Sunday, September 25, 2022

Off to find our Happy Way, the Ira way


This Daughter's Day we incidentally happened to spend the day doing something our little girl absolutely loves. We visited some beaches in Gokarna and she played in the water, collected sea shells, sang as she soaked her feet and they sank in the sand with the waves and watched the sun set. She also agreed to post when Mamma wrote I love you on the sand and asked her to step into the 'love'. 

This little human being, the 'giant' in her Papa's insta stories surprised us as she wrote a little poem on our long drive from Bangalore. 

That poem sums up a lot of our experiences, the Pramadh way. 



To loving, dreaming and traveling together, discovering happiness. 



#Ira #Iraisms #Pramadhs #IraAtEight #EffablesAtEight #TravelTales #GokarnaDiaries #Happiness #Love #Gratitude #HappyDaughtersDay #Us #PoemsByIra 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Independence and you, the Ira way



A little crafty endeavor to mark Independence Day (Idea courtesy: Deccan Herald) 


 Dearest Ira


Happy 75th Independence Day! 


As we celebrate this special day, read about the freedom struggles and be thankful for what we have, here are little thoughts on this big word, Independence


You assert your independence when you.... 


Share your thoughts with us, unfiltered


Eat what you want, with glee


Dream the path of your choice, unhindered


Choose the love of your life, with fierceness


Sing and dance in front of the mirror, uninhibited


Draw a rainbow hairstyle on the figurine, with pride


Speak what's on your mind, unabashedly


Walk away from the norm, with little heed


When you stand up for self and say 'No', unhesitatingly 


Read books, write stories, make random crafts, sleep, eat and repeat the same, with happiness


Fail, fall and learn to rise, unscathed


Be yourself and dance to your own tune, with courage


Be kind to self before others, unthinkably


Travel the world and be a part of it, with empathy


Wear your adventures on your lips, unlocked 


Be that little speck that will shine through, with gratitude


Question every injustice, unshackled


Stand up for what you deem is right, with fearlessness


Go, our little girl, assert your Independence every step of the way! 


Love, 

Mamma and Papa 


#Ira #Iraisms #IraAtEight #EffablesAtEight #LittleHumanBeings #Parenting #Pramadhs #HappyIndependenceDay #Love #Kindness #Gratitude 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Back to School, the Ira way



                       Day 1 of School, with Vira

Life last few days has been about many changes. One of the biggest one has been Ira going back to full day school, embracing Grade 3 with full gusto. 


The week has been about sharing what she did with her friends. Key words are talked alot, played a lot and had fun. Being in an alternative learning environment, we have realised much of the learning is latent and springs up in moments of eureka. She loves the bus ride and is getting acquainted to her new Coordinator and new grade. She was super excited to make her own class timetable with her friends which had timetable on one side and calendar on the other side, with some glitter work too. We closed Day 1 with her favourite Chicken pulao made by Papa. 


                    New routine, here I come




     Chicken pulao to mark the Big day

Ira asked me few months back why dolls never have glasses. Thanks to a dear friend and her resourcefulness, I got this crochet doll called Amigurumi dolls customised for her from a doll maker in Trivandrum.

So, introducing Vira and welcoming her to all adventures and travels with the Pramadhs. 

We did the mandatory Day 1 pic while we dropped her to the pickup stop, which is now a walking distance from home. Afternoon pickups also mean some butter milk before we set out to walk home. Mornings are back to being really early and Ira tries to catch up on some reading while eating her breakfast. 


                                  Day 1 Selfie

The week closed with a Parent Teacher Interaction at school. Saturday morning well spent understanding how our little human beings will learn this year, the thoughts they will embrace and all the milestone moments they will carve for themselves. Prashant and Ira also helped serve the sumptuous snack made at school. Of course, we are super excited to get our kitchen rota and also be a part of other activities at school. We took pictures on the lanes Ira will call home for years to come. 


The parent teacher interaction and some yummy tiffin

So, to Grade 3 and to her Ohana experience, filled with love, compassion and discovery. 


#Ira #Iraisms #IraAtEight #EffablesAtEight #Parenting #Love #Happiness #Gratitude #LittleHumanBeings #Parenting #Pramadhs 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Now

 


You love someone, tell them now

That book you loved, talk about it now

That music you laughed and cried listening to, share about it now

The travel that rejuvenates you, go for it now

The hobby that brings a sparkle to your eyes, pursue it now

The coffee you have together, toast to it now

The little plays and chatter, be a part of it intently now

That fish curry and mangsher jhol reminded you of home, tell the one who cooked for you with love now

If you feel something about someone, something somewhere... express it now


Do it now

Laugh loudly

Love deeply

Hug tightly

Kiss passionately

Express vehemently

Share earnestly


Life is too transient

Moments are too short

Memories stay on

So, does the pain, the hurt and the loss. 


