Tag Archives: family

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGIC or WE’RE HERE FOR YOUR SMILE

I’ve got a longer tribute to our 7 years old daughter coming. I’ve no words for her.

I can’t believe that last night was the last time I’d hug her as a 6 year old. Ever.

Maybe it’s melodramatic but every year that thought shakes me awake a bit more.

A couple of weeks ago, Anaiya said she “missed the diner”. When I asked why, she said “I really miss the animals and the trees and the rain”.

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Not a diner. You miss The Rainforest Cafe.

So we brought it home to her.

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This was an absolute blast.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the inspiration (Anaiya and Jaanu) and the freedom to pursue that inspiration no matter how ridiculous (thank you Priya KC Bhatt).

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The kids adored it. They tossed coins into the croc fountain. Yukked it up with the parrot. Approached and pet the snake with caution.

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And they want to leave it up as long as we can.

Why not? We are here to make you feel loved and to help your smile reach it’s fullest potential.

We try every day. We fail a lot.

Sometimes, like today. The stars in our humble rainforest align, and the four of us know we got it just right.

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I love you, magic. You inspire me to pursue greater things. You’re simultaneously my catalyst, my fuel, my compass, and my destination.

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LOVE or THE INSANELY FINITE

The ability to feel love, is for all intents and purposes, eternal. You express it involuntarily from the moment you’re born, and you express it in whatever form possible for as long as you’re humanly capable. But the ability to show that love to someone, to extend it to the people you love, to know they feel it in return, is incredibly finite. The ability to make someone feel loved is INsanely finite.

For today, for this Valentine’s Day, I hope you are motivated by the insanely finite in pursuit of the infinite.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful that I kissed my Daddy on the cheek every single time I saw him, and every single time I said goodbye. Including when I landed in India last week. My love for my father is infinite and will carry with me until my own last breath.

My ability to say it to him directly, and to know that he has heard me, to make sure he knows he was loved, feels today, very much in the realm of the finite. Love your family. Love your friends. Love the people around you. Not the way you want to love them, but the way they want to be loved.

Love them not so you can say aloud that you expressed your love, but rather, so that someone very comfortably and very consistently and very clearly says “I know you love me.”

Love you all. I do.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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LEMONADE

Queen Bey had a different reason for talking about it. And…it was brilliant. I want to talk about my own experience with lemonade this week. We were supposed to vacation in Asheville with some friends from Sat-Tue. They came to a house in the Smoky Mountains and we headed to the airport to go home. As good friends would do, and inspire, the conversation on Sat-Tue was often enough about our extending our stay.

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A non-starter for all the right but responsible/boring reasons (notably. work). Then we got our lemons. We sat at the airport for hours watching our plane get delayed. The ticket counter was urging us to change our flight because though United wasn’t giving us truth, their on the ground staff was telling us this wasn’t going to be good for us. They were right. United sent us an email telling us our flight was bumped out two days to Thursday night which basically…meant we would come back on a dead and unproductive Friday before a holiday weekend. So then we made lemonade.

We got out our surfboards and rode the wave that was coming at us. We pushed the flight to Saturday. And we headed to this house in the Smokys with friends…with some of the people I’ve known best basically since birth. We had to figure it out.

Priya had to work.

I had to work.

And we had two kids who needed love and attention. That’s the lemonade. Friends stepping up to help Priya while I worked all day Wed. No small thing in the mountains. Helping load and unload cars. Literally carrying my (c)hunkster son 3+ miles on a hike while I banged away on a keyboard. Kids playing with my kids and making them smile and laugh.

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https://web.facebook.com/1314738/videos/pcb.10102065918519534/10102065918090394

Occupying them as peers but almost as babysitters. I have been blessed left right and center in so many ways. But this past week, #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for finding my way into the good graces of some truly extraordinarily kind, funny, smart (and freaking accomplished) friends. After 16 hours of travel delays in August alone, I can say every second was worth it for culminating in this.

