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In 2004, thanks to the good graces of an old friend Rupan Trikha, I connected with a doctor who was pretty world class at addressing some of the wonkiness in my vision. It was a material enough exercise but I was in my 20s (barely still) and was pretty cavalier about it all.

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One person wasn’t cavalier. My Daddy. He made his way into a 45 minute phone consult with my doctor (a truly world renowned expert, like when other doctors around the world, yes doctors around the world have looked at my eye, look at my eye they will say “who did this? Was it Peter Hersh?”). Dr Hersh was wonderful. Daddy was at his best.

Asking questions. Thoroughly researched and thoughtful and respectful and even honoring Dr Hersh while also making sure all the gaps in my knowledge and his were filled.

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When I went in for the procedure, Dr Hersh even commented how lucky I was to have a father who cared so much. His own father, Dr Donald, was his mentor and also my contact lens specialist. It was one of those moments branded on my personal timeline. A thread or moments wrapped into one cohesive thought ending with me acknowledging that I was (and am) blessed.

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May be an image of 1 person, standing and indoor

Today, I’m headed back to that office. To fix some more wonkiness. Dr Hersh is no longer practicing … and my Daddy is no longer able to call in. He left this planet three years ago today. (We still say it was to watch that Super Bowl IN PEACE, go 🦅!)

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I chose today for this procedure for a reason. I’ve got your shirt on, Daddy. And yeah, I really make 75 look great (it helps that I’m only 45; you did it well at 75 itself).

Thanks for seeing me then. Thanks for helping me see then. Thanks for making time like that, when I needed it most. Thanks.

Like I said on November 19th, I won’t speak of you in the past tense. You’re here. And we got this.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful I was able to get into the office today, of all days. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Luv ya.

PS: 2021 has been a great year so far. If for no other reason than I actually fit into this shirt now. 🙂

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I had a post I wanted to share today. It’s my one year anniversary at this gig. So much to share on that.

But after the day we’ve all had, I thought I’d go with this instead.

Hugs and kisses folks.

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Every weekday morning, our routine at home is the same. I bounce between the kids rooms and wake them up slowly. Jaanu wakes up first. Always. He pops up. I give Anaiya her second nudge and come back to him. We change. And then, his first move … is this. Straight to his sis.

These photos and videos are from Monday and today.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for this. This love. This little boy with this ability to set this tone for his day, his sister’s day and frankly, mine.

We need this today. And when you wake up in the morning, out of this bad dream we experienced today, close your eyes for a moment and imagine Jaanu walking into your room and bringing you into the day this way too.

I love you. All of you.

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It’s been crazy. Days. Weeks. Months. Maybe years? It’s been crazy.

I’ve been wanting to write something all day as I’ve watched the stream of photos and videos pop up as reminders on my phone and right here on Facebook.

Facebook was throwing haymakers, Daddy.

All because you turned 80 today.

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Not your body. But you. Your legacy. Your memory. Your impact. Your values. Your jokes. You. All the things that are you except for the thing that was you, turned 80 today.

I think that’s what I realized today and that’s what I talked to the kids about this morning. There is no would have. There just is. Is the fact that you turned 80 today.

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When I woke Jaanu up and his eyes went from tired, to glinted, to tear coated just enough to bulge but not enough to burst and stream down his cheek. All because it was your birthday?

Also, I’ll tell you, for a four year old, his eyes tested hydrogen bonding better than most and many have.

When Anaiya watched the video of her singing you Happy Birthday — and holy hell, Daddy, am I happy we have that video, I think for Mumma, it may be more important than oxygen some days — when watching her watch that video of you and watching her face turn from laughing and smiling at herself to deeply missing you on your birthday.

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When those things happened, I realized that you turned 80 today. To hell with biology. To hell with philosophy. To hell with cosmic theories of existence. To hell with it all.

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May be an image of 2 people, people sitting and food

In your grandson’s eyes. In your granddaughter’s heart. You are here. Present. Deeply present. And you turned 80 today, Daddy. Can’t wait to be with you all the same next year, when you turn 81.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for their memories of your memory.

