Inside Stories of Adventure from 15 Mums – Interview with Madhumita Mandal (co-author)

Have you ever wondered what your mommy was like when she was your age? Would she have been well behaved or up to some mischief? Would she have spent her time at home or had more of an adventurous streak? No matter where you are from, all little girls go through the same process of getting dressed up. Some of them choose to do it themselves, but some mum’s offer help. This book has a story of fifteen moms and their life stories and how they troubled their siblings and their grandparents.

Madhumita Mandal is a prolific writer and consultant, with expertise in healthcare and allied domains. She juggles her work as a writer with consulting on these subjects. Being a thought leader, she constantly routes for ways of educating doctors about important aspects of their occupation- turning them into future leaders. She oftentimes uses her health journey to do so, acting as a ‘patient leader’ who teaches others through their respective health journeys.

She believes that the healthcare scenario is changing with each passing day. The healthcare landscape globally needs constant monitoring to come up with patient-driven innovation. There is a pressing need for a smarter and more efficient delivery system for better and faster results.

Preeti Chaturvedi in the conversation with Madhumita Mandal, one of the fifteen contributors to “When Mommy Was a Little Girl” (Ponytale Books, 2022), an anthology celebrating Mommies when they were ‘little girls!’

 Q. What kinds of stories are featured in this anthology?

‘When Mommy was a Little girl’ anthology concept captivated me from the very first day. The magical moments of childhood mixed with naughtiness and nostalgia are the essence of this anthology. A child’s mother stays a guru for life. But coupled with learnings, this mother-child bond depiction in various shades can inspire generations to come. This book will surely do that! My motive to be an author in this anthology was driven by my childhood fear of darkness and ghosts.

Q. How can children be encouraged to read this book?

 I always wondered what happened when darkness engulfed the day. I used to brainstorm as a child about the phantoms and the fiery ghosts people love to talk about. In addition, I am sure, many children in the growing-up years face the same dilemma. Why not give them tools to fight off the fear? This notion gripped me hard. My story will resonate with young readers and help them ward off the fear factor. It took effort and time in months to write this piece of work as one has to keep in mind the tone and length of the story.

I must confess, Editor Pranav Singh of Ponytale Books, had an eye to chisel a story to magnificence. Abhilasha Khatri, the book’s illustrator, has done a commendable job of giving life to the toons.

What did your daughter think of the story?

 In my story “How Little Mommy saw a Ghost,” I have spoken of my deep fears and how I was able to conquer them. It was exciting to see my daughter’s response to the story. She was thrilled with the idea of how mommy could be a panicky little girl. The pleasure to finds her mommy’s secret was perceivable.

What are some of the books you read when you were a child?

 I would like to mention the classic “When Daddy was a little boy” and its influence on my childhood. I used to love reading comics and books of many genres. This book’s simplicity coupled with relative ease of passing strong emotions in a smooth way had a true lifelong impact. Children’s book has a knack to tackle difficult subjects with ease.

How can fiction help ignite young minds?

 What I firmly believe is that fiction has the power to ignite young minds. When subjects are chosen wisely, the impact lasts for generations, like in the case of “When Daddy was a Little Boy.” As a writer, I have set my heart to contribute to a purposeful book that can make children learn something meaningful for life.

I will end by saying, the anthology ‘When Mommy was a Little Girl’  is crafted with the best of minds so that children understand the pains and pleasures of being ‘Little Mommy.’

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