My Conception Story

As the month of March drew to a close in 1993, I traveled to India to spend some time with my terminally ill mother. I arrived ‘home’ on March 30th; my mother passed away on April 25. In those four weeks or so, all spent in the close proximity of my mother, I talked andContinue reading “My Conception Story”

On Encountering Resistance And Lovin’ It

This morning my four-year old daughter marched into our living room, and clutching a ‘storybook’–a collection of tales based on Disney’s Frozen—said, “Papa, this is my favorite storybook. I like it a lot. I know you don’t like it, because I know you don’t like princesses.” Having made this announcement, she walked over to the couch,Continue reading “On Encountering Resistance And Lovin’ It”

On Being Able To Forge My Father’s Signature

A few years after my father passed away, I began to be able to forge his signature. One day, on a lark, I picked up a pen and tried to sign his name; much to my surprise, a reasonable facsimile stood forth. I stared at it for a few seconds, and then tried again. TheContinue reading “On Being Able To Forge My Father’s Signature”

On Not Being Able To Knot (A Tie)

I cannot knot a tie; I never learned to. Thankfully, my work responsibilities do not require me to self-induce asphyxiation on a regular basis and so I can eschew the wearing of one to work. On the rare occasions that I wear a jacket–the last occasion was in September 2014, when I officiated a friend’sContinue reading “On Not Being Able To Knot (A Tie)”

Gabriel Rockhill On Never Dying

Over at the New York Times’ The Stone, in ‘Why We Never Die‘ Gabriel Rockhill writes: Our existence has numerous dimensions, and they each live according to different times. The biological stratum…is in certain ways a long process of demise — we are all dying all the time, just at different rhythms. Far from being anContinue reading “Gabriel Rockhill On Never Dying”

Standing Back And Letting The World And The Child Do Their Thing

Last summer, I met an old graduate school friend after several years. We chatted and exchanged notes about the intervening years and all the issues that had consumed us in that interim: finding an academic position, the dreaded tenure and promotion process, writing, and of course, bringing up children. Because I came to fatherhood late,Continue reading “Standing Back And Letting The World And The Child Do Their Thing”

Some Parental Wisdom, Easily Dispensed

I’ve been a parent now for some 1281 days. In that time, I’ve learned a few things and been disabused of many misconceptions. Here is a potted summary: Parents are important, but they aren’t the only game in town. Your child is being exposed to a great deal else: other children (the dread ‘peer group’);Continue reading “Some Parental Wisdom, Easily Dispensed”

On Being Protected By My Father

Around the time my father retired from his military service, he decided to build a home on the then-still-developing outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi. We bought a small plot of land, hired a contractor, and work began. We–my mother, my brother, and I–occasionally accompanied my father on his many trips to inspect the progressContinue reading “On Being Protected By My Father”

Why It’s Okay To Mourn, To Cry For, The Passing Of Strangers

Many silly things are written when celebrities die. One is that you cannot speak ill of the dead. Another is that you cannot mourn for those whom you did not know personally. A variant of this is that visible expressions of grief for those you did not have personal acquaintance with are ersatz, inauthentic, aContinue reading “Why It’s Okay To Mourn, To Cry For, The Passing Of Strangers”

The Most Useful Algebra Lesson Of All

I first encountered algebra in the sixth grade. Numbers disappeared–or at least, were consigned to secondary importance–and letters, mysterious ones like x, y, z, took center stage.  A mathematical expression called the ‘equation’–an incomprehensible sentence underwritten by an esoteric grammar–emerged on my intellectual horizon. (Strictly speaking, my teachers were rigorous enough to call these things ‘linearContinue reading “The Most Useful Algebra Lesson Of All”