And why read me?

Why read me?

Because you will feel better, I guarantee it.

Positive words, good thoughts, dot connections that bring out the chuckle inside you — when you are done reading.

P.S. These words are also records for my young daughters to read someday. Words hidden in plain sight.

My All Time Most Viewed Stories

The story I would like many of you to read as it answers- “What is in it for you?”

What is your measure for happiness?

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“Let us make up our own game,” I shared with my 7-year-old. She was equally animated.

The tiles on the floor gave me an idea. The game was simple (see picture above) — speak aloud a positive word and jump forward.

And the words trickled — good, excellent, fabulous, delighted and more. As we crossed each other, we turned 180 degrees and continued by jumping backwards facing each other. We played the game, back and forth, for a couple of rounds.

Soon, positive words were in short supply and so, we switched to “something that makes you happy.” Personally, I was glad we improvised. As parents, we all have prisms on what small things make our children happy and my daughter surprised me [more about this later]. …

5 words, That’s it

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I am a collector of hidden treasures in plain sight. Words — simple, ordinary words — used slightly differently can uplift our conversations.

1. Something vs. Anything: What I learned from Doctor’s language.

Prof. John Heritage of University of California, Los Angles studied how patients responded to a simple follow-up question, “is there anything else we need to take care of today?” To compare the results, one set of doctors used a small twist, “is there something else we need to take care of today?”

The something option provided statistically significant increase of reporting concerns. You are welcome to dwell into the technical details of the research here.

I discovered the practical punch line to be immensely useful — you have a friend mourning through a loss or you sense that your boss is in a pickle. …


When Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy meets Nike’s Brand Equity

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Photo by REVOLT

The year was 1985, a magazine with red trim was lying on the coffee table in the doctor’s office waiting area. Something drew me to pick it up. The word, TIME in embolden letters, was at the top. A center picture was that of a 40 year old young man. He was recently anointed as the prime minister of a young nation called India,born just 37 years ago. The words at the bottom were magnetic- the real reason I picked up the magazine and remember it after so many years- “I am young, I too have a dream.”

I found something poetic about being a dreamer- an emotional connection with daily life. As a young kid, I understood the word even before I learnt words like vision, goals, plan and aspiration. That incident was my first exposure to the word beyond the context of daily dreams and daydreams. It was much later that I learnt about the significance of the “too” within “I too have a dream”. Every time I hear the original “I have a dream”, I have goose bumps. Here is my version, as I see it. …

Theory of Theories

And more!

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Photo by Jurij Kenda

95% of the people have experienced starting trouble. The rest 5% lie.

Yet, our lives are filled with these friend of a friend stories.

“Then there was the friend who prided himself on the following pick up line…He would walk up to a woman and just say “fat penguins.” Of course, the woman would say, “huh?” or “what?” He would then reply, “Fat penguins are a great way to break the ice.”

I watched this line work more than once until he tried it on a more voluptuous lady. She responded by slugging him with her bag. (She thought he was implying that she was a “fat penguin.”) …


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Photo by mahdi rezaei

Whenever conversations with family, friends and even co-passengers in flights (when we used to fly) center around giving, especially altruistic giving — interestingly, many share their personal experiences at the grocery store- paying for somebody ahead in the queue. The tales of givers start very similarly.

One Tale, Three Reactions

In the words of givers: I was standing in a checkout line at a grocery store. I noticed that “the person”, ahead of me, is about to pay for their groceries and they are fumbling into their wallet with redness in their cheeks — it is quite clear that they have misplaced their cash/credit card and are at their wits’ end. …

Life is like that

When the hardest thing feels easy, magic happens.

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Photo by Eric Nopanen

Giya’s life changed in an instant. Four words said without any explanation, pierced through her self confidence.

She darted out of her boss’s office. She was an emotional wreck. She asked for the open role. His answer — you smile too much. She did not mount a counter-attack in self-defense. Not in her persona. She quietly listened. The shocker was censoring what she heard.

The humdrum of the rest of the day was a blur. She lumbered to her car. She started the ignition. The hum of the engine triggered her memories.

The last time she felt this way was when she was young. Giya, whose name means love, lost her loving mother when she was young. Her memories of her mom were a collection of persistence. She had a nightly ritual — “Dad, tell me more about mama, how was she like?” …

Words Matter

He did not believe he was the chosen one. His relative thought otherwise. Their articulation gave insights.

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Photo by Ryan Snaadt

Ian Fleming did not believe he was the chosen one. His ‘charming’ relative thought otherwise.

The resentment bubbled up during a holiday dinner table conversation.

How do we know about this? Unlike J K Rowling’s adorable character Harry Potter, we do not have a pensieve.

Surprisingly, Ian gave us a window into his family in his book, How to write a thriller.

In Ian’s words on how he mullified his cousin…

I have a charming relative who is an angry young littérateur of renown. He is maddened by the fact that more people read my books than his. Not long ago we had semi-friendly words on the subject and I tried to cool his boiling ego by saying that his artistic purpose was far, far higher than mine. He was engaged in “The Shakespeare Stakes.” The target of his books was the head and, to some extent at least, the heart. The target of my books, I said, lay somewhere between the solar plexus and, well, the upper thigh. These self-deprecatory remarks did nothing to mollify him and finally, with some impatience and perhaps with something of an ironical glint in my eye, I asked him how he described himself on his passport. “I bet you call yourself an Author,” I said. He agreed, with a shade of reluctance, perhaps because he scented sarcasm on the way. “Just so,” I said. “Well, I describe myself as a Writer. …

A director’s moment

Beautifully expressed words of love about hugs.

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Photo by Manuel Schinner

This video brought the blog back to life.

There was something different and memorable about this car ride with my family. “What do you think about the party?” was my conversation starter. It soon digressed towards cultures. My mom was visiting from India and she shared an interesting observation — “ I enjoyed everything about the Houston party, I need to get used to the hugs, it is quite different from what I am used to.”

That statement got my curiosity antenna up. I quickly followed up –“Can you elaborate more about your context?” She added, “For regular social greeting, I grew up with the Namaste/Vanakkam*. …

Use jokes instead. P.S. Added one at the end.

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Photo by Raphael Rychetsky

Professor Patrick Winston was one of the beloved professors at MIT.

And his lectures started this way.

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice specifies court-martial for any officer who sends a soldier into battle without a weapon.

There ought to be similar protection for students because students shouldn’t go out into life without the ability to communicate. And that’s because your success in life will be determined largely by your ability to speak, your ability to write, and the quality of your ideas, in that order.”

I love it when ‘the’ artificial intelligence professor of brains, minds and machine lab takes the time to make an opening statement like that! …


Karthik Rajan

Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.

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