I LOST. BUT DID I REALLY LOSE?

by Varunika
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It’s December already! The month that marks the end of another year. It is also the month that offers us a chance to reflect on our losses and gains; What worked for us and what did not; It’s a month that allows us the opportunity to sit back and think about what we did well and we could have done better!

As I sit down to assess my P & L statement for this year, I realize there were plenty of losses, some not quantifiable. I realize I made quite a few mistakes as well. But the one thing I got right this year was a simple no-frills Book Reading Challenge that I took up alongside my eight-year-old at the start of this year.

When we decided to take up this challenge we had agreed upon an achievable number of books for both of us.

S had committed to reading 2 books every month which meant her total at the year’s end should be 24 books in 2023.

V (that’s me), had accepted 3 books every month which meant my total at the year’s end should be 36 books in 2023.

We also mutually agreed a +1 to that number in case we achieved our respective numbers.

It is Mid- December and S has finished reading 22 books already and is currently halfway through her 23rd book. The way I see it she will hit 24 by 31st December, 2023. I am confident.

As for me, I am sitting on the number 31. I am confident of a 33.

If we compare, S has won the challenge. And I am not even complaining.

Here is a list of books that S & I read together this year. I have been updating our monthly reads on the Gram. Just thought of collating it and putting it all together for you.

  NO.

(V)

 

 

BOOK NAME

 

 

AUTHOR/ PUBLISHER

1. I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS Maya Angelo
2. LADY YOU’RE NOT A MAN Apurva Purohit
3. THE NAANI DIARIES Riva Razdan
4. FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN Ruskin Bond
5. A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN Virginia Wolf
6. MEN WITHOUT WOMEN Murakami
7. WELCOME HOME Najwa Zebian
8. THE NECTAR OF PAIN Najwa Zebian
9. THE MASTERY MANUAL Robin Sharma
10. THE 5 AM CLUB Robin Sharma
11. WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE? Robin Sharma
12. A SPOONFUL OF CURDS Bharati Jagannathan
13. THE SPACE BETWEEN US Zoya Parizad
14. I MAYBE WRONG Bjorn Natthiko Lindeblad
15. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK Joseph Nguyen
16. LOST EDGES Shalini Vineeth
17. THE LIBERATION OF SITA Volga
18. FLOWERS ON THE PATH Sadhguru
19. BEYOND ORDER Jordan B Peterson
20. HONOUR Elif Shafak
21. GANBATTE Albert Liberman
22. ALL MEN ARE WORSHIPPERS Dinesh Prasad
23. THE WISDOM OF MORRIE Morrie Schwartz
24. THE BLUE WOMEN Anukriti Upadhyay
25. PRATIGYA (HINDI) Premchand
26. BLIND WILLOW, SLEEPING WOMAN Murakami
27. THE SEAT OF THE SOUL Gary Zukav
28. INDEPENDENCE Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
29. THE MANY THAT I AM – Writings from Nagaland ZUBAAN PUBLICATIONS
30. DISCIPLINE IS DESTINY Ryan Holiday
31. STILLNESS IS KEY Ryan Holiday
32. ON BALANCE Leila Seth
33. THE YELLOW UMBRELLA Ruskin Bond
( S )
1. THE GOPI DIARIES Sudha Murthy
2. THE MAGIC OF THE LOST TEMPLE Sudha Murthy
3. THE MAGIC OF THE LOST STORY Sudha Murthy
4. MATILDA Roald Dahl
5. ALICE IN WONDERLAND Lewis Carol
6. THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX AND THE HORSE Charlie Mackesy
7. KNOWING TO BE GRATEFUL QIAYI (INDIA)
8. A MASTER OF SELF CONTROL QIAYI (INDIA)
9. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID – DOG DAYS Jeff Kinney
10. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID- A NOVEL IN CARTOONS Jeff Kinney
11. OWL DIARIES Rebecca Elliot
12. EVA & THE NEW OWL Rebecca Elliot
13. THE LITTLE PRINCE Antoine De Saint
14. MURPHY HELPS OUT Susan Hughes
15. DIARY OF A PUG Kyla May 16
6. MONSTER MAUD- SCHOOL SCARE A.      Saddlewick
17. MONSTER MAUD – BIG FRIGHT A.      Saddlewick
18. STRANGE STORIES FROM HISTORY Scholastic
19. GREAT STORIES FOR CHILDREN Ruskin Bond
20. THE BLUE UMBRELLA Ruskin Bond
21. FANTASTIC BEASTS J.K.Rowling
22. HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS J.k. Rowling
23. HARRY POTTER & THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN J.K.Rowling
24. ANIMAL STORIES Compiled by Terry O Brian

Why am I sharing this list with you? Why am I writing this blog?

For precisely three reasons.

  1. During the harsh winters of Nainital my parents would drop me off at my grandparent’s place, in Almora, for about 2 months. I now consider myself fortunate that I got to spend a considerable chunk of my childhood with them. My Grandfather had a deep connection with Books. On warm sunny days, he would sit and read in the Verandah. On icy cold days, he would snuggle in his quilt and read in bed. He carried a Reader’s Digest even to the washroom. This part of my childhood is etched forever in my memory.

Emilie Buchwald once stated ‘CHILDREN ARE MADE READERS IN THE LAP OF THEIR PARENTS.’ And it is really that simple. Until last year, I was reading to my children mostly before their bedtime. This year we have transitioned to sitting and reading next to each other. Sometimes S reads a fable to T before bedtime despite them being arch enemies during the daytime. I just watch and smile from a distance, remembering those cold months of December and January from my childhood when my grandfather would read till he fell asleep.

Dear parents, it is your job to ensure your children are introduced to books and reading.

  1. SHARED SENSE OF DISCIPLINE is necessary during your child’s growing up years. And it is an essential component of mindful parenting. You must be willing to give up maybe an hour every day to inculcate the habit of reading in children. During my last air travel, I overheard a parent telling his son see how she is reading so quietly! When will you read? pointing at my elder daughter. I don’t think he noticed that I was reading too. Sometimes I hear parents whining about the fact that their children are not interested in reading. Have you considered sitting with your children and giving it a few months before arriving at such a conclusion? If you have filled your weekends with watching Netflix or partying only, how do you expect them to explore the world of books alone? Because really, there is a whole magical yet confusing world out there.

Dear parents, it is your job to walk this path with them. Not leading. Just walking by their side. 

  1. Finally, the most important reason why I regularly advocate the need for reading on social media is this – In a world where an alarming number of parents are trying to create Superstar Kids on social media with reels, a few readers are needed as well.

This world functions on balance and it truly needs more readers. Feel free to join.

P.S. – S has read close to 100 books this year. Maybe more.  I haven’t included the ones that arrive every week from school or the school reading app as part of the curriculum. These 24 are extra. They are special because they were read out of free will.

I have lost the challenge. But did I really lose?

I feel it’s Christmas already!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

PICTURE CREDITS – PEXELS / COTTONBRO STUDIO

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