Ahem, for the introduction. It’s important, at the outset, that you understand that the lesser said about me, the better. I was born in the year the first Big Mac was served, the Beatles song ‘Hey Jude’ was released and the maiden flight of Boeing 747 took wings, and 8 days after Madison Square Garden opened in New York City. That should give Interpol enough to chew on. Still looking for dirt? I’ll need to see some ID, please. And, a warrant if you are from law enforcement.
It’s possible that police in the following cities where I’ve lived – Chennai, Columbus, Pittsburgh, San Francisco Bay Area, Singapore, Bangalore – could be looking for me, as we speak. Then again, it’s possible that I’ve been a model citizen thus far.
There are a couple of things I’ve done that I’m thrilled to bits about. I’ve motorbiked on a Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc up the highest motorable road in the world to Khardung La from Leh. I’ve published a book – “3 Lives, in search of bliss,” a spiritual fiction novel - which has quietly done well and got on to bestseller lists on both Amazon and Flipkart.
As for my daytime job/employment details, there’s nothing in particular that I am willing to confess to, unless huge amounts of money are wire transferred to my secret tax haven in advance. However, I could, in a self aggrandizing and pompous way, brag that I am an alum of IIT Madras and Carnegie Mellon University, but I won’t.
Do write me at whaatho at gmail dot com, and I promise to write back unless you’re a Nigerian offering me a deal.
I’ve got a philosophical side to me. And that persona would like to introduce itself as well. So, let’s try this one more time. This time, a tad more formally.
Introductions can be awkward, especially when they involve you. There are a few labels I carry, one of them being a self-described one called writer.
What makes me a writer? I love writing. That’s why I write. Writing is cathartic. It beats going to a therapist (certainly cheaper). Writing is an act of honesty. It requires you to bare the soul, so to speak. It takes your private thoughts and holds them up to the harsh scrutiny of public opinion, which in turn forces you to re-examine yourself. I can think of no better way to make an honest person out of myself than to write.
I was born in 1968 in the city of Chennai, which used to be called Madras back in the day. A seat of culture, literary tradition and music, Chennai offered me opportunities to study French at the Alliance Francaise, learn violin in the Carnatic music tradition, play tennis at the local stadium and devour the best of English literature at the British Council, as a schoolboy. I was only too happy to do so.
I went to college at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. My college days were spent as college days should be, in the pursuit of fun, frolic and adventure. I played on the college cricket, basketball and athletics teams, captained it in volleyball and served as a 3-term student senator during the course of those four years. Higher studies took me to the United States, where I went to graduate school and then lived and worked in Northern California, for over a dozen years. After a stint in Singapore, India beckoned and I followed. These days, I live in Bangalore, India with my lovely wife and two daughters. My education includes master’s degrees from Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University, where I was awarded the prestigious Heinz fellowship. I have spent a good part of the last two decades in learning and then leading businesses and marketing products in the high technology industry, and have worked for some of the best names in the business.
I enjoy traveling, nowadays more on leisure than on work, and have traveled to over forty countries across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. A sense of exhilaration overwhelms when you walk the streets of Athens or New Delhi or Istanbul, the great cities that have given us much to think about. Equally inspiring is an exotic North African city or that far flung village in Southern India, which has carefully preserved that tiny little nugget of history over the years. A recent highlight from my adventures is a motorcycle trek up Khardung La in Ladakh, considered the highest motor-able road in the world. Sometimes, I wonder if happiness is nothing more than the wind in your face as you ride a bike on the mountains.
As you can see, I have a lot to be grateful for. I’ll add your act of sticking around and reading this to that list. Someday, if our paths intersect, beers or chai, as the case maybe, are on me.
(Let) Go. Be happy.
All opinions expressed here are mine. They do not in any way reflect the opinions of my employer or other organizations that I may be affiliated with. I write mostly in a lighthearted manner on here. If I offend you in any way, my apologies in advance.