Saturday, May 21, 2022

Plantain leaves and Negotiation, the Ira way


Bangalore has been seeing a lot of rains and some gloomy weather. Just perfect for Papa to make his famous Chicken Dum Biryani. 

What ensued this Thursday was some good planning and prepping. 

Mamma was in a session and Ira and Papa went to Yeshwantpur to buy plantain leaves. Given the traffic and hassle of parking, Ira was given the responsibility to Buy the plantain or 'yele'. 

Prashant told her to buy 5 leaves and it would be about Rs. 25. Gave her 100 Rs. He also primed her to converse in Kannada with the shop keeper. 

Our girl went and asked him for the yele and the cost of it. He wanted to knownif they are buying just one or a bunch of it. On knowing her requirement, he said Rs.30. She got back to Papa and told him about the ask, then went back and told him, "Ayidu yele, 25Rs". He agreed, she paid, got back the change and happily walked back to the car. 

She came home and told me that she negotiated while shopping today. 

A small experience but an essential one. To understand that it is important to ask and ensure fairness. I do hope she hones this skill going ahead and takes this to different aspects of life. One chapter of being independent, assertive and outspoken. 

And yeah, the dum biryani was yummy. Coal was used to give the smoky authentic flavor. We enjoyed the biryani, while continuing to savor the hillstation weather in Ooru. 

#Ira #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #Parenting #LearningNegotiation #Us #Gratitude #Happiness #ChickenDumBiryani #IraAndPapa 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Mother's Day letter from A Perfect Mother to her Daughter

                   The cheek to cheek pic <3 


Dearest Ira, 

Writing to you after a long time. Someday, I hope you read all these letters and blogs and see how you brightened our lives, every step of the way. We have ofcourse shared the challenges too. You will have memories of some and some would have faded into the convoluted paths of the brain, but then these pieces of writings will remain. 

This Sunday, 8th May 2022 was Mother's Day. I love these innumerable days, the over the top celebrations, the subtle acknowledgements, all of it that we see around us. 

For me, the day was quiet in my head. You made a beautiful card for me, with flowers of my favourite colour and  a pop up inside the card. Then, you and Papa said I should buy you ice cream. We also cooked a meal together. For us, food is and has always been an expression of love. You spent the evening at your Dadu bari, while we went for a play. 

The day with these small moments was remarkable for me. But there was a realisation of many things as the day passed. 

The last one year, there have been moments when I have found parenting hard. 

Moments when you wanted to do something with me, but I was just too tired to be a part of it. 

Moments when you seeked my attention, but I was too preoccupied with everything that was happening in our lives. 

Moments when I raised my voice on you for something so small, only to later realise that I was displacing my anger and it was not fair on you. 

Moments when I felt inadequate and felt may be am not doing enough for you. 

Being your Mamma is one of the best things that ever happened to me, but being The Perfect Mamma is hard, because in our heads, we create an image that is almost impossible to match. 

So, this year, I did things that will help me be The Perfect Mamma for you. And to be that, I had to put myself first. 

I acknowledged that there are moments when am tired and it is ok to not be able to do anything with you. Like I told you, "Mamma is tired. Can we do something else? "

Moments when I realised that I wasn't listening and then asked you again what you were saying, accepting that I was distracted. I know you felt bad but then the moment was such. 

I have been more emotional and more angry in these last two years than I have ever been and it was unfair to lose my cool on you. A little voice raised and you would be in tears and it broke my heart. I felt guilty for days. I now make the effort to not do this. Am not there yet, but am trying. 

I love our moments together. Reading, visiting family and friends, doing art and crafts together, your school works and those nature walks. However, there were times when I felt it wasn't enough. So, I had to take  a step back and think. Thankfully, your Papa balances the pragmatic side of parenting. 

In these two years, I realised how easy it is to succumb to what we think is expected of mammas. To put ourselves after our children. I learnt that only if I put myself first, can I be the perfect mamma for you. 

So, to my mental and physical health, to saying no, to finding peace in not being perfect. 

I love you and will always be there for you. But to be there for you, I have to be there for myself. And that will be The Perfect Mamma for you. 

So, Happy Mother's Day to me. 

Love you always, 

Your Mamma

#Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #Love #Happiness #Gratitude #HappyMothersDay #Parenting #Us #BeingAMother #Pramadhs 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Papa's Birthday, Secret Mission and Mango Juice, the Ira way

Ira: Happy birthday Papa

Mamma: Happy birthday Sweetie

Papa: Thanks Girls

When regular conversations make it to the birthday card that also references your age, because Ira loves birthdays and the corresponding numbers :) 

Papa celebrated his birthday recently. We did a pre-birthday dinner, with some friends, where Ira cut the cake on behalf of Papa. It also marked Ira completing this year at school. 

A short camping trip in a valley amidst the hills where we basked in the heat, lost ourselves in nature, ate food made from locally sourced vegetables and camped below the stars. Prashant loves the mountains and slowly, we are also falling in love with them. 

This year on his birthday, We veered a little away from our regular tradition of going to Blossoms as both Papa and Mamma were working. Ira accompanied Papa to  a work meeting and then we did a yele oota lunch at one of our favourite places in Ooru. 

