skills for young children. When she gets a little time off from changing the world, Rohini is a voice artist who creates audiobooks and read-aloud videos. Her story features in When Mommy Was a Little Girl, a collection of fifteen stories of Mommies when they were ‘little girls’ published by Ponytale Books (January 2022).
Preeti Chaturvedi in conversation with Rohini Vij, one of the fifteen contributors to “When Mommy Was a Little Girl” (Ponytale Books, 2022), an anthology celebrating Mommies when they were ‘little girls!’
Can you tell us a little about your story for the book and how you chose it?
When I was approached to write a story for When Mommy Was a Little Girl, I literally went back into multiple chapters of my life. There were just so many stories to choose from. I had a wonderful childhood in a house full of kids in the hills of Shimla. My best friend and accomplice in all mischief was my first cousin, Radhika. She and I are nearly the same age and were inseparable while growing up. We were often reprimanded for some minor misdemeanor or the other and if lucky, it went by unnoticed. Usually, I was the mastermind behind most pranks, and Radhika was a loyal accomplice who never ratted me out even if she got into trouble herself. The chemist shop was a fascinating place for us kids, always. And, of course, forbidden for – you never know what we would end up spoiling or worse, eating.
The story, How Mommy Prepared a Cup of Tea, is a true story. However, it wasn’t just me – my cousin was with me too. Also, two different incidents have been combined to form one story. I have heartwarming memories of the chemist store my grandparents ran and the cup of tea we prepared for the salesman at the shop will forever remain one of my favourite memories, no wonder I decided to pen this one for the anthology. And, even now, each time I make tea I think about the first time I made it and it always brings an impish smile to my face.
How much time do it take to write this story?
I wrote it in one go! It was so fresh in my head that when I started typing it out the words kept coming as the story took shape. Of course, I tweaked it several times thereafter. It was such a wonderful exercise to relive some of the best moments of my life.
Did you imagine your mommy as a little girl and does your child think of you as a little girl?
Yes, we were exposed to a lot of stories in our growing-up years. Our parents always shared stories of their childhood years with us, especially the mischievous ones! Both my parents were really naughty and to think of it my pranks hardly match up to theirs. My father literally burnt down his house once and my mother and her siblings pretended to be ghosts and spooked their gardener’s son for months together. The storytelling continues in my case too. We share a lot of stories with our children from our childhood years – so, yes, it’s easy for them to imagine me as a ‘little girl’.
How was your experience being a part of this anthology?
It is an absolute honour to be a part of this wonderful collection. I think all the stories are unique and really special. The stories have a little bit of mischief, a little bit of laughter, and a whole lot of innocence. I think a book like this will appeal not just to children but everyone.
P.S: I still play a lot of pranks on people around me. Who says pranks can only be pulled by ‘little’ girls or boys? Does that call for another story?
You can buy the book from Amazon