Happy Father’s Day

Fathers Day

Papa, Dad, Abba, Father
of such significance to your child
like you no other.
You create life: a son or a daughter
with your better half
the significant other parent:
Mamma, Mom, Aayi, Mother

Biology & evolution
such is nature
your drive to procreate
spread your genetic matter
the unison of X’s & Y’s
the holy act of love
with the one you so love
to give life to such pure love

Amazement in your eyes
the first sonograph
the quick heart-beat
3 trimesters she grows
& within her a precious life
a marvelous biological feat.
Hormones, sickness, craving
lamaze class & breathing
baby room, cot, toys, & bottles,
baby stroller, baby Bjorn,
baby everything.

The water breaks, & off you go
through each contraction you hold her hand
she pushes & you help her breathe
remind her to inhale & exhale slow
And then the most spectacular thing
you’ve ever seen
you see life emerge from within
tiny head-body-hand-&-legs,
you get teary, your love overwhelming
as you see & hold your very own child
for the very first time, crying
& then smiling.

Diapers! So many damn diapers
you ain’t seen so much poop & pee
sleepless nights, feed, pat the back, burpee
Cradling, soothing, carrying, rocking,
small clothes, tiny shoes, little everything
So many pictures, so many videos
you capture all she’s expressing
her laugh, cry, frown, & baby talk
her giggle when you’re tickling & caressing

As the infant grows, with each passing day
weeks, months, & years go by
her first words, roll, crawl, very first step
you teach & mentor, show her the way.
She walks, runs, you run beside as she rides her bike
no training wheels, back of the seat held tight
and then you let go, she takes control
your pride for her so amplified

You teach her how to throw a ball
teach her coordination to catch your throw
you teach her how to roller blade
skate on ice, & ski on powdered snow
You teach her how to swim & dive
take her camping, how to pitch a tent
you teach her about music & songs
how to sing & dance, to move & jive

Babysitter, kindergarten, & school,
language, science, math, & arts
the difference between right & wrong
what’s quite passe, what’s mighty cool
Sorrow, sadness, grief, despair
we fall only to rise-&-run again
joy, happiness, humour, & optimism,
love, be gentle, always share-&-care.

Family & friends, bonds to last a lifetime
holidays, vacations, weekend getaways
she learns from you how to invest time
in what matters most, who won’t fade away.
Of who to trust, who to embrace
who to let in while her guard is down
of principles, values, & moral things
sorry, thank you, poise & grace.

And as you teach her, she teaches you
how to be a better man
to unconditionally love, & be kind
in loving her, you get many a clue
of your many shortcomings & impatience too.
You watch her express, & react
to things you wish you didn’t say nor do
and with each passing year gone by
evolve & mature into
a refined 2.0 version of you.

So hold her tight, dear Father
watch her rise & take flight
for she’s your best creation
your most spectacular dream alive.
Now’s your time to lift her
for she’ll boomerang back later
to care for you, as life passes
the first man in her life: Her Father

Papa, Dad, Abba, Father
of such significance to your child
like you no other
You create life: a son or a daughter
with your better half
the significant other parent:
Mamma, Mom, Aayi, Mother.

Let Nature be our Healer

Four decades & more
such a lofty vision:
Let Nature be our Healer
so nourishing the mission.
Come one, come all
rich-&-poor, doors wide open
at the Jindal Nature Institute
on Tumkur Main Rd, Bangalore.

So many shades of colors & greens:
Plants, trees, fruits, & organic veggies
so naturally clean.
Curved paved pathways, the cool air 
fills our lungs as we inhale
while brisk-walking 
on the kachha trail.

Flowers, gardens, & grass
fade into old & modern buildings:
Mud. Brick. Concrete. Structural glass.
Organic produce from a self sufficient farm.
Birds, animals, butterflies, flowers.
Our presence in this serenity
evaporates worries, creates such calm.

They welcome us with open hearts
& their warmest smiles,
their hospitality perfected
over 40 years of fine-tuning
each process & ritual finely curated.
“How are you mam, are you ok sir,
are you comfortable, how can I help you?”
The JNI staff, ufff ! Such skills & such finesse
coupled with utter humbleness.