The day began with Ira and Mamma surprising Papa with a well planned breakfast, a birthday card, a menu card and some gifts. Ira and Mamma went on a secret mission the previous day and somehow Ira let it slip that they had gone out :) As always, Papa gifted us too on his birthday. Books for me and a dress for Ira with reversible sequens (she loves them since she was little)! 

Closed the evening with a lovely dinner and memories to count. Guess who was happiest? Our little human being who relished both the pork belly starter and her mango juice with equal gusto <3 

#Pramadhs #Us #Love #HappyBirthdayPapa #Treking #LoveMountains #TravelTrails #Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #LoveFood #Happiness #Gratitude #SecretMission #MangoJuice 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

“T for Tuberculosis”- word building and life-defining, the Pramadh way


                             17th March 2022, The evening we will always remember and be grateful for

“T for Tuberculosis”, said Ira thrilled that she could remember the word she had learnt from Papa.

This blog piece has been a difficult one to start writing. Difficult because too many thoughts, the dilemma of how much to share and how to share. Also, is there a need to share so much personal information? But then, I decided to write this in the hope that this will help someone be cautious, be aware and understand, because there may be others like us. Can a mere 1500 words sum up what we went through, the fears, the pain and the moments when we told ourselves, “One day at a time”. We are immensely grateful that we lucked out at going to the doctor at the right time. We are immensely grateful for the doctors who were with us the last year, grateful for family and friends who were there to joke and laugh with, wonder and share, be that immense silent support on tough days and help us find semblances of normalcy on days which seemed uncertain. The storm has passed, some unruly waves remain and we are tiding through them, one day at a time. This blog is my account, what I felt as a partner, what I saw him go through and how we dealt with it. Prashant is a man of few words, but silences speak too.

It is a year since Prashant and I got our first bout of Covid and isolated at home, while Ira stayed with my Mashi-Mesho and my Parents for 17 days. We had not imagined that the roller coaster ride had just begun. Ira got covid In April and recovered at home, with adequate rest, a summer camp to keep her occupied and distanced games.

Beginning of May, Prashant felt some pain, a slight discomfort in swallowing and a bit of a sore throat. A person who never does OTC meds, he met our ENT doctor. An ultra sound later, they discovered that he had inflammation of the thyroid and some nodes in the thyroid and a prominent one in the neck. Doctor said that they are seeing this in post covid recovered patients and gave him medication for the pain; and was advised a follow up scan in 4 weeks. I am deliberately not going to write the medical terminologies that were shared with regard to the diagnosis because every case differs and I know we all love google.

Four weeks later, he had to undergo an Ultrasound of the neck, followed by a CT scan of the Neck, Chest and Pelvic region, along with a range of blood tests. The CT scan showed nodes in thyroid, neck and lungs. He underwent a biopsy to confirm certain possible diagnoses. When we sat at the hospital looking at that CT report, Prashant began counting the nodes and after a number said, I think I should stop and walked into the biopsy room. I was with him at the hospital and I remember carrying Jahnavi Barua’s Rebirth to read. I must have read about a page or 2 while he was undergoing the procedure. Post the procedure, he told me how they took about 12 samples, how he was aware of what was happening, how he felt a bit woozy at that point due to the anaesthesia and then drank Appy that the hospital gave him. My throat was parched and I sat listening to this man, bewildered at his strength and worrying I may begin to bawl at any moment. However, let me take this moment to tell you an inside information. I am an experienced care giver and can manage hospital formalities like a pro, including negotiating with nurses and asking probing questions to concerned doctors. My Baba’s surgery and Prashant’s three knee surgeries are witness to that. Post the biopsy, Prashant came home with bandage patches on the neck and spoke to Ira about what the doctors did. She knew that they had found some nodes in his neck. What followed was 5 days of excruciating waiting period for the reports.

The reports confirmed that Prashant had Tuberculosis. A close friend said that this was a good thing, given the other possibilities. Guess we all try to find that silver lining in the cloud. His ENT did say that we had to continue to closely monitor the thyroid nodes over the next few months and referred us to an infectious diseases specialist. We thought ok, let us meet the doctor start medicines and that’s it. Little did we know that these medicines were for minimum 9 months, we had to test if the TB was resistant type because then the course of treatment would differ; there were expected side effects, he had to undergo multiple tests every few days, some vital functions had to be closely monitored. Ira and I also had to get a Chest Xray done and an important blood test for Ira immediately. Thankfully, our tests were clear. Prashant underwent some more tests and then his medications began. He had to immediately isolate for the next 4 weeks. This was really tough. We had just come out of two isolations but nothing prepares you for moments like this. It was when Ira also began her school, an alternative learning community that we found. Her initial days and she would be excited to share it all with Papa. The long distance conversations and games with N95 masks began. Prashant had some side-effects with the medicines. However, we have a brilliant doctor who had prepared us well. The round of regular tests and appointments began. The initial few weeks it was stressful when the results had to come. We tell ourselves it will be okay, but then we fear to feel too hopeful also. We celebrated Father’s day while Prashant was in isolation. It was during the course of this time that one day while playing word building, Ira said, “T for Tuberculosis”. Post the reports, Prashant had a conversation with Ira and prepared her for the months ahead.