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The most emblematic photo of the past week is Shashank Sheth carrying Jaan one way on a hike; Mital Sheth did the other way. Tina Dave’ Sodha and Samir Sodha made sure Priya’s car was always loaded and unloaded and that she was following the caravan to the appropriate next destination.

Soniya Babu ShethAmish Barot and Deepa Shah Barot captured Jaan’s love and affection in ways we haven’t seen him do outside of fam. Hina Patel Sheth made sure the kitchen was always humming, and along with everyone in the house, helped moderate the dynamics between three spunky 3-5 year olds who ended up performing How Far I’ll Go for us to kick off a talent show.

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Priya KC Bhatt, Anaiya, Jaan and I couldn’t be luckier. Our friends get more props den stunts den Bruce Willis.

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WE ARE BETTER TODAY

An old family friend wrote a great piece on data (“lies, damned lies, and statistics”) and the importance of context. It was an awesome reminder not just for work, but for all the conversations we’re having about where the world stands today. I want to be clear, there is an extraordinary amount of work to be done. I’ll beat that drum, and I’ll live to the beat of that drum for the rest of my life. But context matters. If we don’t stop to realize the progress that has been made, it will be harder to motivate people for the progress that’s yet to be had.

If you’re wondering whether the world is better today than it was even 20 years ago? Here are some good reads and points of reference.

A Recap on the Millennium Development Goals:

https://www.theguardian.com/…/despite-many-obstacles…

Norbert and 10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Future: https://www.cato.org/…/why-cant-we-see-were-living…

10 Charts: https://singularityhub.com/…/why-the-world-is-better…/

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the progress that’s made. #iamnotsatisfied, but I sure as hell am grateful and thankful.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/feb/14/despite-many-obstacles-the-world-is-getting-better?fbclid=IwAR0m2vBWsV4l3jb7lxR2Wg1i4UDyjVxTsYOqznabr4n6A2wqRsMhaxpNqfc

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TYMMPB… | of your Shoulders

We’ve already talked about the power of touch. About being grateful and thankful. About building bridges. We’ve covered some topics.

This might be our most important.

Give. Just. Give.

Of yourself. Of your soul. Of your wallet. Of your time. Of your energy. Of. Your. Self.

You may not realize it, but 6 months in, that’s what you’re doing right now. You’re being present. You’re spending time. You’re giving love. And hugs. And holy hell are you giving hugs. It helps that you’re a fairly huggable young man, whose body basically morphs to and absorbs the shape of whatever you hug, but still. Holy hell do you hug.

Where was I? WTH I just lost myself thinking about hugging you by the way. Remember that when I take your car keys away one night.

But give.

Think of progress. Think of your history books. Not even US History, but World History. Think of how we got from Pyramids to Skyscrapers. From Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. From suffering to suffrage. From infant mortality to required rear-facing car seats up to like, 90 lbs (I exaggerate, but still.)

We got there because people gave forward. Ideas. Time. Energy. People gave. To make the world better than it was.

I look back on my childhood and even early adulthood and realize I never gave enough, and I never acknowledged, enough, what I was given. Perhaps the most important thing I was given were shoulders. To lean on, to cry on, and then, and now, to stand on.

I ask that you acknowledge always the shoulders you are standing on so you are thankful for what you’ve been given, but perhaps even more importantly, you look up, you look forward, and adjust your shoulders for the feet looking for their foothold. It will come at you sooner than you think. Your ability to make an impact in this world and to give starts on Day 1. (Nice work, by the way.)

TYMMPB | December

You make an amazing elf. You will, undeniably, make, an even more incredible person. I’ll leave the definition of “incredible” to you, forever and for always.

Today you make me proud because in you, I see already, such an incredible ability to give.

Go on and dust your shoulders off, Jaanu.

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TYMMPB… | #iamgrateful and #iamthankful

Two years ago I hit a rough spot at work. I have many of those. I hope one day I can explain why … so you don’t have those yourself.