The first BMI check, the doc prescribes the diet-plan,
“Here’s my card, what am I eating, Mam?”
Large chunks of fruit, raw veggies, sometimes cooked,
a solitary breadstick, never so appetizing looked.
A low carb intake, sprouts, & chutney’s so delicious,
ginger, turmeric, garlic, chillies, & butter-milk
varieties of hot soup amazingly nutritious.

Massage, press, knead, & rub
poke, spray, invigorate in a tub.
Puncture, pressure, push-&-pull,
stretch, relax, heat-&-cool.
Curl, stress, wash, & vibrate,
spray, slap, flatten, & abrade.

Hand, finger, knuckle, & elbow
to rub oil & salt, bring out our glow.
Needles, electrodes, & hot-stones,
endo-diathermy heats us till our bones.
Water-jet, mud, & yoga mats,
hot-&-cold treatments, regulated with thermostats.
Deep tissue, hydro-therapy to deep clean
years of indulges, crap we ain’t never seen.

As we drink-drink-drink, & walk-walk-walk,
o’er grass, pavement, pebble, & grey crushed rock,
our body & mind lighten, excesses melt away,
each fresh breath we take, a healthier spirit each new day.
The diet, treatments, & prescription work their magic,
a glowing self emerges, fades away the sad-&-tragic.
Our resolve, our commitment, our very dedication
along with JNI’s science, create the magical transformation.

We come from all walks of life, we come from such distances,
a common thread ties us, a desire to fix what is amiss.
We smile, laugh, sing, open-up, & talk,
forge ever-lasting bonds, over meal-&-walk.
We come to detox, we come to improve our health,
to shed away the past, for good health is the only wealth.
A retreat, an abode, for many of us a pilgrimage,
a health sanctuary to improve ourselves,
so we may ever so gracefully age.

Four decades & more
such a lofty vision:
Let Nature be our Healer
so nourishing the mission.
Come one, come all
rich-&-poor, doors wide open
at the Jindal Nature Institute
on Tumkur Main Rd, Bangalore.

 

Dedicated to the staff & friends at JNI, Dec 8-18, 2018. https://jindalnaturecure.in

Credits for the superb pictures: Shalini Garg, Taj Haslani, Shailaja Devi, Atul Gogna, Sanjay Bawa, Chandru Topandasani, & Cyrus Rastomjee. Thank you so much for the memories.

Learning amidst oaks, arches, & arcades

Dedicated to the stellar faculty, staff, & cohort who made the Stanford EPGC 2018 program such a memorable experience.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To start-grow-manage a business
without losing the plot,
we could all use some tips,
a few weeks at Stanford?
Sure, why not?

California, the Golden state:
Shoreline, wine, cheese, & the sun.
Silicon valley what a region!
Such a perfect confluence
of Education, Capital, & Innovation

Kudos Sen. Leland & Mrs. Jane Stanford
your son’s memory truly lives on,
amidst oaks, arches, & arcades
where we read cases, debated, & learnt

Lights, camera, action: Aug 6, 8 AM
the diamond model for strategy,
first we engage & then we see,
Goethe, Napoleon, & Tolstoy,
culture eats strategy
for breakfast, only if we
let it. Must challenge our intuition
by nurturing diversity.

Lessons from Davita & Kent Thiry
change constantly we must,
a strong sensing & adapting culture,
else we’ll all go bust.

What about The Human Factor?
The back of our brains matter so much,
make things available, simple, & specific,
lets leverage sound, color, shape, & touch.

How about them Gourmet Californian chocolates?
USD 20 to a pound!
And the second generation CEO
who turned such sweetness around?

The art of postponement in operations,
lets design a lean supply chain,
localisation & distribution,
HP & Benetton’s claim to fame.
Bottleneck analysis, variability, & Shingo,
ano….Tomagoya-san’s sooper bento’s in Tokyo.

To IPO was once the norm,
now private funding, lets wait & see.
Should we focus on running our business,
or work them roadshows endlessly?
Com’on you big-bad-banker
& show us your secret book,
quit being a green-shoed crook.
Show us the pop-&-more,
we so wanna be that innovator,
fist high at opening day
on that trading floor!

Create a system to discover what’s next,
a self-learning culture is what’s best.
Fail fast-&-cheap, lets start-&-then improvise,
Facebook, Apple, Trader Joe’s, & Honda did it right.
Experiment-learn-pivot-&-repeat,
lets always be upbeat,
and hungry inside.