10 months down the line, Prashant’s tests and scans are clear and the TB is cured. There are smaller follow ups on some vital aspects to be done, but like I said, one day at a time. All these months, he consulted the doctor online. This time we finally met her in person. She helped us understand how this may have been triggered with the immunity going low post covid. She also was cautious as we got the second bout of Covid this January. She has asked us to be wary and observant for the next two years as that is the remission period for TB. So, crossing all fingers and toes. The evening we got to know this, we went out for dinner to celebrate this moment of relief, hope and happiness over some Italian food and desserts.

The course of these ten months have been emotionally exhausting for us in different ways. We were shocked to see that there was so much going on inside, while he had no visible TB symptoms. But we will always be glad about how aware he is of his body and that he went to the doctor that morning. For someone like him, who is very rational, pragmatic, follows instructions; and believes and chooses to only share very few things; he even went for all the intermediate scans and doctor appointments alone. For someone like me, who every moment was on high alert, wanting to know if he is feeling ok. A little sneeze, cough or clearing of throat, a bit of tiredness and I would keep asking if he was ok. I may have even become like a helicopter spouse. There were nights when I woke up to just hear him breathe, and if someone snoring gives you immense happiness, I was there because I felt he was soundly sleeping. I had many quiet days and what kept me sane was work. Will always be glad for friends and colleagues at work- both my training space and college. Not many knew what we were going through and we hold on to the ones who did and stood by like the strongest pillars of support possible.

Prashant has a huge pain tolerance and I know this was hard for him. The number of medicines that he had to take, the effects they had. But he never cribbed, not once. He (I guess) found solace in his work, the carefully planned holidays we did, in the books he read and all the netflixing. We all have our ways to fight our battles and He did it his way. One of his friend said that why were things happening to him one after the other and all we could do was wonder. Prashant had no co-morbidities or health issues prior to the covid bout which was quite bad for him. But post-mortems in moments like this don’t help, it is important to look ahead and deal with it. Having said that, I did all the post mortems in the head and out loud too. Didn’t I say, we all have our ways to deal with things. Ira was concerned for him and she knew somedays he was in discomfort. But after a point, she almost forgot that he had TB till we did the final set of tests and he told her he is cured.

So, next time we play word building and she says, T for TB. We will only be glad that it doesn’t define our present but is a time in the past.

#Pramadhs #Us # Love #Gratitude #Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #Conversations #Covid19 #TB #Reflections #ExistentialThoughts #PragmaticHim #PostCovid

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Art and Story on World Wildlife Day, the Ira way


Today is World Wildlife Day. Papa asked Ira if she would like to make a drawing on wildlife and she decided to draw her favourite animal and write a poem. 

Later in the day, she read the following article on Mongabay India-

Post that, she did another drawing and this time there were dialogues, just like she has seen in comic books. 

Discussions on every day things and what is happening in the world when seen through the eyes of an almost 8 year old can seem very fascinating. Sometimes the strongest messages come out through the simplest words. 

#Ira #Iraisms #WorldWildlifeDay #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #Parenting #Pramadhs #Learnings #EverydayConversations #Reading #ArtByIra #PoetryByIra #StoryByIra 

Monday, February 14, 2022

Love Speaks, the Pramadh Way

                              Love speaks

Love is in the little notes tucked away in books, 

Love is in those small gestures, in minute moments

Love is in that mug of hot coffee, perfectly brewed

Love is in sharing a gooey chocolate cookie 

Love is in that plate of biryani, with the desired alu

Love is in that silent nudge, to be a better you

Love is in sharing that podcast, telling a story you may like

Love is in that new book, wrapped in nothing, bought specially for you

Love is in that quiet moment, absorbing your tears and fears, unequivocally

Love is in the stated belief, 'you yourself are the wind beneath your wings'

Love is in knowing without even speaking

Love is in that smile, all because it is you! 

Love is in your little human, finding love in a fallen leaf

Love is the romantic me, the pragmatic you and our magical little girl. 

Love is the way we see the world, in love ❤

Happy Valentine's Day! 

#Love #Us #Pramadhs #HappyValentinesDay #Happiness #Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #Gratitude #Poetry 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Let the love and gratitude, go 'viral', multifold. #CovidSeasonTwoAtPramadhs


 Sunshine, smiles and Us on a Sunday Morning

"Mamma... 3 years of this now. We should just get used to it and deal with it😊"

- Ira Pramadh, 2nd February 2022

March 2021 and April 2021 was our first tryst with covid. Prashant and I caught it in March and Ira in April. Covid has impacted our lives in many ways and there are things that we are still dealing with one day at a time. Someday, that may also make it to a blog of mine. 

For now, let me jump 9 months ahead and talk about catching covid again in the 3rd wave. 

We have been super cautious about meeting people, going out. We have not attended any gathering barring one that Ira and Prashant attended when there was calm before the 3rd wave storm hit. I cannot even remember the number of meetups I have said no to. Like I have mentioned earlier, friends have been very kind and understanding. The rest of the world can wait :) We did a few holidays in the jungles and places with very little human contact. 

