An Author's Journey Begins

One of the more dramatic moments in "When Breath Becomes Air" is when the author, Paul Kalanithi, laments that he always thought he had Twenty years to be a neurosurgeon and another Twenty to pursue his dream of being an author. But after he was confronted with a life that had only but a few sunrises left, he was torn between the choice of becoming an accomplished doctor and an author. This quandary encapsulates what most of us are chronically aware of but unwilling to confront. Time is fleeting and we, for the most part, sacrifice a great deal of our passion in the quest for the more commonly sought out goals such as career, fame and fortune. When my father retired he was a man restless with his new found freedom from the corporate lifestyle that he had grown accustomed to over the preceding 35 years. A freshly minted Engineer who found his way from a rural town in Kerala to a jet setter traveling around the globe as a corporate executive, he had become all too comfortable…

My Tryst With Mortality

Duplithingal was the name I was given by Saju. He had somehow obtained information that my last name was inherited from another source and hence I was not the "original" but the "duplicate" and hence he Called me Duplithingal. Funny how that is the thing I remember most about him apart from the fact that he was probably the one person who was cheerful most of the time. But as the cliche goes, it is the good souls that are called upon first. The call was rather jarring for a rainy, dark morning in Chennai. Saju had been in a motorcycle accident and passed away, said the caller. His body is in the morgue. Standing outside that morgue I still couldn't believe what I was there for. how can a 19 year old die. That was unfathomable to me. As the daily commuters went about their business unaware of this catastrophic event, I realized that what shakes one world goes unnoticed in another and just like that he had left us all and we continued on with life.

Dhavinder was…

You have been Trumped!

The phenomenon that is Trump is for all to see. Everybody waited with baited breath on that cold Tuesday night, each with their own small prayer. As the night grew darker some sobbed while some cheered and that is how Democracy works. Like the words of the fake president in "The American President" - "You gotta really want it".

Democracy is a very humbling experience. It is the great equalizer between the high tower elites to the small man on main street. At the end of it all, it is the power of the voters that speak. You may or may not agree with it, but the power of democracy is in its ability to reshape history as dictated by the masses and not necessarily by conventional wisdom.

Conventional wisdom states that Trump should have been out of the race about 16 months ago. For every atrocious thing that he has said, there are several examples of people who have fallen on the wayside for having said or done way less. But then conventional wisdom and Trump do not ge…

Summer Vacation

Last month I relived my summer vacation. When I say that I relived it, I mean I saw it through the eyes of a five year old once again and it was fabulous. Over the last couple of decades, in my 20s and 30s I have found myself not enjoying summer vacations as much as I remember enjoying them when I was a carefree child. My memories of summer vacations are in such a happy part of my mind that it almost hurts to recollect the details of it. The loitering through my grandfathers grounds, the adventures with my brothers, the slew of movies, the visits to a plethora of people, visit to the beach and everything else.

This summer I once again saw glimpses of that joy. The only difference was that I was seeing it through the eyes of my son. I had pushed them to stay in India longer this time around and boy did I see what I wanted to see. The complete joy of kids in a new, warm and loving environment where every day is a discovery is something to cherish. Even my daughter seems to be showing g…

Jury Selection

Today, after two days of continuous briefing from a judge regarding the rules of Jury Duty I was excused as they found the 14 jurors they needed for the case. Though I was not looking forward to serving on the Jury for a month, I have to admit I am a little disappointed by the fact that I was not selected. As disruptive as it might be to my daily routine, the experience of watching criminal proceedings is something that I think would be an eye opener regarding how the world works.

We are so caught up in our daily lives that we never stop to think about the world around us. But the last couple of days made me stop and think about it (as I had nothing other than that to do in the court while the proceedings were in progress). The fact that there are people in going to the judicial system with everything else in their life at a complete standstill makes you wonder how much you take your daily life for granted.

As I watched the defendant sitting there I wondered how odd it would be if I …

Magnum Opus

The one thing I fault myself with is my inability to be patient and persistent when things get tough. I generally am very impatient and hate the idea of not getting it right the first time. The first time I was made chronically aware of it was in a feedback from a friend.

The story goes that I once went for an interview based on a recommendation from a friend. After the interview my friend called up and said that they had reviewed by interview and one of the interviewers had provided the feedback that I seem to give up very easily. Since he mentioned who it was, I remember the incident very clearly and my version is that he had asked me a question and I had given it a try. But when I realized that I did not answer the question, I told him I don't know. The reason I do that in interviews is that I don't like to come across as a person who keeps talking when he doesn't really know the answer. But tuns out the take away for the interviewer was that I gave up too easily.


Our Daughter

Little did I realize that it has been so long since I wrote anything here. The sands of time slip away with specks of memory blowing away aimlessly from my mind. So here I am to note down some of the events in the past year and a half least I might forget the details.

Maria is here and she is just unbelievably adorable. Fourteen months old now, she is ruling the roost with everyone at her beck and call. He brother is terrified of her as she approaches only to find that she is there merely to exchange pleasantries  on her way to her mom. Maria's entry to the world was not as dramatic as her brothers as she slipped into her place in the world. Tobey and Maria now seem to consume almost all of our waking time but everyday they both surprise us with something new.

Maria has a vocabulary that includes "what", "no", "ende ammae" and "mine". With these four words she is practically able to negotiate anything and everything that she needs out of us…