Life comes to a full circle…

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Tiny hands, tiny feet, There is someone new for you to meet!

As some of you may know that we were blessed with a baby boy 3 months ago. Last year flew too fast and it was very eventful. First it was the news of our baby arrival and then the father-to-be emotions seeping in. Despite preparing for the due date for months, it fell short in many ways. Being with my wife in the labour room, I witnessed the delivery pain that women go through to bring a new life to earth and how stronger they are. It was a timeless moment when they placed the tiny baby in her arms immediately he slipped into a sleep in few seconds.

Asha was in love with the baby even before he was born but for me it is building up since the first meet. It’s getting deeper with with every touch, with every eye contact, with every smile and every time i miss him . It is one of the nicest feelings in the world when he holds my finger with his entire hand and when falls asleep on my chest. It’s like life coming to a full circle when you see for yourself a new life that you made.

The joy of parenting also brings a whole lot of changes to our daily routines. We are slowly getting used to intermittent sleep and wake up early in the morning. It’s an irony that kids turn parents into morning guys but they hate getting up early while growing up. But thanks to Asha, she has been absorbing the all the hardship. She gets up even before me and sometimes even before the baby calls for an attention. Seeing them together gives me a feeling that this is how much my mom loved me!  Perhaps all the mothers are wired this way to give constant attention, love and care to the babies.

I don’t know what I am wired for but I do think lot about making their days better. I only worry about giving enough time. Considering the office mails, meetings, travels..etc.. balancing the work-life seems like a never ending struggle. But sometimes it looks like parenting makes you more patient and efficient as we are forced to do more things in less time.

Overall, our baby is doing good and mom healthy and I am loving this moments. We can’t slow down the time machine but I am absolutely fine with it. No matter what you wish for, every year is becoming very eventful. I now believe that the next year will also continue to surprise us with more beautiful things and gives us another reason to enjoy.

Happy Sankranti / Pongal / Lohri  and best wishes to you and your family.

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Preparing for fatherhood

UntitledWhat really changes when you become a parent? Everything does and instantly. Though we were getting ready for the parenthood, I wasn’t serious until I saw the ultrasound images of our baby and heard the heart beats. Asha was trying to read the expression on my face and I was searching for the words to express. I was blank for the first few seconds but slowly and subtly felt happy and anxious too.  Girl or Boy?  Will I make a good dad? How can we make their lives beautiful? I am already flooded with millions of thoughts!

Impending fatherhood in some ways, seems to be bringing the emotions and the childhood memories associated with my dad.  In 80s, we lived in a small house in Sagara (Karnataka) with a beautiful garden. He was the first one to get up early at 5 am to set up the fire, boil water, to get water from the well, to water the garden and to assist my mom in the kitchen, to cut vegetables and washed some of our clothes and he would drop us to the school in  Hamara Bajaj !.

Even during the free time, he works non-stop doing gardening, reading, repairing or doing something or the other. I don’t think he enjoyed the TV shows or movies like we did but made himself available joined us to fulfil our wish. I thought I am his exact opposite and he wouldn’t like me. I don’t know if it is the typical father-son ego or the fear of letting down my parents. Anyways, seeing Asha going through this journey, it is helping me realise what parents may have gone through during our arrival. The “dad” feeling is also adding some purpose to the life. Women take all the physical pain of bringing life on earth; we can’t feel their pain but one of the best advice I received so far to love the baby is to love and take care of the mother. I hope to announce the good news later this year.

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Don’t postpone, this moment is your life

New yearIn many ways my situation has improved in 2014. Earlier my friends were curious to know when am I getting married but the new question is “how’s married life? Bachelors think it is green other side and married ones knows the truth 😉

Being in my first year in marriage, I was pursuing a large business contract that was not only important to prove my mettle but it was also critical for our company. Like many men, I prioritized the work over personal life hoping that it will get over soon. Unfortunately it didn’t. We were working very hard and had sleepless nights during the entire bid process. Due to increased stress, I paid less attention to Asha and to my family. I forgot to thank her when she made hot coffee or nice meals, I forgot to take to her out in the weekends, I didn’t give attention when she wore a nice dress; didn’t even appreciate when she picked up my work; I didn’t return her calls in time, I missed inquiring my parents health…my mistakes were growing.