This time the scenario: we both are double vaccinated and we both continue to double mask when we go out. I even wasn't sure about going to college to sign my attendance. I was just so scared. Yeah, am working on that fear, still and slowly. 

Ma, Baba and Joy were covid positive around the 11th of Jan. Ma began showing symptoms first with just a headache, then in 2 days Joy had  a cough and Baba had itchy throat. They slowly got other symptoms. Thankfully, they tested immediately and began medication. It was a rough ride for them. One of Baba's blood markers were high and we had to go to the hospital for a chest scan. While he went in the covid ambulance, I took a cab and went to do the paper work. I was double masked, maintained 10 to 12 feet distance from Baba at all times. Yes, I was in a hospital environment and there was only so much I could control. 

On 17th evening, I had an itchy throat and woke up on the 18th with terrible throat ache and a no voice situation. Cancelled my classes and immediately met an ENT on video consult. He gave me some meds, asked me to watch out for symptoms and test. That morning I did the RAT at home and it was negative. The doctor said that sometimes if we test too early and the viral load is low, test comes negative. So, isolate, mask and monitor. The next 24 hours, I felt like I was hit by a truck. Had severe body ache and headache too, no fever and mild cough. I was already isolated in a room, monitoring temperature and SPO2. Ira suddenly developed fever and it went up to 101.7. Prashant isolated her in another room and monitored her vitals. 

From sending food to my parents who were still recovering, here we were suddenly battling with what seemed like covid and no, it is not like 'just the flu'. We all got tested(RTPCR) on 19th and were positive. Prashant developed a mild sore throat and was feverish. We consulted the doctor in the same hospital where we had shown the previous year and also consulted Ira's paediatrician. Her fever abated in about 36 hours. She did mention about her throat and head hurting. So, the gargling and steaming began too. We isolated for about 7 to 9 days. We recovered without any further adventures, thankfully. The exhaustion is there at times, but from past experience, we know it takes time. We are seasoned covid-ians ( can I coin that term?)

What kept us sane and helped us through this phase:

1. We knew from the last time what we had to do. So, the mental preparation was better and swift. 

2. Isolating as  a family is actually easier than just one member isolating. Seems like a silver lining perception but honestly, we can cook together, manage home chores and entertain each other. 

3. Friends sent us care packages that included food, books and some gifts too :) 

4. Ira learnt another aspect of being independent. Prashant taught her to take and monitor her own temperature and keep  note of it. She also continued with her classes. 

5. Prashant and Ira began working on a project to build a truck from little lego pieces. And finished it in about 10 days! 

6. We also did some knitting with yarn, some craft, made a necklace with wool for a pretty pendant, lots of reading and some family movie time too. 

                    Care comes in all forms

Some lessons learnt and some controversial thoughts:

1. The variant is very contagious. You may double mask, take all precautions and still catch it. 

But still continue to follow all covid norms and mask post that. This also doesn't mean you have immunity and may not catch it again. 

2. The rapid test may not depict accurate results if you test too early or when the viral load is low. Best to follow up with RTPCR. Thankfully, in Bangalore there are many labs where they have home test services. Eternally grateful for many such facilities. 

3. Many people said this is just like the flu. But what we often forget is that with this virus, no two bodies react the same. So, best to get tested, consult a doctor and do what they suggest. We have not earned that medical degree. 

Joy had to manage everything with regard to their medical care and it was the promptness that helped us get Baba on a specific medication to help the blood markers come in range. Ma also has been dealing with some post covid effect and we are monitoring as per the doctors suggestions. 

4. It has been annoying to see people with symptoms not test, not isolate, self medicate and put other people at risk. Everyone am sure had their reasons but a part of me couldn't help feeling even angry at such times. I am sure I also sound very judgemental, but basic sense is not that common! (I contemplated if I should write this, but if I didn't, it would be dishonest of me). 

5. The medical fraternity has had it extremely tough last few years. Nothing we do can express our gratitude enough. So, we need to trust our doctors, reach out to them and follow what they say. 

6. I am back in my cocoon. I went to college for  a couple of hours to sign. I did step out with P and Ira for breakfast and we went to a place that would not be crowded, roof top and all that jazz. But yeah, am going to continue to decline invitations for a while. 

One of those evenings, when we decided to step out all masked to buy a few things, Ira gave her little gyaan just the way a little human being can. 

"Mamma... 3 years of this now. We should just get used to it and deal with it😊". She is waiting to get back to offline school soon. 

Guess, like Ira says, we need to get used to it and am sure we slowly are. But till then, continue to care and also reach out. The moment we finished our isolation, we began sending care packages to friends who were unwell and also to friends to share our love and gratitude. 

Covid is a harsh reminder of how helpless it makes you feel when you can't be with someone to help them. So, pay forward the kindness that you receive. Let the love and gratitude, go 'viral', multifold. 

       Life skills, Craft and some entertainment

#CovidSeasonTwoAtPramadhs #Pramadhs #Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #LittleHumanBeings #Us #Pramadhs #Gratitude #Love #Kindness #ReachOut 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Realm of the 4Rs, the Ira way

  Busy weekdays- reading time as we eat lunch

A Conversation at the Pramadhs this morning, while we chatted about Republic Day. 