It’s beautiful.

Happy 80th.

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This is one of my all-time favorite stories. There are few things that better encapsulate what my Daddy stood for. Stands for now with his legacy. Than this. I try my best on a daily basis to be wowed and overwhelmed by the simplest of actions. It was amazing what would bring him to tears; and I feel that myself. And for all the jokes. And for all the desensitization my reactions (overreactions) may create in others — in this case, I think we raise the bar on our humanity and our gratitude by lowering the bar on what it takes for us to be impressed, wowed, humbled, and grateful.

For this lesson, Daddy, #iamgrateful and #iamthankful. And I am, at this moment, teary-eyed as I recall you telling me this story when I was barely a teenager.

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That’s it. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for you. And this spirit. And I want to do all in my power never to squash it. 🙂 Be you. Just. Be you. But your best you. Always.

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The post below. Well it says it all. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the picture below (one of our few believe it or not) and the stories you told and taught. Mom just tried to tell this story a few weeks ago. You’d have laughed at how miserably she failed. Ha! And loved her even more profusely because of it.

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Hi Daddy.

Two months. One day. If you forget timezones and just focus on days and dates. It’s been two months and one day since we lost you. Just typing that brings a coating of tears over my eyes and in a second, everything’s blurry — like I’m looking through our windshield while driving through the rinse cycle at a carwash.

You are, forever gone. We’ve covered this.

There is absolutely nothing I can do about any of the fights we had, the times we parted angry, the times I decided to do something else instead of spending time with you, the times I didn’t live up to your expectations and knew I wasn’t. These were just moments in the moment. They come at me quickly, sparked by the smallest thing (I wiped my hands with the wrong hand towel and <<THUD>> like a sledgehammer hitting some part of my body, instantly, my heart, my stomach, my knees, I remember one of those moments in a moment.)

It’s going to happen forever. We’ve covered this.

What is really helping is the chiropractic work you’re performing on my life on a daily basis. And that’s what I want you to know the most. Twice a day I stop, I pause, I breathe, I close my eyes, I think of your (always freshly shaven) face and I reset. You snap me back into place. In-between those moments, life happens. Entropy happens. But all of this has made me more deliberate and more active in not allowing my life to trend to disarray. I’m tending to things more actively and deliberately. I still do, say dumb things. But I’m more aware. It’s not half the battle (Duke, Gung-Ho, Scarlet, and Roadblock lied to us when we were growing up). But it’s a part of the battle.

Life can either trend or tend to entropy. Im tending to it and taking care. We’ve covered this.

Something that’s jumped out at me over the past 2 months and 1 day is that I’ve heard a lot of people say things about life; I’m getting lots of advice. And there’s a lot of it that settles in around statements like “have no expectations” or “expect nothing”.

And I tell you, Daddy. I struggle like hell with that. I don’t think it’s the right way to live. I’m feeling a little push to the opposite.

I’m raising my expectations of people. Of every moment in life. Because as we’ve talked about, people most often rise and fall to the expectations you set for them. When you walk through life expecting nothing of people you actually aren’t making the world a better place. You’re simply making it easier for you to accept whatever comes your way.

DADDY | 4-5

That’s not good enough. Not anymore. We’ve covered this.

I mean it especially of your grandkids. I’m going to keep expecting the most out of them.

The rub? I’m going to applaud their effort, and make sure none of my happiness is tied to the outcome. The result. Anaiya and I talked about it this morning, actually. And things became really clear.

DADDY | 4-5 2

The world will rise and fall to our expectations. You were right to expect more from me; from all of us; from the whole darned world. Your idealism on right and wrong. Your clarity on the fact that absolute right did exist and absolute wrong could and should be called out, is what we need more of.

I’m not stepping back and expecting less, or nothing, of life and the people who fill it. And I’m not going to expect anything but amazing from your grandkids. But I will promise you, hand to heart, head to food, head to toe … i’ll never be disappointed by outcomes again, only by controllable effort and inputs.