Growth strategies for new ventures,
ain’t nothing is risk-free,
“You can’t connect the dots looking forwards…”
Must “skate to where the puck is going to be.”
So be a Tough Mudder, got one life to live: This One,
Lets bet it on Tilray to cure lives, & Marley Natural for some fun!

While designing, lets create peaks,
design for elevation, insight, & pride,
use empathy to design the new,
& listen actively in an interview.

Bootstrap or sell stake? For equity is gold,
VC’s & their pious Network,
their advice helpful so we’re told.
Why not just exit? The mind must remain occupied,
should we finance & gun for crazy growth,
leaving profits far behind?
The VC term sheet single-sided
with many terms-&-conditions,
watch for the liquidation preference,
& that nasty downside protection.

Its challenging to sustain consistent high growth,
to scale against 9.8 m/s^2,
only 10% ventures grow
3 years in a row.
So lets think this through,
fill out a matrix or two,
no matter what the venture,
existing or new.
All Things Registry, Home, or Wedding:
Lets organise our thoughts,
north & up will be our heading.

Optimise incentives to drive performance,
such that effort & talent create innovation,
with barriers-to entry to increase our valuation,
wish it was such a simple equation.
Alas it ain’t, & thus
all this fuss
to learn leadership skills
to turn around an organisation.

Stress-to-comfort: Cortisol-to-seratonin,
& only then from bored to excited: Hooh haah dopamine!
Primary human drives: Food, sex, & the need to fit-in,
need a hit? Head to Utah for some L-Tryptophan & L-Tyrosine.

Execution to compete is necessary,
however the next big opportunity,
lies outside of our company.
So lets encourage teams we hire so carefully
to observe the outside, document, & report endlessly.
Do this, & luck will surely be
on our side, as we create history.

Go Beyond the Market, & lobby we must,
build political power along with trust,
have faith in what we offer, build a loyal user-base,
to compete or to partner, will vary case-to-case.
The Regulator has but a job to do,
low-risk & low-rewards, exceptions he’ll make few,
so lets comfort him first, only then dopamize,
so he’s crystal clear about our point-of-view.

To have been the National Security Advisor on that dreadful day,
To have fallen to only rise, get stronger come what may.
Such leadership, such wisdom, & such knowledge on display,
stories shared standing tall, so poignant in the Q&A.

Real-time immersive broadcasting, stream sports on TV,
a novel idea, a humble founder, the idea? Hmmm…maybe?
Took courage to pitch to a crowd with all that stop-&-go,
as the 80 of us took tips, on how a smooth pitch to a VC should flow.

What happens when
high-strung go getters
have to create bits-&-pieces
of a complex large mural
in a yet-to-be-organised system
with limited resources
racing against a deadline?
Magic happens!

Lets all be elephants, ears wide open,
let unique information
not remain unspoken,
‘cos common knowledge & popular votes
are misleading so often.
List pros & cons when deciding
use premortems to uncover risk from hiding.

Want to scale? Let’s create ownership & obligation,
keep stuff simple in the organisation.
Scaling’s more about a mindset & not a number,
From the land down-under: “Don’t f&@k the customer.”

What got us here won’t get us there,
must create doubt, yet spread confidence,
tell stories to create lasting care,
& keep it simple with smart subtraction.
Lets find-&-fix the little bad,
no broken windows to slow our domination.

And so as we settle back in familiar spaces,
that corner-office & familiar chair,
as we interact with our familiar peeps,
who count on us to lead them fair.
Lets reflect on the key learnings
of what it takes to lead & scale,
create resilient teams & adapting cultures,
build organisations that will never fail.
Lets keep that traveling Stanford water bottle full,
yet our thirst & hunger burning alive,
to learn, teach, & seek purpose,
in all that we strive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Picture & some of the content copyright of Stanford)

This, my Daughter, is your Grandmother

My dear daughter, this is my mother,

my first parent, her husband the other.

I was created by her, of her, within her,

wouldn’t have made it so far, without her.

The absolute love for me, from her,

is my onward pledge to you, for her.

 

So many little habits I notice about her,

these nuances I made fun of when I was younger

I now find in my own behaviour,

her mannerisms in me, so damn clear.

These rituals I’ll pass on to you, my dear,

so she can live in you forever, as will you in her.