Ira: "Mamma, when you are talking of young Ambedkar, say Ambadvekar. When you are talking of old Ambedkar, say Ambedkar. Because his surname changed! "

How does our little girl know this? 

Well, we introduced her to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar almost 2 years ago when Prashant began speaking about the Preamble of the Constitution. The discussion was about understanding equality and freedom of speech. 

Much to our delight, her school introduced Humanities to them few months back. And they began the discussion by talking about the preamble of the Constitution and the three Rs- Roles, Rights and Responsibilities. They also drafted the 3Rs for their school  under different categories- Transport and Kitchen for eg. They are understanding discrimination, untouchability, along with the pivotal role of Ambedkar in drafting the Constitution. 

While she continues to understand about the life and works through these Humanities session, at home she is reading the ACK on Babasaheb Ambedkar and Prashant and I keep getting quizzed on his life. Waiting for the day when our little girl will also read, The Annihilation of Caste. 

Today, as we celebrate Republic Day, Ira read the article in the paper that spoke about his contribution and also cut it out to show it to her friends in the next Humanities class. 

We also got a beautiful painting of Babasaheb done by an amazing artist, Priyanka Rohan who specialises in his portraits and also creates thematic magic on canvas. Do checkout Rainbow Creations on Facebook. 

So, to hope, to understanding the crux of the Constitution and to upholding those values. 

Happy Republic Day! 

#Ira #StoriesAtSeven #IraAtSeven #Iraisms #Pramadhs #Parenting #Constitution #Preamble #RepublicDay #Roles #Rights #Responsibilities #IraReads 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Being Penpals, the Ira way

"I pick up my pencil 

and with all my might, 

I begin to write."

                    Ira posting a letter to her Penpal

Life has myriad ways of teaching us many things. 

A dear friend of ours began writing to Ira about 2 years back. She would send interesting post cards, envelopes with stamps that have historical significance and letters talking about what she did, what she read and asking Ira about her. One of the recent letters was  a copy of a piece she wrote many years back. Little memories from journals to share as learnings to her penpal, a little human being. 

            Letters, Postcards and more Letters

Initially, Ira just found it exciting that someone was actually sending her a letter or  a post card. Encouraged by Papa, over time, Ira began writing little letters in response. She shared what she read, what she did and what she thought. 

Her latest one is a poem that she wrote impromptu. On one side, is the poem and on the other side, a little art by Papa. We are yet to post the letter though. 

                Poem by Ira and Art by Papa

Ira has interestingly never met 'Sonali', her penpal but they have embarked on a beautiful journey together. 

Sonali is a writer, a teacher and a Potter-head, along with being a voracious reader. Her enthusiasm and laughter light up the space she is in. Prashant and I have known her for over  a decade now and we cannot thank Sonali enough for giving our little girl this experience and sharing her beautiful writings. 

Ira and her penpal, 

One 7, another in her 50s

Both love reading

Both are Potter-heads

Both are writers

Both are artists

Both are friends! 

#Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #Penpals #WritingLetters #BeingFriends #LittleHumanBeings #LoveReading #LoveWriting #IraWritesMammaBlogs#ArtByIra #PoetryByIra #IraWritesPoetry#Happiness #Love #Gratitude #ArtByPapa

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Let the imagination run tornado, the Ira way

Ira like all children was looking forward to get back to school after her vacation. And then, with rising cases, school moved online again. 

Yesterday I gave her  a little square piece of thick paper and asked her to draw what she wants. 

She drew a flowering plant in the ocean, the sun and  a tornado. She described the flower and its characteristics and also how it was losing its colour due to the tornado. Her imagination blew me away and I just smiled. She excitedly shared this with Dadu, Joy and Papa. 

Here is also the audio she recorded to describe her art. 

The story of the art

To letting imaginations run tornado, to telling stories and making memories. 

#Ira #Iraisms #IraAtSeven #StoriesAtSeven #ExperientialLearning #Observation #ArtByIra #StoriesByIra #Parenting #LittleHumanBeings #Memories 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Books in 2021

 In 2019, my New Year Resolution was to read atleast one new author every month. In 2020, I wanted to read at least one non-fiction every month. In 2021, I just wanted to read more.

In 2022, I want to continue reading at least one new author every month and also read more translated work from Bangla. Recommendations are welcome 😊


My reading Journey in the year 2021:


Books Read: 42

New authors: 25

Favourite New Authors (in no particular order)- Anthony Horowitz, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alexander McCall Smith

Most Read Genre: Mystery

Favourite Debut Novel: The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Favourite Fiction: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Favourite Non- Fiction: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Most Disturbing Read: Why Men Rape by Tara Kaushal

Favourite Poetry book: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Read with your child- India’s Adventures in Space by Spoorthy Raman


#Booksin2021 #LoveReading #Happiness #LoveBooks


Below are the snippets posted on Facebook. Each one speaks volumes of my mental space at that point of time and my reading journey.


