Happy Valentine’s Day

During my college days, one of my girl friend’s used to call me “konjum amathum konjum nanju” (English translation: “half nectar half poison”). As I connect the dots backwards, I can tell she was right on.

I am half there and half here with everything. For example, there is a part of me that doesn’t believe in any of the holidays and festivals. I am such a skeptic. Then, there is the other half of me that celebrates everything…every moment.

Choosing to celebrate and be in the moment might have something to do with raising kids. Everything is so charming with the boys are around – putting up the tree and lights during Christmas, looking for green socks during St. Patrick’s Day, assembling the Golu steps during Navarathri, doing hand made cards during Valentines Day….just about everything is so damn charming.

Speaking of Valentines Day, my little fellow has been painstakingly making hand made cards for all his buddies and classmates. He has drawn and colored a rainbow for a friend that likes rainbows. He has drawn and colored a piggy for a friend that likes pigs. And, on each one of the cards, he has drawn and colored a red colored heart with a little arrow passing through it. I know you’ll are going….AWWWWW.

With him around, how I can be my skeptical self? For a brief moment, I turn into a die-hard romanticist and hope that all the lucky stars will align and he’ll meet his girl soon. Well, not too soon. I want to be his girl for as long as I can because he gives the most soulful hugs ever. I am not kidding. It is like he knows the art and science of hugging. He knows how to get my Oxytocin pumping.

Read these articles.
7 Reasons Why We Should Be Giving More Hugs
Muscles Love Oxytocin: So-Called “Hug Hormone” Important In Muscle Regeneration

Give a nice long hug to all your V’s and an extra special long hug to that extra special one. That is what I intend to do this weekend.

Now, if you are going to be seeing me this weekend, don’t freak me out by suddenly rolling me in for a 20-second+ hug without warning me. Because, my right punch has caused several terrible knockouts in the last few decades. You won’t even see it coming.

True Independence – in Your Thoughts and Deeds

It is not about the smell of the BBQ.
It is not about the sound of the fireworks.
It is not about the chaos of sales in the malls and car lots.
It is NOT.

It is about having your head held high.
It is about feeling what you want to feel….freely.
It is about saying what you want to say….freely.
It is about living the life you want to live….freely.
It is about dreaming….and making all your dreams come true…FREELY.

It is about Independence.

Say, it with me…slowly….I N D E P E N D E N C E.
Relish it as you say it.

I wish you true Independence…in your thoughts and deeds.

Happy 4th!

Veterans Day Story

On Veterans Day (Nov 12, 2012), my buddy Mark Faust shared this touching story about his uncle.

Read and be inspired.

On this Veterans Day I remembered my hero, Uncle Eddie.

On occasion Capt. Edward Promberger was called a terrorist by some, even himself.

I notice now that business leaders are often referred to as something less than heroes, and worse, some even doubt if they have a higher purpose in their call.

My uncle piloted over 50 missions in a B-17 bomber in Europe. On several occasions he and his nine crew members were called back from a mission, but when hope was not lost Capt. Promberger would ask every one of his men if they were willing to complete the mission.

Eddie always thought about the fact that many of the men were married and some even had children. He looked at piloting that plane as if he had nine families he was caring for, not just nine men. Only if every man said yes, would he press on with these missions aborted by central command. On more than one occasion their plane would be the only one to complete the mission and then they would attempt a lonely return to home base.

A crew had a one in four chance of completing a tour, 25 missions. So it wasn’t often for a crew to re-up once let alone twice, but this crew stuck together for three tours. Throughout the war and their 57 missions, not one man was lost.

On one mission my uncle’s plane was hit by flak and his co-pilot and he were injured. My uncle’s vision blurred with blood, but he never considered retreat. Among many other medals, my uncle was awarded two distinguished flying crosses and a purple heart.

Uncle Eddie never married. I heard that he didn’t want to put someone through his frequent nightmares. He would wake up seeing a mission where bombs he dropped hit what he later found out to be an orphanage, a target he was ordered to bomb. He lived with those visions until his seventies. When he returned home, his first and only love, the woman who promised to marry him, was already engaged.

My mom told me one of my uncle’s happiest moments was seeing my three-year-old son and holding his hand. It was on that occasion that in a very quiet voice he shared several of his war stories that he had never shared before. One was of a particularly rough mission where three engines were hit. He ordered the crew to drop all the bombs and guns into the sea and then to jump to safety on an island well before getting to the home base. He so respected the Boeing plane he flew. He was able to land that plane and walk away. Later after the war when the Memphis Bell was touring the US he drove out to see it. He asked the General if he could fly it. The General said, “Capt. Promberger you can fly any g**damn plane you want!”

Events of late have caused some business leaders to consider retreat. To just give up, retire, sell out or whatever, rather than completing the mission. How many families count on you and your leadership? Are you even giving a hint of thought to retreat?

The scars of that war are still felt today. One joy for my uncle though was that in that in the last year of his life he met up with his first and only true love. She was a widow. In fact during his last waking hour, as he lay in the bed of the VA hospital, the hand of his true love, was in in his, and he died with a smile on his face.

Mission accomplished.

Never, never, never give up

Happy Heritage Day

Adi’s school had arranged a celebration for Heritage Day today morning. Kids has dressed up in their traditional costumes. Each of them held a flag showcasing their heritage. It was such a wonderful sight to see.

Ad did a short 3 minute Silambam (Indian martial arts) to showcase his Indian heritage. He got a lot of kudos from his teachers and principals.

The best part of the event for Adi was when several pretty looking girls gathered around him after his Silambam performance. I over heard the girls saying “Hey…I didn’t know you could do something that cool”, ” Nobody can mess with you, can they” 🙂

The things that separate us (heritage, skin color, language, accent, goals, myths, beliefs etc) are all very miniscule compared to what unites as humanity (our common goals are all alike…are they not….to spread joy, to provide for our families/society/country/world, to live a meaningful life).

Happy Heritage Day. Spread the cheer around.