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This month is all about Mother’s Day which means that the Discern office was buzzing with ideas for mother-child duos we were keen to interview. Here, we bring you a pair that shares their unique perspectives on design, creativity and each other. Shobhaa De is a celebrated writer who certainly knows a thing or two about the power of the written - and the spoken - word. Her daughter Arundhati has also picked up the literary bug, running a personal blog while she raises her five-month-old son. We caught up with the twosome for a Discern Q&A.
 
Shobhaa De
 

Discern Living

Arundhati De-Sheth

Three words to describe your relationship with your mother?
Candid, close and incomparable.
 

The greatest life lesson she has taught you?
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
 
And,
 
 To say it like it is.
 

A habit of hers you wish you could pick up?
She is very focused and sees things through.

A quality of hers you wish you had?
To be free of a third person’s opinion of me.
 

A quality of yours you wish she had?
To be more “proper” and sometimes live according to many (boring, predictable) conventional norms.
 

The best style lesson she ever taught you?
To tie a sari in under five minutes. I’ve still got a long way to go because she can tie a sari without a mirror or safety pins, in under three minutes!
 

Shobhaa De
 

How would you describe her sense of fashion?
Her sense of fashion has always been true to who she is. She combines her clothes and accessories in a very particular way, that can often only be worn like that - just by her. She has always been loyal to the sari and has seduced the nine yards for many, many years.
  

Is she more vintage or modern?
She is very vintage, with a touch of modern
 

Does she follow trends or live outside the box?
Box, what box?! She creates trends and has never ever abided by popular standards in her way of life.
 

Is her home decor style more classic or eclectic?
Completely eclectic. She loves colonial furniture, carpets, brass, tapestries, pichvais and tanjores. She has a keen eye and is always picking up unique pieces on her travels.
 

Now that you are also a mother, how would you say your parenting skills are the same/differ from your mother’s?
I have only just started my personal journey as a mother, whereas mum continues to manage a brood of six! Our parenting styles differ however -  I am far more conventional in my approach. But having been one of the products of her unique school of parenting, there are many elements that I hope to incorporate into my skill set as a mother.
 

Shobhaa De
 

What kind of grandmother is your mother?
Completely unconventional!
 

What kind of mother do you want to be?
I want to be a mother who can give my child good values in health, love and family. I want to provide him with lots of love and exposure to grow into a well-nurtured individual. I hope to make him independent enough to make the right decisions in his life when the time comes. and to be compassionate to nature and people around him.
 

What are three things that took you completely by surprise when having your baby?
How wonderful and divine a mother’s body is…capable of so much magic!
 

What is one thing you hope your baby inherits from you?
My sense of balance in my lifestyle choices. 
 

What is one thing you hope your baby inherits from his father?
His absolute commitment of time and love to his nearest and dearest, free of any expectations.
 
Shobhaa De
 

Three words to describe your relationship with your daughter?
Three words??? I may have to write three new books!
 

The greatest life lesson she has taught you?
To stay the course.  
 

A habit of hers you wish you could pick up?
Pilates commitment! I don’t gym or walk or exercise. I should, she tells me. Sigh. Some day… 

A quality of hers you wish you had?
The determination to excel and her perfectionism. 
 

A quality of yours you wish she had?
To perhaps be more chilled out, laid back, uncritical and relaxed, more 'go with the flow'. I am an improvisational idiot. Can cope. Can do. Can make do!! 
 

 Shobhaa De
 

When did you realise she might have inherited your sense of creativity?
She is far more creative and exacting whereas I am an intuitive writer.  
 

How would you describe her sense of fashion?
Individualistic, particular, unique 
 

Is she more vintage or modern?
A clever combo. However she puts herself together, she gets it right! 
 

Does she follow trends or live outside the box?
Definitely follows her own trend-meter...she has a keen eye. 
 

What kind of mother do you think Aru is?
Hands-on, tuned in, intelligent, informed, caring but fortunately not obsessive. 
 

What kind of grandmother are you?
Unconventional. Babies are just wobbly, adorable blobs till they grow up and become persons I can converse with. 
 

A few skills you know Aru has inherited from you?
Efficiency. Practicality. Multi-tasking. 
 

A few skills you wouldn’t mind inheriting from Aru?
Sophistication, poise, in-built elegance of thought, word and deed. 
 

What inspires you?
Every tiny, inconsequential aspect of living and loving. 
 

The advice you have for other female entrepreneurs?
Show me the money! The ultimate mantra.

 
Shobhaa De
 

If you like what you read, find more original content by downloading the Discern Living app  (available now on Google Play Store or iOS App store)!

 

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