Book 42- The Story of the Lost Child- Elena Ferrante. 27th Dec 2021


A dear friend introduced me to this book almost 2 years back. As I come to the final book of the Neapolitan series, I cannot wait to know what happens to Lila and Lenu and their friendship.The fourth book in the series. This time, water in a new favourite mug gives my Kindle company:)

#CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #AboutFriendship #TranslatedWork #Sequel #KindleRead #NeapolitanNovel #Book42


Book 41- The Nothing Man- Catherine Ryan Howard. 25th Dec 2021


Amidst nature, the song of birds, solitude and some me-time. ❤

#Book41 #ThirdNewAuthorOfTheMonth #CurrentRead #LoveReading #LoveBooks #MurderMystery #HolidayRead #BooksIn2021 #KindleRead #WomenAuthors #Happiness #Gratitude


Book 40- Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982- Cho Nam Joo. 18th Dec 2021


Travelled on work after 21 months and finished this book in exactly two sittings. A rivetting book that hits you hard. You relate to many experiences and you know exactly what the female protagonist has gone through. A must read. This year has been about discovering some fabulous writers. ❤

#Book40 #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #WomenAuthors #TranslatedWork #GenderDiscrimination #WorkTravels #ReadWhileTravelling #Happiness #Gratitude #Gift


Book 39- Atomic Habits- James Clear. 1st Dec 2021


This book was part of our #BlossomsLoot in 2021 January. Picking it up as my first read of December.

Habits are an integral part of our lives.

Just like how Marie was always the perfect accompaniment to my Assam Chai. While Chai and I have parted ways, Marie now gives company to my Black Coffee.

Some Habits stay on, they are a reminder to another set of habits.

#BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #Book39 #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #NonFiction #Learnings #Gratitude #Habits #PowerOfHabits #AtomicHabits #TinyHabits #LoveCoffee


Book 38- Inhale Exhale- Dr. Ishan Capoor. 30th Nov 2021


Thanks to a dear friend who sent this today by India Post. A happy surprise. Cannot wait to read it. ❤Thank you Sonali Bhatia

#BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #Book38 #ThirdNewAuthorOfTheMonth #Poetry #Learnings #Gratitude #BookByAPulmonologist #Covid19 #LoveCoffee


Book 37- Circe- Madeline Miller-4th November


His and Mine. This Morning.

#BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #Book37 #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth #Rereading #Learnings #Mythology #Pramadhs #LoveCoffee


Book 36- India’s Adventures in Space-Spoorthy Raman- 1st Nov 2021


We bought this book a few weeks back and gave it to Ira this morning. She finished it already 🙂I am also starting my November with this book. The excitement of reading a book, written by someone you know!

Spoorthy Raman , the book looks absolutely beautiful and Ira shared some interesting facts that stayed with her as she read.


on this amazing feat! To reading more books written by you ❤

#BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #Book36 #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #SpaceAdventures #India #ScienceWriting #IraReadsMammaReads


Book 35- Kiara and the Sun- Kazuo Ishiguro-20th October 2021


Back to Ooru, back to life.

Picked this dystopian Science fiction by an author I began reading this year as my next read! ❤

#BooksIn2021 #Book35 #ScienceFiction #CurrentRead #Happiness #LoveCoffee #LoveReading #KindleRead #NobelLaureate


Book 34- The Thing around your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie -14th October 2021


Sitting amidst the mountains, watching the fogs play hide and seek. Humbling.

Will miss these mornings ❤

The one constant is my company and a book in hand.

#BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book34 #Happiness #Travel #Pramadhs #LoveMountains #CurrentRead #ShortStories #FavouriteAuthor #KindleRead


Book 33- Milk and Honey- Rupi Kaur-13th October 2021


Another day.

Another morning.

Hello from another place in the Western Ghats! Finding solace in the silence, the rains and the poetry.


#BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book33 #Survival #LovePoetry #Happiness #Travel #Pramadhs #LoveMountains #CurrentRead #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth #KindleRead


Book 32- The Full Cupboard of Life- Alexander McCall Smith- 12th October 2021


Hello from the Western Ghats! In a quaint place that had a small bookshelf welcoming us. Picked this book with one of my favourite protagonists I discovered this year. A fabulous coincidence that this is the second book in the series. ❤

#BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book32 #LoveMystery #CurrentRead #Series #Library #BookShelf #Happiness #Travel #Pramadhs #LoveMountains


Book 31- Then She was Gone -Lisa Jewell- 4th October 2021


When in between meetings, you want to read. Because what better thing to do while you wait.This year has been a record on the number of murder mysteries that I have read<3

#BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book31 #MurderMystery #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #CurrentRead #KindleRead #BetweenMeetings

Book 30- The Shivering- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- 30th September 2021

Another short story<3

#Book30 #LoveReading #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #FavouriteAuthor #ShortStory #KindleRead


Book 29- Before the Coffee Gets Cold - Toshikazu Kawaguchi- 30th September 2021


The last few weeks I haven't been able to read much. This book was gifted by two dear friends. Time to read it as I sip my coffee.