But finally when we signed the holy contract in mid-2014, I was in no mood for celebration; instead I wanted to return my attention towards home to make up for the mistakes. It was not easy. Looking back, I think I could have enjoyed the normal life without having to postpone it. More than responsibility, it’s a lost opportunity to create happy moments.

This year my journey is taking a new direction as I have moved on from HCL after spending 8 long years. It was a tough decision to move from the place after spending several years working different teams, various cities and across different roles. As Pico Iyer said “we travel sometimes to lose ourselves; we travel sometimes to find ourselves” I was little foolish and passionately curious when I joined the IT industry in 2004 but my infatuation has turned into to a love affair after getting into the aerospace domain in 2006. I am excited to continue the journey and explore the new dots of my life as we are entering 2015.

I hope you too had a great year and we wish you and your family another wonderful year. Love to one, friendships to many and goodwill to all…Happy New Year!!!

Asha and Ravi

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If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place

LondonI was in London last week to attend the world largest Airshow at Farnborough UK. I have crossed Heathrow couple of times but when I stepped out of the airport for the first time, I did carry some hard feelings towards the UK.

The next day, I missed the team bus to the Airshow and I was looking much tensed. An old Englishman, who was driving the cab, said “Don’t worry Son, if one oversleeps, it is because the body needs it”. Words of wisdom! As he drove past the small twisted streets, green meadows, picturesque landscape, small towns, classic buildings, and the vintage towers, we were surrounded by a beauty in every turn he took. I could very much relate this to  some of the places in Western Ghats of Karnataka. Probably we don’t appreciate it as much until we miss them.

Later in the evening I visited the Windsor castle. It’s the palace where Henry VIII and others had lived. It looked great but it was also disturbing to see how the kings lived lavishly for generations at the expense of large mass. Anyways, this place is worth visiting. Besides the big forte, I found the small crooked house near the castle very fascinating. There were many inviting restaurants but Tony Snarr and I went to the Brown’s bar and tried the local Hawk Ginger beer and Aged Oak Beer- it was the best Scottish Ale I ever tasted.

Next day I roamed alone in London without a plan or a map. London being one of the old cities, there is a story in every street and the direction you take. No wonder, why London has overtaken Paris recently as the most popular tourist destination, there is so much to see. The old buildings, statues and the monuments will give a glimpse of what have happened in the past. I did visit some of the popular spots such as the Buckingham palace, Green Park, Hyde Park, London Eye, Big Ben’s house and others. I liked the science and story behind the bridge but honestly the blue color of the bridge didn’t impress me.  Also, I made friends with few folks at a bar in Piccadilly square. One of them was a doctor who worked in Asia and Africa for internships. Chances of finding strangers as interesting is high when you travel alone ; )

Some of us remember the Gunguly’s spat with Andrew Flintoff more vividly than the Indo-British war in 1700s. Then think about the next generation.  I don’t blame British. If not them, someone else would have occupied India. Question is why did we lose or why we could not recover fast. That perhaps can help us stay united. By the end of my trip, not only I could make peace with history but fell in love with charms of the countryside in Hampshire and the lively London. I hope to make another trip along with Asha.

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Happy new year !

New Year It’s that time of year again to retrospect and to prospect. I had an exciting 2013 despite few anxious moments.  The end of  bachelorhood and the beginning of marriage life has changed the way I used to live, work, eat, sleep and drink. In previous years, the new year day started with a hangovers but this time we had a quite celebration at home. She woke me up early and insisted we go to temple, we went for a long drive and had some conversations. For a chance  I felt this is way better.

Professionally I wasn’t having an easy year. Meetings, travels, restlessness, lack of sleep, delayed results, unexpected transactions, reviews, ppts and presentations almost sacked me. As I was going through this rough time, I was shook by a news that my dad was diagnosed with a tumor.

At first I didn’t know how to react. Dad made me comfortable by appearing strong and calm but I was tensed as the radiation therapy began. As anticipated he was deteriorating every day. He almost lost his voice and he was losing weight as well. My dad has always been my hero and I had never seen him weaker situations. More than the success at work or the wedding celebration, I was desperately hoping to see my dad recover soon. Therefore I kept a low profile and I did not invite many of you for my wedding; my apologies.

