From Co-Parenting To Co-Authoring With Kunal Kemmu and Soha Ali Khan

Kunal Kemmu and Soha Ali Khan, Women Writers' Fest 2022
Kunal Kemmu and Soha Ali Khan have been married for seven years. In separate interviews, they both admitted that they didn’t expect to be friends, let alone in a relationship, at first. Because she was an Oxford University graduate, Kunal assumed they would never click. However, fate had other plans. They currently have a cute little daughter named Inaaya, and the couple recently became co-authors of their first children’s book, titled Inni and Bobo Find Each Other.

The couple was invited to SheThePeople’s Women Writers’ Fest 2022, where they spoke about how children’s books are changing fast. The two discussed their three-part book series, ‘Inni and Bobo’s Adventure’, published by Penguin, as well as a range of other topics.

From Non-fiction to Children’s book

When asked about their first book and how this journey began, Soha Ali Khan shared that many individuals have encouraged her to write, including Kunal and her mother, Sharmila Tagore. However, she shared that she had always had trouble with creative writing, but she found it easier to sketch from memory and record it.

She went on to say, “I don’t believe I’m incapable of writing fiction, but dipping my toes into the world of fiction with a book co-authored with Kunal has been quite beneficial. And I don’t think I would have gone on that adventure on my own. And, in terms of creating the plot, it was Kunal’s idea to create the characters and the setting, which he did with our daughter.”

Inni & Bobo Find Each Other:

Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu both enjoy reading stories to Inaaya. While Khan shared she reads her a lot more books and shows her those pictures, Kemmu prefers to simply tell stories and play them out.

Sharing the incident that motivated the duo to publish the books, Khan explained that their daughter had a habit of picking three characters in the world, and Kemmu would try to come up with a story that featured those people. However, their daughter was unable to view the images of the stories that thought had remained with Kemmu for some time. Finally, the couple decided to create a book for themselves, their daughter, and other kids in general.

The duo explained that their debut book is a story that many parents would like to read to their children, as well as a story that many children have made with their lives. According to Kemmu, illustrations play a significant role in the plot of every children’s book.

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Reading Habits Are Changing

Soha Ali Khan believes that today’s parents are very interested in their children’s lives. Khan continued, “In comparison to, say, my mother’s generation, I believe, at least according to my mother, that we’re all borderline insane when it comes to our children and how we treat them as control experiments in an attempt to make them the best version of themselves. ” She even shared that she has been guilty of this, far more so than Kemmu, who is more laid-back when it comes to parenting.

She also recalled being read to as a child and she believes that the bedtime reading practise in her family hasn’t changed much. Khan went on to say that, “But now, I believe that technology is very much a part of our lives, and we simply need to learn how to use it responsibly, as with other things, because it is here for our good. It’s just that, as humans, we no longer practise moderation.”

Dealing with Screen Exposure:

The couple revealed that their daughter would rather hear or read a story than see it onscreen. Khan noted that while smartphones have many benefits and are a great addition to human life, parents must be involved in terms of setting boundaries, particularly when their children are young in terms of the information they are exposed to and especially in terms of time.

Kemmu shared his own childhood experience, explaining that right now, whether we like it or not, we must find a way to balance allowing kids to watch television, tablets, and phones.

Adopt And Not Shop:

Kunal Kemmu shared that they’ve always tried to talk about how just because someone thinks an animal is cute doesn’t mean they should take it home with them. He advised talking to others who have pets, reading and researching about it, and visiting places where you can pet animals if that is your true desire, but not simply adopting a pet because you believe you can. Khan also proposed alternatives to adoption, such as fostering. They also advised people not to abandon animals and to return them to the individuals who gave them to them.

Parenting Discussions:

When asked if parenting decisions are made jointly, Kemmu said that most are, but that some are discussed and some are disagreed upon. Khan revealed that she is trying to adapt her approach to a few decisions in which she finds herself to be rigid. She also noted that the pair have recognised that they are equal parents and that they both have equal perspectives, as well as their daughter’s perspective, and that it will be a three-person decision soon as their daughter will turn 5.

Kemmu believes co-parenting is the only way to help a child learn, accept, and let go, and it also allows the child to develop his or her own personality; there is no other alternative, and it is not up to discussion whether or not co-parenting is vital.