by MITA MISTRY
BEING a behavioural and data scientist means any book written by Dr Pragya Agarwal is very much rooted in reality and offers a fascinating insight into the human condition.
Dr Agarwal has followed up her excellent 2020 book Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias with this powerful book that looks at various aspects of motherhood and how it can define women, whether they choose childbirth or not.
Unlike other books that tackle the subject, this takes a deep dive into diverse areas that include social stigmas, choices, psychology, a seeming obsession around women’s bodies and shattering certain myths.
Like her previous book, the writer decides to have a difficult conversation about an important issue that perhaps wouldn’t be had in every day life, especially in the Asian community. The multi-layered book offers great insights on a subject that perhaps most take for granted, but at the same time, she educates the reader and makes many feel seen.
Although scientific and analytical in nature, the book has been written in a style that is accessible to everyone and the timeless nature of the topic is such that it can be revisited for years to come.
While the obvious target readership will be women and they will take a lot from the book, (M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman is a great educational work for men who are interested in understanding the vast subject of motherhood better.
At a time when self-help books are treading similar paths and novels are mostly commercial in nature, this book stands out for its uniqueness. It adds to the fine body of work from an author who seems to be on a mission to help us all understand ourselves and one another better. That is why this important book is a hidden treasure that should be found, and it has plenty of precious pearls of wisdom on its pages.