Though he was down, he was the invisible force behind during the scene. He made all the planning, necessary purchases and other preparations, including the wedding invitation list even before the dates were finalized. Thanks to my relatives and friends, my wedding was a smooth affair and a memorable event. Thankfully Dad is recovering well and He is looking lot better, eating soft diet and getting back to normal routine. Looking back at the chain of events, Dad said “We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.”

We are back and in US and looking fresh. Work life is going good too. We won new projects in December, bosses are happy 😉  Winter is little depressing for a newcomer in US but she is very much coping with the cold breeze, snow and making new friends as well.

We are often so busy growing up that we forget that parents are growing old. I thank god for we could diagnose it early. However, I believe irrespective of what happens, every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

Here’s to the memories that we hold and moments that are yet to come
Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year

– Asha & Ravi

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If you can’t find love, love may find you

We lived in a country of billion plus people. A few years ago if you told me that it is difficult to find a girlfriend in India, I refused to agree . A year ago if you told me that marriage decision is more than just loving someone, I would not agree as I didn’t know the influence of parents, horoscope and other formalities in India. But things have unfolded differently; than I had thought they would these past years.

I was scoffing at the traditional marriage process and fantasized romantic stories. I used to frame my own theory to decide who I should love or how I have to live. Whenever I meet someone nicer, I wondered if she is the one but none of my theories worked. Being single was not a terrible thing at all but felt little miserable when everyone comes forward to offer comments, suggestions, sympathies, advice and wishes when you are not expecting it. I guess it was part of the story of my life.

Loving and being loved is one of the best things that can happen to us. It’s been a while since Asha is part of my life and life is not the same anymore (for good ;). Though I was averse to the wedding formalities, I decided to follow them just to make her and everyone comfortable. I have cleared the horoscope test, completed the interviews with her parents and hoping that my petition will be approved. I am happy to see that everyone around me is happy (more than me 😉

As Chetan Bhagat wrote“Sometimes in your life you just meet someone or hear something that nudges you on the right path and that becomes the best advice”. From the journey of wait, I have realized that irrespective of what you go through, getting what you set your heart out for is the best feeling in the world.

What next? Well, as said in the movie Tangled “when one dream ends another begins”

Dedicating “I see the light” to all of you…

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Naton of nations

I grew up in Sagar, a suburb in Karnataka state. I was 11 years when I first visited Shimoga, which is 50 miles away from Sagar. After 5 years, I visited Bangalore which is another 200 miles from Shimoga. My first train journey happened when I was 18, to Delhi which is ~1100 miles away from Bangalore and first travel outside India happened at 29, when I had visited Seattle, US for a business trip. It has been a fast paced life since and I may have flown over 25000 miles in last 2-3 years.

During my my trip to US, my attention was all on the cold climate, vast infrastructure, massive architectures and crazy number of cars but in my second visit, more than buildings and monuments, I wanted to cherish new friendships, visit new places and absorb the new culture. Thanks to Andrew Juska, I even tasted variety of beers that I had never heard ; ). Whenever I hang out with him and his friends, they often say that bars in Chicago are livelier and friendlier than it is in Connecticut. I guess it may be due to the influence of European colonization.

If you look at the history, many English settled in Boston area during 16th -17th century which is now called as the New England region. Irish and Scots migrated settled in Delaware Valley. Large Germans migrated to Pennsylvania and upstate New York. After the great Irish famine, many Irish migrated to South Carolina are in 18th century. Many Italians were spread in major cities and also in Florida and California. Spanish had settled in southern US. I am wondering, New England area may appear formal because of the British influence, Germans and East European impact is making the central US warmer and friendly and south is cool and lively because of the Irish and the Spanish influence. Here is a 2000 census report on European ancestry groups that are distributed in US.
European in USI know it is not appropriate to generalize but the data shows US is becoming more diverse than many other countries. In 1980, European Americans represented approximately 95% of US population and in 2010 it is reduced to~72%! Here is not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations. Thanks to globalization.

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