Vidya loves telling stories to her kids. When she saw her kids enjoying her stories, she decided to tell her stories for the entire world to hear. After spending a few years in the corporate world, she found her passion in storytelling, and since then, there has been no looking back. She also holds court as a performer at various fests. 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 Vidya Nesarikar, one of the fifteen contributors to “When Mommy Was a Little Girl” (Ponytale Books, 2022), an anthology celebrating Mommies when they were ‘little girls!’
What was your favourite festival in your childhood?
Growing up in a middle-class neighborhood in Bangalore in the 1980s, there was a real sense of community especially during festivals. Ganesh Chaturthi was my personal favourite – perhaps because of the modaks prepared or the story of how Lord Ganesha visited everyone’s house. I simply loved checking out all the Ganeshas at pandals and neighbors’ houses. At the end of the festival, my father would always declare that our little Ganesha was the best. One year I got overenthusiastic and almost ruined the festival. It remains a favourite family story to be told and retold.
What inspired you to write this story?
On my part, I remember everything that happened in technicolor cinemascope. I really do not need any yearly reminders from my amma, but you know how mothers can be! So, when I heard about this anthology based on the original ‘When Daddy was a Little Boy’ by Alexander Raskin, this story instantly came to mind. I knew it would be a great fit. I was delighted when it was selected. The anthology features so many writers that I look up to. Apart from the 15 delightful stories themselves, full of humour and honesty – the beauty of this anthology is that it’s a great conversation starter with children. Children of any generation rarely view their parents as anything other than ‘parents’ – cardboard cut-out unidimensional boring personalities.
What message does this book convey?
‘When Mommy was a Little Girl’ is an opportunity to show that parents were once little too and were full of mischief, mistakes, and muddle-ups. In this world, there is no perfect child and no perfect parent. It is important to accept that. But we do need a sense of humour to get through life’s up and downs. If my story leads little kids and their parents to open up about their own stories, memories, and anecdotes, and brings them all a little bit closer, I think my job here is done.
Happy Reading. I do hope you enjoy the anthology.
You can buy the book from Amazon