Momditorial: Book Review of Shunali Shroff's 'Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother'
|   May 20, 2015
Momditorial: Book Review of Shunali Shroff's 'Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother'

As much with life, parenting in the new millennium does not come with an instruction manual. If you happen to be a girl about town, a super successful career woman, a must - live - each day - as - it - comes kind of person, impending motherhood can be as imposing as a trip to outer space without an oxygen mask. Welcome to the opposite of everything you know. Shunali Khullar Shroff in Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother begins her journey as someone chronically devoid of what is naturally termed as the maternal instinct. But in spite of her misgivings, she eventually realizes there is nothing else she'd rather be doing than burping her babies while avoiding all traces of tranquilizers. This brilliant, whimsical, bumpy tale of everyday madness has a voice of a mother both honest and hilarious. From exchanging her corporate suits for mess - retardant mommy wear, from balancing work clients to battling two girls' questions and demands, this book is a journey of a mother constantly walking on thin ice over the Bermuda Triangle. Based on the principles of lunacy and humour, Shunali Khullar Shroff reveals the realities of a parent in today's ultramodern, supersonic and chaotic world.

Here is what our Editor's have to say about the book:


‘Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother’ is a fun, quick read. It is the author’s take on parenting and is filled with personal anecdotes. The honesty in her writing is appealing and even if some words used seem archaic, there are more than enough cool lines and witty phrases to make up for them. There are chapters that most parents, especially mums, will relate to and sections that may seem alien but fun to read anyway on topics like fashion, birthday parties, dads, school, international school trips, shopping for your kids, Santa and the Tooth Fairy, crushes, boy bands and lots more. I liked the opening paragraph of Priyanka Chopra’s Foreword that rings true for many parents and soon-to-be parents today when she says, “Like Shunali, I am an army kid and much like her I will also be bringing my future children into a world far removed and far more privileged than my own middle-class upbringing. That in itself is a scary thought.” For regular parents this book offers a not-to-be missed peek into privileged parenting.

In this interviewShunali Khullar Shroff spoke with our Mumbai editor Priya Fonseca giving us her take on all things parents love talking about.


Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother  is a witty maternal memoir written by Shunali Khullar Shroff, with the utmost candour. She gives a taste of the urban parenthood, sans any preachy tips or sage mommisms. And that’s precisely what you will love about this latest book in the ‘mama’ genre! Whether it is her melodramatic reaction (testing 15 pregnancy kits!) over finding herself pregnant sooner than expected or losing sleep over throwing a perfect birthday party for her daughters; telling them white lies about Santa or taking painstaking efforts to raise a wi-fi teen, Shunali gives a hilarious account of her bumpy transition from a disinterested to a devoted mother.

Every page that I flipped through, my only thought was, “Hey, I am not the only one in the woes and joys of motherhood!” Get yourself a copy of this book, it will surely have you break into a peal of laughter for its completely refreshing take on parenting.


It is heartening to see a celebrity mom struggling with the same parenting issues as the rest of us lesser mortals. You would think she has a whole army of maids and nannies to help her out! Knowing she is as much on her own as I am in the parenting journey is strangely comforting. Saying "I feel you" has never felt better!

Shunali's self - deprecating tone and her impeccable sense of humour endear her to the reader almost immediately. This and the ability to accept when she is beat.... I believe they are the most important ingredients in the making of a best seller as well as a happy parent.

The book kept me interested and intrigued enough - I finished it in one go! Yep wailing child and hungry husband notwithstanding :)

Raising fiercely independent girls with a mind of their own is no easy feat and that is something else both of us have in common. I wish her luck in her parenting escapades and hope to see another recount soon.... till then I will treat this one as my bible. :)


‘Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother’ by Shunali Khullar Shroff is a book about the bewildering journey of a woman into the maze of parenting we call motherhood, told to us in a language that every modern woman can relate to.

The title in itself fascinated me to start reading immediately. If the title got me to open the book, the honest and humorous anecdotes of the author kept me going. I found myself relating to her frustration in dealing with daughters with minds of their own, mother who has an opinion of every parenting skill you possess and the husband who’s always the hero in a way that’s not so good for you. The honesty and humour was refreshing and entertaining. I was stuck to the book for a day and insisted that my husband read it. Well, I was hoping he would understand a few things through Shunali’s words if not my own.

I recommend this book to every modern woman who is a mother, soon to be a mother or who can’t decide if she wants to be a mother. It throws a true insight to motherhood and voices the inner feelings of inadequacy that most of us face. Well, on reading this book you’ll realise you’re not alone and there are many others like you. 


Read More

Enter Your Email Address to Receive our Most Popular Blog of the Day