And 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.

Karthik Rajan is the author of the “connect the dots” short story-letter, available at this link.

My All Time Most Viewed Stories

  1. How to Be Ridiculously Likable (This Really Works)
  2. Dopamine and Words — The Intimate Connection to Happiness
  3. What It’s Like to Use Beautiful Words, According to Science
  4. What Makes a Ridiculously Awesome Life…

What is your measure for happiness?

“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…

5 words, That’s it

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…

Donkey ‘wins’ in this short read. Interesting parental read.

Photo by Ingo Stiller

The donkey declared, “grass is purple.”

The tiger intervened, “No, the grass is green .”

The discussion became heated with no resolution in site.

They submitted their case to the king of the jungle.

The donkey screamed, “Your Highness, isn’t it true that the grass is purple?”

The lion quipped, “If you believe it’s true, the grass is purple for you.”

The donkey was mighty pleased. He requested that the tiger be punished for annoying him.

The king decreed, ′′The tiger will be punished with 2 days of silence.”

The excited donkey exited with words, ′′The grass is purple, purple…

Relationships | Parenting | Conversations

I wish I knew this earlier in life especially before I became a parent.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin

Couple of years ago, during a quiet moment with my daughter, I wanted to stimulate a curiosity conversation, I asked her, “Why is the sky blue?”

She answered with a look only a child can muster — earnestness, seriousness and playfulness rolled into one. I could sense that she was stumped and yet quick on her feet with her answer, “The sky is blue because blue is the color of the sky and my favorite color.”

It took me a moment to register. I smiled and gave her a tender hug — in her answer she gave me a peek…

Story of Dan Price, CEO of Gravity who was called a socialist and laughed at. Today, he is having the last laugh.

Picture of Dan Price from Hayley Vogt (CC BY 2.0)

Before 2015, Dan Price salary was 1+Million dollars. He dropped it to 70,000 and raised the minimum salary at his company to 70,000 dollars. He had a press conference and let the world know.

It was made for good headlines. And it did. Some thought that it is not meritocracy. It was socialism. Many others thought it was an experiment worth watching in the sidelines. Some wished they worked there. Others we were too busy to notice.


Greatest moments of life are built on simple, thoughtful acts.

Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău

1. Silence salutes the human ingenuity to connect the dots

I flicked this from my grandmother.

When I was in elementary school, my grandmother (father’s mother) shared a few stories from her stable. Our ritual was very predictable — she sat on the floor mat (tamil word pai) with her legs crisscrossed. I dutifully and earnestly followed suit. Here is one of the gems engraved in my heart — a young man, his wife and preschooler son lived in the city. His father became frail, so he came to live with them. As the days progressed, the old man broke a few plates. The young man was annoyed, so he…

Relationships |Family| Life

Tending to the family is not self care, neither is time away. It’s intentional. It serves only her and she is the best one to figure it out.

Photo by Ba Tik

Something about marriages, you have to reinvent them.

My grandparents got married again when my grandpa hit 60.

I was way too young to remember then, but I did see a snapshot later — black and white photos. In the picture, I poured water over my seated grandparents (it’s a south Indian wedding tradition) and what I remember was the joy in grandparents face as I did it.

Few years later, I sat on my grandma’s lap and we looked at the photos together and I asked her the question — “why did you and grandpa get married again?”


Parenting |Family |Car Rides

Dollops of parenting wisdom I learned at Google University about what really works during car rides back home.

Kheel Center, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

What really happens in most car rides back home.

Parent: “How was your day?”

Child: “Good.”

Parent’s mind : Frustrated.

Child’s mind : I am shutting off for good and my parent wants to return mentally on a day gone by.

Official reason: Child wants to decompress.

Real reason: The question is not that interesting enough.

What the internet taught me that has been a game changer.

Parent: “Tell me, who got into trouble today in class?”

Child: starts tentatively.

Parent: “Oohs” and “ahhs” with exaggerated head shaking.

Child : feels like parent is loving their stories.

Parent: Hmm, that’s interesting. Tell me more about your day.

Child: spills the beans, about everything else they remember from the day.


Please make your points and eject out is a good mantra. Few sentences, useful advice.

Photo by Simon Hurry
  1. Just because you believe you can doesn’t mean you can. It means — you can at some cost. And take the time to figure out that cost.
  2. Money may NOT grow on trees. That your parents taught you. It does grow on patience — compounded on a simple index/ETF.
  3. Borrow only for things that appreciate in value through time. And only if you have to. Everything else is strictly cash (or credit card paid in full.)
  4. One necessary baseline for a great life is how you fill the blanks in the next sentence. Nicest person in the world is the…

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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