Expect the world of the world. Because … people rise and fall to the expectations you set for them.

Me? I’ve got hiiiiiiiiigh hopes. But we’ve covered this.

Love you, Daddy. Talk soon.

PS – Mom would have made you proud at the wedding. Eeshan Kaka andShannon Kaki too. It was beautiful. 🙂

DADDY | 4-5 3

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.

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What moves you to tears? What reinforces your faith in humanity? What memories and experiences do you hang onto when you want to recount the great potential of people?

Daddy found greatness in the simplest of things. The food he ate. The jokes he told. The way he lived. He was grateful and thankful for every moment he lived. It’s not that the grandiose was lost on him.

DADDY | 3-12

It’s that the grandiose was very simply, not necessary. Daddy found himself moved to tears and inspired to faith by everyday people, enacting everyday gestures, that reflected character, integrity and the very best of what humanity had to offer.

One favorite example takes us back to 1989. Daddy hadn’t been back to visit India in nearly 20 years. Needless to say, he was due. Our parents were greeted by a friend at the airport. Unfortunately, their friend was ill-prepared to accommodate our parent’s travel habits. Think large Samsonite bags bursting at the seams with zippers and locks screaming for mercy.

After seeing the volume of luggage our parents had with them (consisting of whatever Mom had packed for herself and whatever she had packed for Daddy), their friend realized he wouldn’t be able to move our parents and their luggage without some help. He summoned a “Coolie”, or a porter, in Western terms.

When paying cash for any service in India, you find yourself at the mercy of the servicer. And so the haggling began. The Coolie wanted 10 rupees, their friend offered 5. The Coolie worked his way down from 10, to 9, to 8, to 7 rupees, with the longest debate happening at 6. At the bargain basement price of 6 rupees, the Coolie would have been able to afford breakfast, to fill himself with a cup of tea. Daddy’s friend wouldn’t have it. And soon, as market forces determined, a deal was reached: 5 rupees it would be. With the ‘deal signed’, Daddy’s friend went off to find his car into which the luggage would be loaded, but only after telling Daddy in no uncertain terms, not to offer the Coolie any additional money.

A deal is a deal.

As soon as his friend left, Daddy went directly up to this Coolie and offered him the balance of the 10 rupees. Daddy pulled out his best hustle. For 10 minutes he tried everything to give this man some more money. He told the Coolie that he was rich, that he had spare change he wanted to get rid of–he tried everything. But the Coolie would not take the money. When my father asked the Coolie why he refused to accept additional money, the Coolie responded humbly, simply, firmly:

“Sir, I have agreed to 5 rupees, and I have given my word.”

Daddy, was floored. Brought to tears. Even when Daddy made it clear that he would not mention a word of additional rupees paid to his friend, the Coolie wouldn’t accept the offer. Actually, he couldn’t. He had given his word.

You see, for Daddy, Maslow’s hierarchy is inverted. One’s own physiological needs come last; human decency, a rich and undeniable social contract — one’s principles and one’s word are the foundation upon which lives are built and happiness is achieved. In this Coolie and in this story, Daddy found all that was right in this world. No grand scriptures required. No religious experiences necessary. The simple decency of everyday people carried the greatest weight in Daddy’s eyes. Daddy proceeded to retell this story for decades. Decades.

On February 4, 2018, we lost Daddy, the world’s most honest and straightforward man. The kind of man moved to tears of unfathomable joy, pride, and happiness through a passing interaction, with an exceptional example of a human being.

This Coolie carried our parents luggage for a few moments, but he carried Daddy’s spirit and faith for 29 years more.

Thank you, sir.


Last week at our memorial for Dad, we handed out copies of this illustration with the below story printed on its back, instead of a traditional printed program. If you’d like a copy of the printout, DM me and I’ll mail you one. Thank you Oliver Bruehl for the illustration conjured from magic, pure magic.

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.

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“Thank you. For everything.”

48 years. Culminating in four words. Whispered into one ear. Punctuated by a warm kiss. On the still frozen but rapidly thawing cheek. Of the eternal, undeniable love of her life. Before the doors to that ambulance closed. And their physical bodies said goodbye. Forever.