Two years ago, I hit a rough spot at work, and I made an active choice. I was going to spend every some time every single day talking about what made me grateful and what made me thankful.

I did this for a long time.

About a year later, we realized we were going to have you.

And today, two years later, here we are. Here you are. And you’ve plugged yourself into the perfect place. You are the love your sister’s life, from moment one; and your mother and I feel the same.

TYMMPB | November

Two years removed, I look at this moment and say unequivocally: #iamgrateful and #iamthankful. I say I am, and I tell you Jaanu, no matter how I may act in precise moments, I always and I always will be. You (and your sister) have made certain of it.

Today you make me proud because, today, you have given me yet another reason to be forever grateful and forever thankful.

I love you, homie. We were a family before you; but we are only a complete family because of you.

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TYMMPB … | We Click on the Immeasurable

Rulers. Scales. Tape. Google Analytics.

These are all tools you use to measure, Length. Width. Height. Weight. Clothing. And the performance of your website.

What gets measured, gets done, goes an adage you will probably here when you get to working (it makes me sad that some things, I believe, will never change.)

What you’ll learn over time though, is that what truly matters is the space between everything that can be measured. The specific and the measurable gives us security and confidence that we can truly know the world (we can’t).

What’s in-between however, is infinite. It moves in every direction. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, sure; but the truest distance between two points is actually magic. With all the things that matter, there’s no straight line, just infinite emotion and hope and love shooting out in every possible direction.

It’s immeasurable. And the immeasurable, the thing you can’t know or measure, the thing you can only believe, is the only way to explain moments like this.

TYMMPB | October

You. And Dadi Masi. How you and your sister have forged such a strong bond with her when geography, time and space conspire to enforce the opposite, I can’t know. I can only know, it’s beautiful, and it’s immeasurable.

And it’s further evidence that you’re mine. Today, you make me proud because you understand that sometimes, you don’t need proof or evidence, you just need to feel.

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TYMMPB… | You Build Bridges

It ain’t right.

It.

Just.

Ain’t.

Right.

Jaanu, there are some people who are trying to turn us into a world of walls. Walls have sides. Not the good kind. The kind you take. Not the kind you leave.

I’m not a fan of walls. Your Mom and I are looking at buying a house soon and every time we walk into a place the first thing I’m looking at is what walls we can take down. I get them. Walls are necessary. Like medicine is necessary. Like funky cheese is necessary.

But too many walls and they lose their purpose. You move from a place where you’re keeping the bad things out, to a place where you’re keeping only you, in.

That’s why I prefer bridges. Bridges have sides too. The kind you talk about because you’re committed to leaving from or going to. The bridge isn’t the end goal. It’s the vehicle that enables the ultimate end goal: connections.

TYMMPB | September Sandwich

Today you make me proud because, just a few months in, and you already get the value of bridging. Keep doing that hard work and heavy lifting, BBCC.

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My $.02 | Family and Handoffs

What a great family weekend in the Poconos. We haven’t spent nearly enough time with the family, which means you, my loveliest of little ones, haven’t built that connect yet either. We’ll get better about it. There’s no choice. These are the people who raised me and every single person in one of the following pictures has had such a profound influence on my life, it’s disappointing to me how little time you’ve actually spent with them. That is on me to fix.

I can talk about the Poconos in so many ways. A few highlights:

  • Dadaji being your formal stroller pusher. He likes predictability and schedules. And now he’s got one very clear place to own the relationship with you.
  • Dadiji filled with pride. When you smile. When you turn. When you eat. When you do anything, I swear I can see her heart swell from the outside in.
  • Dadi Naniji. One of the sweetest and most purely loving people in the world doing what she does best with everyone, with you — loving.
  • Hitu Dada Mama. One of the quirkiest members of the family and one who will undoubtedly become one of your favorites. He’s always behind the scenes but he’s always there. Like in the pictures…never the subject, always enabling. And he was the first one to hold you each morning because he was awake, there, and waiting. Like he always is.
  • Charu Dadi Mami. She’s going to make you stronger and she’s going to make you laugh. And she’s also going to make you famous with her photography. With so many boys around, she’s one reason you’ll be spoiled and supported unconditionally.
  • Chetu Dada Mama. The baby whisperer. You already have some amazing photos with him but they don’t capture his thirst for life. His will be a pair of arms and a lap that you will always gravitate to — every child does.
  • Prity Dadi Mami. She fought hard to have you sleep in her room but we were silly parents about it. 🙂 It happens. She’s  the one who made this weekend happen and you’ll see, that when family events happen, she’s such a powerful glue. She was the first person to welcome your mom to this side of the family.Massage
  • Tito Foi. If there’s a person who loves you and thinks about you more, please let us know. She gave you one of the longest, most relaxing, and most public (there was quite an audience) massages you’ll ever have. Expect more such pampering through eternity.
  • Suraj Kaka. The human jungle gym. Not just for kids, for adults too. It was his first time meeting you but you can see the love in his eyes. You’ll always be protected when he’s there. He’s truly all heart.
  • Holly Aunty. For many of us, the first time meeting her, so you were in no different a place. But she embraced you the right way, and you’re going to have a friend for life in that one — for now though, we’ll jus tfocus on commenting on each other’s Facebook walls. 🙂
  • Sohum Kaka. Daddy’s older brother. He’s off to San Francisco to become Teacher Man, and do what he does best — make other people better. I couldn’t be happier that he got time with you before he left. You know, he was the first baby Daddy actually remembers holding and changing diapers for?
  • Neil Kaka. Swoon. That’s what most people do around him and I’m sure this time will be no different. But I think, he’s met his match. And you can see it in his face and the way he talks about you to his friends. The swooning is going the other way. And you know he’s made so many trips to see you here in Jersey City — though maybe it’s because of Daddy’s fridge, too?
  • Eeshan Kaka. He took you to your first coffee shop, you know. Eeshan Kaka is saving the world starting with North Carolina, so it was great to make sure you got extended time with him here. He’s got a mind and brainpower that reinforces your pedigree — and compensates for Daddy in so many ways.
  • Amu Kaka. He’s been the same personality since he was 12 months old — and it’s bound to be one of your favorites. We’re going to drive down to visit Kaka while he’s at Delaware, and we’re going to let him carry you and push the stroller. Because that’s a great way to pick up girls. The problem might be, that based on how he looks at you (and tweets about you), he may miss all the action around him.

That’s part of your family, munchkin. Look at all that love. And if it’s hard for you to read all this, maybe it’s better for you to check out the pictures below. One of my favorite goodbyes. As a man who has struggled with goodbyes for ages (one of the best parts of my childhood were when your Dada Mama’s used to come visit almost every Friday, one of the worst parts of my childhood were when they would leave on Sunday) this brought me to tears. Every person having their own unique moment with you. Every person smiling at you smiling back.

It’s the one thing I think everyone in the world needs more of. It’s the one thing I want most for you: to feel loved. Always. Unconditionally.

As your family hugged you, kissed you, reinforced their love for you, and then passed you along to the next in line, I couldn’t help but feel certain that you are one who’s loved in ways that go beyond any form of measurement. And that, makes Mommy and me, the happiest people in the world.

Now, to the handoff!

Holly

Suraj

1-Nani

2

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4

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Feeling loved?

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TMLFYI… | South Indian

So it’s actually dosa. Or as I like to spell it, Dosa. I capitalize because it’s a divine food.

Today, my dear, was your first time going out to dinner. You were spectacular. The rest (Chadhas and Motianis) of us feasted on Dosas (fully varied across the table, from rava to paper, from mysore to plain, from masala inside to masala out.) But we crushed ourselves some Dosas in Edison at the world famous Swagath.

What I love about this whole trip is that throughout her time carrying you, your Mom had one craving on one day — that’s it.

Guess what it was for?

You nailed it. Dosa. Capital D. Don’t worry, you got some with your nightcap I’m sure.

Dosa

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