The longpi mug was bought at Dastkar few years back from this Artisan from Manipur. Like the book, the mug is special too ❤

#BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book29 #TimeTravel #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #LoveCoffee #LongpiCoffeeMug #Memories #BooksAreTheBestGifts #LoveBooks #CurrentRead #TranslatedWork


Book 28- One of Us is Lying- Karen M McManus- 27th August 2021


Nothing in life is just B&W. Neither stories, nor those mugs of coffee nor existential thoughts!

My last book was an extremely difficult read. So, picking up something light, hopefully.

#BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book28 #KindleRead #DebutNovel #MurderMystery #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #ExistentialThoughts #LoveCoffee #EnamelCoffeeMug #CurrentRead


Book 27- Why Men Rape- Tara Kaushal-25th July 2021


This book was bought online in 2020, the year it released. I have many times picked it up and put it back because wasn't sure I could read it. Few pages in. I want to continue reading. I want everyone to read it.

#CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book27 #NonFiction #InvestigativeJournalism #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth



Book 26- Those who leave and those who stay- Elena Ferrante- 8th July 2021


Lila and Lenu and their friendship. One of those translated works that tugs at your heart. The third book in the series. This time, some Black tea for company!

#CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #AboutFriendship #TranslatedWork #Sequel #KindleRead #NeapolitanNovel #Book26



Book 25- The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency- Alexander McCall Smith- 6th July 2021


This book came highly recommended from a close friend. Halfway into it, I absolutely love Mma Precious Ramotswe and the narration of life and culture in Botswana ❤

A perfect company to my quiet mornings.

Can't wait to read more in the series. There are 20 books. 🙂

#Book25 #LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #LoveMystery #KindleRead #Series


Book 24- Zikora- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- 1st July 2021


July begins with one of my top favourite authors. Was introduced to her writing by a dear friend and my reading life just got better. ❤

#Book24 #LoveReading #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #FavouriteAuthor #ShortStory #KindleRead



Book 23- Moonflower Murders- Anthony Horowitz-22nd June 2021

My journey with Sophie is slow. Picked up another book to read simultaneously. Loved the first book by Anthony Horowitz. This also seems intriguing.

Giving my read company is a bowl of happiness!

*The Cover page picture is sourced online.

#Book23 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #LoveMystery #KindleRead




Book 22 –Baby and Dubdub- Khyrunnisa A.

Book 21- The Puppy who was Left behind- Holly Webb- 14th June 2021


"Mamma, read this story about Dubdub. It is really nice"

"Ok Ira, how about the book by Holly? "

"That is a sad story, about a puppy who is left behind"

"But don't they get back together in the end?"

"Yeah, they do."

"So, it is a story with a happy ending?"

"Yes actually".

Ira sat with me as I read the final pages of Baby and Dubdub's story. Two delightful books that made my weekend 🙂

#Book21 #Book22 #ChildrensLiterature #IraRecommendsMammaReads #LoveReading #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #IraLovesDogs #ThirdNewAuthorOfTheMonth #FourthNewAuthorOfTheMonth



Book 20- Jostein Gaarder-Sophie’s World- 9th June 2021

Picked this book up in 2010 at the Bangalore Book Festival. Many times picked it up and just put it back on the shelf. Finally, this morning seemed right to begin reading it.

"It seems as if in the process of growing up we lose the ability to wonder about the world".

The pretty coffee mug is courtesy Hamsa Venkataraman ❤. It is pure love.

#Book20 #LoveReading #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #PhilosophicalThoughts #Wonder #BBF #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth #DebutNovel #TranslatedWork #CoffeeMugs


Book 19- Rebirth- Jahnavi Barua-5th June 2021

A book from two of my besties, with their personalised messages is what makes this one even more special. Also, the fact that the protagonist hails from the state, where the moda at home is from. Random connections, you know.

Kaberi could just become one of my favourite protagonists ever.

#Book19 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #Gratitude #Happiness #Friends #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth


Book 18- Go Set a watchman- Harper Lee- 30th May 2021

Another treasure from Blossoms, Bengaluru. I was fascinated by Scout and Atticus Finch when I read, To Kill a Mockingbird years back.

For me, Scout challenged gender norms and was someone to look up to.

As I picked this book up yesterday to read, I couldn't help but find comfort in wanting to know how is Scout doing.

#LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #Sequel #SecondHandBook #Book18 #Gratitude #Memories #SundayThoughts #FavoriteCharacters


Book 17- When we were Orphans- Kazuo Ishiguro- 24th May 2021

Picked this book from Blossoms 2 summers ago when it was one of the most normal things to do! Miss those moments.

#LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth #SecondHandBook #Book17 #Gratitude #Memories #MondayMusings


Book 16- Daughter by Court Order- Ratna– 17th May 2021

Arnie's life seems as complex as my multilayered breakfast!

#Book16 #CurrentRead #BorrowedBook #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #LoveReading #IndianAuthor #Gratitude #HappyBreakfast #MondayMusings #BooksIn2021


Book 15- Anxious People- Fredrik Backman- 1st May 2021

'May' we reach out to each other, 'May' we be there for each other.

'May' we find solace in the little things we do. 'May' we reflect on our words, thoughts and actions.