You want to talk about grace? You want to talk about dignity? You want to talk about honoring a legacy? You want to talk about strength?

Mom. Is incredible.

When I was conceived, my mother gave me strength by her own nourishment. When I was born, my mother gave me strength from her milk. When I was a fat kid with a short temper and a penchant for being ridiculed, she gave me strength through her love. When I was a barely competent high schooller, she gave me strength with her faith. When I was struggling at work, she gave me strength through her reinforcement. When I was struggling to find love, she gave me strength by her understanding. When I was struggling with peace and patience as a parent, she gave me strength with her time.

When I lost my Daddy, she gave me strength with her words and her example. Her final words to him as we pulled away in the ambulance toward the crematorium.

No “why did you leave us.” She thought it. She thinks it. I am sure.

No “what will we do.” She thought it. She thinks it. I am sure.

No “How will I go on.” She thought it. She thinks it. I am sure.


Thank you.

For everything.

“@#%&?! How is she doing this?”

Our truest self come out at our most vulnerable of moments.

Being grateful. Being thankful. That’s my mom’s truest self.

Thank you, Mom, for giving Anu KiranPriya KC Bhatt and I strength.

Yesterday we held a Celebration of Life ceremony for Daddy. Mom’s example. Her strength allowed us to make the ceremony about saying thank you to Daddy, for the people he influenced. But also, hopefully, everyone who was there, walked out feeling equally celebrated and thanked. They deserve it.

For 48 years, Family and friends showered our parents and our family with love and support. Bringing a lifetime of smiles to our faces. Helping Daddy leave this world at the height of happiness.

To all of you, there in spirit or in person, thank you for everything.

Life is only going to get more real. It’s not going to stop. It’s not going to get worse. It’s just going to get more real. More finite. Everything that happens now for me comes fully contextualized. As someone who enjoys storytelling, I say that before 2/4, life felt like it only had a beginning and a middle—I now know there’s an end. Not academically. Not an end I can’t empathize with because I’m in my early 20’s. An end that’s all too real because I’m in my 40’s and I’m a dad.

If I have any advice to give, it’s to work deliberately and urgently. Make use of photo albums. Not as a way to remember faces that are gone, but to add vivid back story to people who are here. Hug. Love. Celebrate. Talk to and about the people you love like you would if you knew you’d lost them, and then been granted that one last chance. Silly sh*t. Who cares. Do it.

Yesterday I asked honestly, what I’ve been asking for the past month: is it truly better to have loved and lost. I’ve been struggling with that. This pain is so exceptional, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s compounded by the simple fact of how much my parents loved each other. I sometimes wish now that they were less in love.

But that’s silly. It’s ignoring 48 years of life for what remains.

It is better to have loved and lost. Especially if you find someone who looks at you the way Daddy always looked at Mom.

DADDY | 3-6

Thank you, Mom. For your example and your strength.

Thank you, Family and friends, for your love and support.

And thank you Daddy…

…for always looking at Mommy this way.

We’ll be fine. I know we will. Because Mom said so.

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.

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With Mothers? It’s nature.
Not vs. 
Love. Support. Nourishment.
Regardless of our condition. (Y’all.)
With Mothers it’s Home.
Mother Earth. Mother India.
And Mother…
Fathers don’t get nature or nurture or home.
Or even great, timeless curse words.
Fathers are Figures.
Go figure.
Fathers. Get time.
Mother Nature. Father Time.
As in
It’s time we talked
It’s time for you to step up
It’s about time you realized
It’s now your time
As in
This time it’s different
This time infinite means finite.
This “time”
My forever man. My forever dad
Who’d be forever there
Forever putting his forever hand
Forever guiding my forever path
However rough and however gruff
Forever forward.
Is forever gone. Gone. Forever.
Father. Time.
Father it is Time.
To understand the difference.
Between time well spent.
And time.
With Mothers it’s nature.
With Fathers it’s time.
Goodbye, This Time.
Forever, man.

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.


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