Shabia Ravi Walia has had an amazing 16 years in the TV industry wherein she has donned several hats, ranging from that of an Assistant Director, Executive Producer, Writer, Ideation Head and Creative Director etc. However her entry into the entertainment world happened by luck, when she was imparting knowledge to kids as a teacher.
Today Shabia has yet another achievement to her credit- she has gone on to write a book on motherhood. The book talks in detail about her baby's journey into this world, and also gives
some valuable tips for all would-be-mothers. Shabia who is presently working with a popular GEC is excited as the D-day for the launch of her book gets closer.
In a candid exclusive interview with TellyBuzz, Shabia talks of her journey in the television world and on being the author of a book with a unique and interesting subject.First of all, tell us about your book.
My book is titled 'Mamma Mania - My baby's journey into this world. It talks about my baby's adventurous journey into this world. It is a book for all expecting mothers as well as new mothers. In addition to penning the story of my pregnancy to my delivery, I have incorporated various tips on what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy, how to take care of your new born kid, what one needs to buy before and after delivery, advantages of having a baby sitter, tips to give massage to the baby etc. Being in the entertainment field, why did you choose to write a book on motherhood?
It all started when I was in a phase of life wherein I was married for 3 years and decided to have a baby. However the stress of being in the media field had left me with no time to extend my family. Above all, my husband who is a cinematographer used to be out on work every now and then for months together, and this used to make things more tough. This is when I started to browse on the internet about the pre-pregnancy phase of a woman. And I found that all the information and books that were available were by the western world and there was literally nothing that spoke of the Indian experience of becoming a mother. In India things are very different and the decision to conceive is just not taken by the couple. It is a family decision and not a mere private affair. In such cases, there are various problems the girl goes through when she is not able to, or there is a delay in conceiving. The couple needs to go through various stress factors like work, family pressure etc. At the same time, you have lot many advantages out here, wherein you not only get the help of family, but also can afford a maid, cook etc to help you with errands. My book is a compiled summary of my experiences, not as a doctor or a medical expert, but from the viewpoint of a woman who was carefree with no time to live life, to the point where I got to be a complete woman after the birth of my daughter.
Can you share some instances from the book for us..
As I told you, conceiving was very difficult for me because of our busy lives. It was a tough phase filled with disappointments. That is usually a phase where women are upset on seeing a new born kid, or when they pass by a baby shop. There are lots of expectations and dreams that a woman carries within her, and actually longs for the moment when she can live her dreams. I have penned down various emotional moments as well as hilarious ones that I experienced.
We heard you have dedicated the book to your daughter?
Yes, the book is dedicated to my daughter Sia and my gynaecologist Dr. V. Rajalakshmi who was more like family to me. Sia is the most precious gift I have got in life, especially as during one phase of pregnancy, she was supposed to be at risk for 'Down's Syndrome'. Thankfully, she was born a normal, happy child. My doctor was a gem of a lady who has been through my sorrow as well as happiness and guided me as a friend throughout. Soon after my daughter's delivery, we received a jolt when we heard about her sudden demise. At times, I do feel that just because she is not with me anymore, I have not gone in for my second baby. This book is dedicated to both these women who have given me a lifetime of happiness.
So when did you start penning the content for the book?
It started when I took a 10 months break from work after my baby was born in April 2009. The excitement and challenges of being a mother inspired me to start writing a diary. Very soon, I realized that I had to make a book out of my experiences. Since I had a flair for writing, all fell in place and rest is history.
Do you intend to write about the entertainment field in which you are, in your second book?
The manner in which TV world functions is really amazing, and I would love to pen down my experiences one day.
How did you get into the media field after being a teacher?
That was something I never expected. I was then a very confident girl for my age, and I was offered to take part in a TV game show audition. This started my journey here, after which I worked as the Assistant Director for various game shows. I was part of the Surabhi team with Siddharth Kak, and that was an amazing journey. I have been a part of shows like Good Food Guide, Movers and Shakers, Breakfast with Zee etc. I was a part of the core team of news channel Sahara Samay
during its launch phase. Then came the best phase of my career where I worked with BAG Films for 5-6 years. I was the creative director of the popular show, Siddhanth on Star One
which was nominated for the Emmy's and that is my proudest moment till date. I have worked on quite a number of shows there including 'Ek Thi Rajkumari, Har Dil jo Love Karega, Mtv Youth Icon etc'. It was like working with family in BAG. I got married during this phase of life, and also bought my new house too.
So how is it working for a popular GEC right now?
After working for various production houses, I am now on the other side of the industry, that is with a channel. I am getting to learn the business side here, about the marketing strategies employed. The joy of seeing your hard work bear fruit on your TV screen is something to be cherished.
So how do you visualize television of today?
Television is getting bigger and better. With hundreds of channels offering a bouquet of varied
programming, one cannot afford any kind of complacency in this competitive world.
Getting back to your book, we hear that the book is to be launched soon in Landmark, Mumbai.
My book is already available on online book sites and book stores across India. However the official launch is happening on June 3rd at Landmark, Infiniti Mall, Mumbai by National Award Winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma
As we near the big day, what is the feeling you have?
It feels like having another baby. You are happy, anxious, nervous, all kinds of feelings at the same time. And of course, Konkona launching the book, a mother herself, is like an icing on the
cake! I am thrilled that she read the book, liked it and agreed to be a part of the launch.
Any other person you would like to thank?
Yes, I would want to give a special mention of my publishers without whom this day would not have come. My heartiest thanks to India Log Publications for making my dream come true. And a big thank you to my husband Ravi for being there always for me. Lastly, my daughter Sia. The book is because she is. My book 'Mamma Mania' is being launched by Konkona Sen Sharma
on 3rd June, Friday at 6 30 at Landmark, Infiniti Mall. I would be really happy if you come for it. Please do come.Author: Srividya Rajesh