Read our prestigious winners at the 10th Laadli Media Awards, on India’s Low Divorce Rate and The Sexual Violence of Flashing.

Kiran Manral Tells Us That Even During A Pandemic, We Can Instil Hope & Wonder In Children

Posted: September 16, 2020

Kiran Manral’s Raising Kids with Hope and Wonder in Times of a Pandemic and Climate Change speaks of the disquiet every mom has faced in the past few months.

It took me less than an hour to read this 32-page e-book. With due to apologies to the author, it almost felt that some of my thoughts were written down by a scribe. Perhaps that is what makes the book so relatable. Kiran Manral may have spoken out the feelings of disquiet that every mother has felt during these times of a pandemic and climate change.

The fear of the virus displaced the fears of climate change

Manral, an author and a columnist, reveals her avatar as a mother of a 16-year-old. She takes us through the four months of ‘lockdown’ that India and the world has had to encounter.

The feeling of being ‘angsty’ that both mother and son go through is easily identifiable. Teens these days are well read but they still go back to their mothers with questions, perhaps to get some re-assurance.

‘Will we all drown when the sea-level rises?’ asks the teen hoping that the mother can give an answer. But the conversation has suddenly shifted. The virus from Wuhan has displaced climate change and the questions are ‘Mamma, are we all going to die? Will there be a vaccine?’ From ‘Generation Hot’ they are now the ‘Pandemic Generation.’

Anxiety, uncertainty. Parenting just got tougher

Manral, takes us through the times of being homebound in a metropolitan city in India. For the youth, in particular, it has been very tough. In her words, ‘This is their reality, the stuff that dystopian climate fiction was made of until a few years ago.’

However, as most readers would have experienced in their personal lives, there has been a collective pause and a chance to look inwards. Nevertheless, the author is quick to point out that lack of physical activity has been a natural fallout during the pandemic. Which is a huge challenge for youngsters. The mother in her takes us through how she tried to keep her teen busy with chores and establishing physical activity in the day.

This book is an honest attempt to answer tough questions that children pose. The narrative takes you through everyday conversations between a mother and son. Clearly, parents need to keep themselves updated.

‘Hope’ and ‘wonder’ can still be instilled in the children

There are questions Manral asks herself too. ‘What kind of a world will my son inherit? What will still hold good of the world I knew and grew up, when he becomes an adult?” But most importantly, ‘How do I give my son hope and joy at a time when these seem to be diminished in our lives?’

The do’s and don’ts she conveys to her son are not starkly different from what most parents may tell their children. But the most important point, that Manral makes is that this is the opportune time to reclaim the Earth for them.

The pandemic has given both mother and son time to discover the magnificent beauty of our planet through documentaries and pictures. This is part of the ‘hope and wonder’ that can be instilled in the children during these trying times. And this virtual journey underlines for both, the real problems that man’s anthropocentric activities has created for this and the next generations to come.

It may be difficult but there will be positive outcomes

‘Do what you can, I tell him. You are one person. But you can make that choice to be the change,’ she tells him to create hope. Furthermore, she tells the reader how as a family they have given up watching Indian television news, calling them ‘panic on steroids.’ ‘We need to be informed not anxious’ is a useful nugget. Indeed, these are times to preserve sanity and mental health.

While Manral borrows and peppers the narrative with facts and figures from current events, the book essentially reads like diary of the days in lockdown. So that it is chronicled for posterity.

However, the larger purpose comes through. That of raising an offspring who will be realistic, empathetic and will take care of the planet and others who dwell on it.

The book leaves you feeling that ‘Raising kids with hope and wonder during times of a Pandemic and Climate Change’ may be difficult. However, out of adversity there can be positive and transformative outcomes.

Do give it a read.

Want a copy of this book?

If you would like to pick up a copy of by Kiran Manral, use our affiliate link at Amazon India here.

Women’s Web gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!

Picture credits: Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Liked this post?

Register at Women's Web to get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads! Or - get a couple of really cool reads on your phone every day - click here to join our Telegram channel.

Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!

Sangeeta Venkatesh is the co-author of 'The Waste Issue' - an interactive workbook for school

Learn More

How To Be A Successful B2B Writer

Comments

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Do you want to be part of a network curated for working women?