#Book15 #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #FavouriteAuthor #LoveCoffee


Book 14- Bipradas- Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay-23rd April 2021

#Book14 #TranslatedWork #BanglaLiterature #LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #GiftedBook


Book 13- Magpie Murders- Anthony Horowitz- 5th April 2021

Hello April,

Let just the books I read be full of mystery. I want you to be mundane, calm and boring; just a regular sort of month.

Much love.

HE has already read this and highly recommends it.

The original cover of the book is red and black; some red apple for thought, giving my book company!

#Book13 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth


Book 12- Honour- Elif Shafak-29th March 2021

Picking up an author I love and whose books give a sense of comfort. Protagonists who are so real, so flawed and so endearing at the same time.

#CurrentRead #LoveReading #BooksIn2021 #Book12 #FavoriteAuthor #Gratitude


Book 11- Collected Stories- Gabriel Garcia Marquez- 7th March 2021

I began reading this book in 2016. This year the idea is also to finish the unfinished books. As I flipped the pages, I actually found some boarding passes from 2016.

A grim reminder also of my last work travel that was on 7th March 2020.

#Booksin2021 #CurrentRead #UnfinishedBook #LoveReading #Gratitude #Memories #WorkTravel #ShortStories #Book11

Book 10- Fasting, Feasting- Anita Desai-1st March 2021

Marching into the new month, with a book that explores multiple nuances of Indian families, through the food and the eating.

An interesting foreward by Rana Dasgupta, whose Tokyo Cancelled I have read and immensely enjoyed.

#BooksIn2021 #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #LoveReading #CurrentRead #IndianAuthors #Book10 #BookerPrizeRunnerUp #BorrowedBook #Gratitude


Book 9- The Other Shore-Enso-27th Feb 2021

Enso is a quest and the beautiful pen name chosen by this author. This was a lovely book of poetry gifted to me by a friend, that makes you ponder and reflect on the simple realities of life. I do have some favories here- Creation, Free Spirit, Reaction and Flow.

#LoveReading #CurrentRead #DebutBook #BookOfPoetry #PenName #Book9 #ThirdNewAuthorOfTheMonth #BooksIn2021 #Gratitude #LovePoetry #ExistentialQuest #Reflection

Book 8- Palli Samaj- Sarat Chandra Chatterjee-18th Feb 2021

#LoveReading #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #TranslatedWork #BanglaLiterature #Book8


Book 7- A Suitable Boy- Vikram Seth-7th Feb 2021

There are some books that you may have been wanting to read for years! This is one such book for me. Waiting to see what unravels in these 1349 pages!

A friend who is in a spree of reading Vikram Seth nudged me to pick this one, and I borrowed it from another friend.

Look what I found in the pages. A memory? A story?

#Booksin2021 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #FriendsAndBooks #SecondNewAuthorOfTheMonth #Book7 #Gratitude

Book 6- The Tattooist of Auschwitz- Heather Morris- 4th Feb 2021

A story of love and determination to begin February ❤

#DebutNovel #CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #Book6


Book 5- Nudge- Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein-26th January 2021

Read this book 2 years back and reading this again. I teach Behavioral Science to Public Policy Masters Students this semester. A fabulous book to nudge those classroom discussions.

Also, Happy Republic Day Everyone. Nudge yourself to be a more rational, conscientious, accepting and empathetic citizen. The Constitution Preamble adorns a wall at home and triggers many a thoughts in the Pramadh household.

#CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #Book5 #NonFiction #RepeatRead #AcademicRead #Pramadhs #HappyRepublicDay


Book 4- The Story of a New name- Elena Ferrante-22nd January 2021

Some days, you take comfort in the known.

#CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #LoveReading #AboutFriendship #TranslatedWork #Sequel #KindleRead #NeapolitanNovel #Book4


Book 3- Parineeta- Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay-19th January 2021

I love the sweetness of 'Patali gur'. For me, it is about Kolkata winter memories- hot phulkas with Begun bhaja (Brinjal fry) and gur.

Last evening, a swiggy parcel from a dear friend brought the same warmth, sweetness and happiness! I had shared a desire to read some Bangla literature, translated books. I received some patali and a few books 🙂

Began reading one right away.

#CurrentRead #BooksIn2021 #TranslatedWork #BanglaLiterature #Happiness #Gratitude #Friends #LoveReading #Book3

Book 2- Queen of Dreams- Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni-11th January 2021

Waiting for the week to begin! Starting a book by an author whose books I absolutely love. And then to find a quote from another of my favorite authors in the starting pages. I absolutely enjoyed reading Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart. ❤

#BooksIn2021 #CurrentRead #LoveReading #OneOfMyFavoriteAuthors #MondayMusings #Gratitude #Happiness #Book2


Book 1- Girl in White Cotton- Avni Doshi-1st January 2021

Hello January!

#BooksIn2021 #OneNewAuthorEveryMonth #DebutNovel #CurrentRead #LoveReading #Book1







Plantain leaves and Negotiation, the Ira way

  Bangalore has been seeing a lot of rains and some gloomy weather. Just perfect for Papa to make his famous Chicken Dum Biryani.  What ensu...