"I love you and you mean the world to me. "

Say this to the one who needs to hear it, now. 


#ExistentialThoughts #LovePoetry #Life #Love #Gratitude #Loss #Pain 


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Hello Eight!, the Ira way

 


                                Hello Eight! 


This year as we ring in our little human beings 8th birthday, we are amidst nature doing things she loves and also doing absolutely nothing :). 


The last year has been a journey where we have seen her grow, expand her horizons, learn to deal with tough moments and accept when someone says no, learn to make new friends, learn that it is ok not to like some things, learn that being kind and loving is the most important thing in the whole wide world. 


Us

                                My Precious
                   Chocolate cake and cheers

                            Birthday Morning

Summing up eight interesting moments / things she did last year that were new experiences and now are a part of the Pramadhs' stories, like forever. Sharing these, with eight E adjectives that describe her and her experiences! 


Eager- After being home schooled last year, made new friends in her new school and travelled in a school bus for the first time ever, even going on a short trip to the bugs hotel. 


Energetic- One thing she missed the most during peak covid was her play time with the apartment friends. As things eased, she managed a lot of play time, also took her karate belt exam in person, along with attending a nanchack workshop. 


Exciting- Over the years, Ira has grown to be quite an avid reader. There are also few days when she doesn't touch a book. But when she reads, we have had constant reading happening. She started the Harry Potter books this year and finished the series. Has taken to Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Ruskin Bond, David Walliams books very keenly too. She reads and also shares the stories. This holiday, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid has got her attention. She also did a writing workshop with Amar Chitra Katha this summer. Am sure excited to see her churn out new stories :) 


Elaborate- Prashant is a process person and has inculcated that in Ira. Be it her morning and newpaper reading routine or other life skills. She recently learnt to negotiate while buying plantain leaves at the Yeshwantpur Market. She asked lot of questions, got the process aorted in her head and followed instructions to the tee. 


Earthy- Her name means Earth and she is quite at home amidst nature. Ofcourse, doesn't like the leeches much, but this year has heard owls hoot, peacocks call and many other birds. This was the first time she did 2 camping trips in the span of a few weeks, with small treks and also slept under the sky in a tent. 


Earnest- She tried a few things with utmost earnestness this year. Made breakfast for us first Sunday of a few months. Overtime, life took over and we lost the rhythm but hope to get back to those little chef mornings. She does partake in food prep when Papa cooks :). She also has been writing to her pen friend, Sonali. Sometimes they areletters, sometimes apost card. An interaction she takes quite seriously. 


Empirical- We encouraged her to do journalling through the year for various experiences. So, her little treasure trove has small handmade books with many things written about little things she did. Be it a story, a song, writing how she is feeling or about her travels and holidays. 


Effervescent- Being parents to her is a life full of surprises. Sometimes, she says the philosophical things with a straight face. Eg. Mamma, Covid is here to stay. We must move on. This was when the Pramadhs were going through lot of health challenges and mamma was frustrated and stressed. Or when she dishes out potty jokes teaming with Papa, her partner in crime. She has her inner circle and is aware that her Joi will do the most crazy and kiddy thing with her, like having a lollypop. She has learnt to navigate relationships, share how she feels and find her place in a group. 


      A Cute message from our favourite Kalpan Dida, along with big bear hugs

27th May 2022 began with Mamma and Papa waiting for Ira to wake up. She had declared last night that she is eight and will sleep in late. She was up at 7. 30am (quite late in comparison to our normal waking up time). 


We gifted her some clothes, some books and card games. Harish from Varshini had made puri for breakfast :) She wore her new jeans (she wanted distressed jeans as a gift) and tee with the HP sorting hat in sequens and posed for Papa. Our heart skipped a beat, wondering when did she grow up so much. Lunch had fish and there was chicken curry for dinner. We managed to also get a chocolate cake from the town nearby. With Dadu-Dida, Meshodadu-Mashidida, Joy, Rony, Malu on the video call, we sang the birthday song marking year 8. Our dear friends, H&N joined us for the day with their nephew. 


               Manjarabad fort, posing adults and kids with swag

To family and friends, far and near, who sent their love for our little girl through calls and messages, Thank you! 


Let the #EffablesAtEight begin! 


#Ira #Iraisms #IraAtEight #EffablesAtEight #Pramadhs #EightBirthday #HappyBirthday #BirthdayHoliday #Happiness #Love #Gratitude 

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- https://india.mongabay.com/2022/03/fantastic-beasts-and-why-plastic-is-bad-for-them/

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 

Off to find our Happy Way, the Ira way

This Daughter's Day we incidentally happened to spend the day doing something our little girl absolutely loves. We visited some beaches ...