 

Her unyielding caring, & comforting gaze,

her worry & smile, in hurry & laze.

So mighty her yearning to see me scale heights,

infinite support for my dreams, as I toiled days & nights.

I watched & I learnt, retained her strength-&-poise in my mind,

so I could raise you likewise, to be strong, gentle, & kind.

 

Her fussing over how I dressed & what I wore,

she rushed me here-to-there, between each chore-to-chore.

On her shoulders I rose, as she kept a perfect score,

of each significant milestone, as I achieved more

and got rid of each doubt, overcame each fear

The reason why I am how I am with you, my dear.

 

Her love for her husband, my father, her lover,

old-fashioned love captured in that black & white picture.

Their dance to the tunes from that steel record player,

as he swayed her to the rotation of that black vinyl album.

Perhaps static in their music, but their love for each other crystal clear,

Just the kind of love, I wish for you my dear.

 

Please invest your time & get to know your grandmother,

For she unconditionally loves you, like no other.

In you she sees her child, in you she sees the younger me,

of wonderful moments gone by, fading memories she can’t let free

Learn from her, my child, for she is my best teacher yet & forever,

May you & every daughter have a grandmother just like her.

Boys to men: The road less traveled

Dedicated to my nephew Ankur & his friends: https://m.facebook.com/thesilkroadexpedition/

105 days, thousands of miles traveled,

an Indian, a French, & an Italian: 3 Younglings marvelled

at such marvellous sights on such a formative journey,

such memories they created: Mostly joyful, some teary.

Venice-to-Beijing: Soft to stark landscape,

we want more of this spot, this place we’d rather escape.

Cold, snow, ice, sometimes the sun so hot,

sweating in our Landrover, shivering in our makeshift cot.

So journeyed, so tired, should we sleep to rejuvenate,

or should we just stay awake, when every moment awake counts, mate?

So many villages, cities, & towns,

and the people, oh the people! Curious gazes, smiles, a few frowns.

Simple people, lovely people, families, elders & children,

many different cultures, exotic women, strange men.

They speak a different language, dress & gesture in unique ways,

their history so unique, they’ve all seen different days.

Different are their customs, so different their food,

different their challenges, some bad, some really good.

Yet amongst all these differences, humanity the common thread,

that warm welcome smile, wine with me, let’s break some bread.

Please narrate your story, as I narrate mine,

you’re my brother & my friend, let our humanity shine.

Let us pride our differences, what makes you & me unique,

you show me how you laugh, I’ll show you my smile: Cheek-to-cheek.

And at the end of The Journey, stood tall our three boys-to-men,

so many interesting memories, Venice- to-Beijing, Antonio-to-Chen,

such pride, such gratitude, such an awesome discovery,

of what this world means: We’re alive, so carefree.

Join us, you trapped people. We have one life: This One!

Let’s travel across our Planet, live in this moment. Have fun.

105 days, what a journey, such memories!

If the three of us could do this, so can you, my wonderful peeps.

Farmers and children march in March

Almighty Democracy, your empowering definition!

So glad you exist, we thank our forefathers for your creation.

The rights you grant us, the freedom to congregate,

so we can deliberate, & in peace demonstrate.

 

India & the US, nations alive by your rules,

farmers marching to Mumbai, children marching out of US schools,

both yearning for something they rightfully should enjoy,

farmers shouldn’t be poor, children o’er school shootings should’t have to cry.

 

Praise you Necessity, mother of all inventions: Change we must!

So hear us, all ye in power, in who we’ve placed our trust.

We gather, we pledge, we peacefully resolve to create

a movement & a wave. Our humble request: Please help change our fate.

Such a woman are you…

Such a woman are you: Gorgeous & kind,

an incredible creature, hard to duplicate or find.

’Tis our sheer luck, natural selection favoured you,

if not, where would we be? Cherished moments few.

 

Such a woman are you: Here to love, procreate, & bind,

that look in your eyes as you gaze: Cheerful & kind.

Through all your ups-&-downs, emotional moments-&-all,

you continue your skyward climb, only rise higher with each fall.

 

Such a woman are you: Daughter, sister, lover, wife, & mother,

your presence amongst us our fortune. Inspires us to go further.

Life without you would not exist: Dull moments, loneliness, & sorrow,

such a woman are you: Thank you for yesterday, today, & tomorrow.