I Didn’t Expect To Be Expecting by Richa Mukherjee

Published by: HarperCollins India

What are some things that irrevocably change your life? I am willing to wager that, among many things, ‘becoming a parent’ would hover on the top. Richa Mukherjee’s book,”I didn’t expect to be expecting” explores how a DINK( Double Income No Kids) couple resists this irrevocable changing of their fast and free days, through the story of the bubbly and successful Tara, who is living the life of her dreams. Richa does a great job of sketching the lives of the typical young urban couple- bound by work but have enough heart to chase the good things of life – destination vacations, cocktail parties and weekend getaways.

Tara works for an advertising agency in the city of Mumbai, and her life is full of the vagaries and successes of the millennial working woman. She finds a perfect mate in her husband, Abhimanyu, the 21st-century poster man, who is neither perturbed by his wife’s aspirations nor her steady success- and knows that loving her comes along with loving her ambitions. Surrounded by hearty friends, great food, and love that holds the spark despite their demanding careers- Tara and Abhi couldn’t ask for more.

But they do get more. A surprise baby is fast hurtling into their world, threatening to shatter their bindaas lifestyles.  Tara and Abhi’s tumble of emotions from disbelief to dismay to fear to meek acceptance to tipping joy as parents is a journey tracked with a funny tone throughout the book.

Also Read: Shreehi on preparing for pregnancy: How the 9 months in the womb shape our children more than we know

I didn’t expect to be expecting lends a touch of irony and levity to every day annoying situations that are a staple of the millennial lifestyle. The next time the reader is stuck in a cuss-word generating traffic jam, perhaps Richa’s mention of the irrevocable “Code Traffic” where the couple finds themselves in a similar situation after a particularly impulsive decision would bring a smile on their lips and release some pressure.

Tara’s little daily hiccups due to the advancing pregnancy serve as a subtle reminder to moms of their own special days, while future moms can take cues for what’s to come without the proverbial ‘advice’ sessions.  That doesn’t mean Richa doesn’t take some hilarious potshots on the torrent of unsolicited, and often contradictory advice pregnant moms are faced with. Some profound themes around love and relationships are also woven lightly throughout the book, while there is also a subtle( and accurate) representation of the entrepreneurial culture of the present-day 30-somethings.

That said, the book presents a superficial feel throughout,  carrying somewhat of a “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” aura- where everyone is good and happy and lovey-dovey all the time. I also thought the characters carried stereotypical undertones – most visible in the character of Tara’s mother.

If you want an easy, breezy read to pick just before dashing off to the airport or looking for something light and funny to give a jovial twist to mundane stuff – this might be your pick.


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