Ira Pande Remembers ShivaniBy kamla bhatt • Mar 18th, 2006
Category: Books and Authors, India, New Delhi, People
Ira Pande talks about her mother, the well-known Hindi writer Shivani (Gaura Pant).
Last year, Ira wrote a book called Diddi as a homage to her mother. Through the book Ira tries to discover her enigmatic mother, known as “diddi,” or elder sister.
In this book we see a public portrait of Shivani emerge through the eyes of her daughter, Ira.
For instance, even though Shivani was a prolific writer her children hardly ever saw their mother write. Ira suspects that her mother did all her writing when her children were away at school.
In almost all of her writings, Shivani wrote about her beloved hills of Kumaon, its people and culture. Scattered throughout her works were Kumaoni words and phrases. The Kumaonis are a close-knit community, who led an insular life until very recently.
Shivani grew up in various parts of India and was fluent in many languages. She studied at Santiniketan under Rabindranath Tagore. Some of Shivani’s cherished memories were the days spent studying at Tagore’s famous school.
After her marriage, Shivani spent most of her life in the hills of Kumaon, and later moved down to the plains and lived in Lucknow, where she continued to live until the end of her life.
After a brief struggle with illness, Shivani passed away in March of 2003 in New Delhi.
Shivani is survived by her four children: Veena, Mrinal Pande, Ira Pande and Muktesh (Micky) Pant, Chief Marketing Officer of Yum! Brands.
Ira is an editor and a writer.
She played a cameo role in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding.