I was never a big reader but Raha hugs books to sleep: Alia Bhatt | Bollywood

New Delhi, Actor Alia Bhatt says she reads three, sometimes four, books to her toddler daughter Raha each day, very different from her own childhood when her parents and sister would “shove” books in her face but without much success.

I was never a big reader but Raha hugs books to sleep: Alia Bhatt
I was never a big reader but Raha hugs books to sleep: Alia Bhatt

Bhatt, who recalls that she was not a “big reader” in her childhood and spent most of her time looking out of the window and daydreaming, has made her debut as a writer with the picture book “The Adventures of Ed-a-Mamma: Ed Finds A Home”. It is, of course, dedicated to her 19-month-old daughter.

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“I have been reading Raha a book every day, every afternoon, every night. We read not one, not two, but three books, and many times four books. She loves her books… She hugs her books to sleep, that’s how much she loves her books,” Bhatt told PTI in an interview.

In a sense, little Raha has introduced her mother to the world of children’s literature by making her mother read to her every day.

This, Bhatt admits, is a clear departure from her own childhood when her mother Soni Razdan and sister Shaheen Bhatt tried hard to introduce her to the world of books.

“Ironically, I was not a big reader as a kid. In fact, it was my sister who was a big reader, she used to sit in her bathroom and read Harry Potter books till late at night… And I literally remember my mum and my sister shoving books in my face all day long, ‘Alia, read, read’.

“I was too busy looking outside the window and being in my head, my way of entertainment was people telling me stories. My grandfather used to tell me stories… It was very difficult for me to sit still, I was hyperactive,” she recalled.

The 31-year-old actor, known for her role in films such as “Highway”, “Udta Punjab”, “Raazi”, “Gangubai” and “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani”, said the idea of doing a story book came to her before the inception of her kids and maternity wear brand Ed-a-Mamma in 2020.

Ed-a-Mamma was started by Bhatt. Last year, Reliance Retail entered into a joint venture with a 51 per cent stake in the apparel label.

Bhatt, one of Hindi cinema’s top stars, is also a producer.

“The Adventures of Ed-a-Mamma…”, is a picture book, co-created with Vivek Kamath and Shabnam Minwalla and illustrated by Tanvi Bhat. It tells the story of little girl, Alia, who realises she has superpowers of listening to her natural environment and goes on an adventure with a crow and a coconut tree to rescue a stray dog, Ed.

“The brand came after the idea of the story book. This was back in 2019-20, before the pandemic really hit. I had put the picture in my social media, which is now the cover of the book, the picture is of a little girl and her dog,” said Bhatt.

“The idea of a story came from there, that we’ll do a children’s book, a series of children’s books and make that into an animation series,” she added.

Bhatt said she is open to collaborating with different people for future books in the series. It could also be her sister Shaheen, who has written “I’ve Never Been Happier”.

Can her husband Ranbir Kapoor also be among the prospective collaborators?

“As a writer, I don’t think so. Unless, I get some surprise down the line, that is not the direction I am going in yet,” she replied.

Priced at 299, “The Adventures of Ed-a-Mamma: Ed Finds A Home” is published by Penguin Random House India .

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