A lift for India!

2:00 AM late night, as I cruise through the deserted roads of Hyderabad in my i10  …The radio blares Aaa Reddd FFMMmm. The VJ tries hard to entertain his audience of owl time, in an accented Telugu, promising us that he will make it a night to remember with songs of old times. To be fair to his promise, he plays some really good classics that take me down the memory lane, as I drive home after 17 hours at work. Time goes by like a minute in my world, spending time guiding engineering team building products one moment and guiding operations teams to exceed our customer expectations 24X7X365 the other moment…never a dull day or night…

As Dominic Toretto from Fast and Furious says.. To clear your head, get on a clear road and just drive.  I am a big fan of that character and never miss a chance to, so I chose to drive home from work that night. A clear road in Hyderabad, India, you ask ? Indeed! The best times to drive on Hyderabad roads are 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM. Other than a stray dog tired ambling around and a guy snoozing in the gas station waiting for some late night owl customer to wake him up from his slumber, roads are calm and crystal clear with all but the voice of a late night DJ on radio for company….

As I am getting close to home, I see a hand that raises a thumb up to ask for hitching a ride. 2:42 AM, dead in the night, driving all by self, a stranger asking for a ride – all signs of a risk, but when have I followed convention for safety… I make a split second decision to screech my i10 to a halt, having already passed the hitch hiker. He runs and gets into my car. “Thank you, Uncle!” he says, as he gets in. A young lad of barely 21, he has the looks of a young engineer coming from a late night party. I push the accelerator and ask him, where to, as I speed away. My home is less than 2 kilometers. “Left in 2 kilomoteres would work, Uncle”, he says. “It will save me that walk. Buses at this time are rare”. My mind wanders around the times in 90s when I used to just skip the bus and love the walk. This generation isn’t all geared for either the adventure or the effort…but that isn’t fair when it is well past 2:30 AM.

“Late project at school?!”, I ask, trying to make a conversation.
“No uncle, I am coming from our college farewell party”.
“Ah, farewell party, I had one a very long time.”
“Where do you work, Uncle?”
“I run a small education and tech start up at Hyderabad, kiddo”

In case you were wondering, nor was I selling him nor trying to make an impression, I was trying to get him initiate some interesting questions next.
“What is your product. What markets do you serve? Education and technology, must be quite interesting. How is it different than just a job ? Is it hard and fun work trying to create product companies in India? 8 out of product companies don’t make it more than 2 years, how long have you been around?

No – none of these questions were asked.
“Sir (not uncle anymore), what is the package at your company ?”
“Package?! No we are not in shipping business. We are in EdTech start up business”
“I know, I know, Sir. I was asking what will be salary for freshers and those with experience? Will there be perks? These days, lot of my friends were talking about it at campus.”
“Is that the discussion these days amongst those coming out of campuses – packages and perks ?! Why don’t you guys discuss about the solutions you can build for local and global markets and create something of value for society? “
“Oh I know and heard that start ups as well, Sir. But I want play it safe at this age”.
“Safe at this age?! Son, you are just north of 20’s. I have just hit north of my 40’s. Age isn’t the criteria to determine your appetite for risk. The greatest risk you will ever take is to chase safety.”
He started to appear a bit bored with the sermon. I paused the conversation and said “I turn left here, where do you need to go?”
“Less than a few homes from here”
“No worries, it is on my way” I lied, so I can find an excuse and drive with him and leave a little more last min attempt at counsel.
“I will advise you still to think about your skills, your interests, the market needs, and plan something interesting. You have done 4 years of engineering. I am sure something came out of it. What you choose obviously doesn’t matter if it be a start up or a small job in a big company – but have some good goals and do some good planning – ok, son ? Never settle for something easy and simple. You have a great journey ahead of you. Make it count. You represent young India. Give us the hope we look for, from your generation.”
“Sir, can you give me your email, I will send you my bio data. A safe job is best for me.”
“Sure, but think about what I told you tonight”.
“Yes, Sir”
“What is your name?”
“My name is Bharath, Sir. Goodnight and thank you very much for the lift.”
“Happy to give a lift to Bharath. Good night!”

Epilogue

I do not know if Bharath represents this generation or not, but the conversation with 1 kid on a late night for 10 minutes, is not the basis for me to make this assessment. It is based on 70+ interviews our HR had at my little start up just today, to select the chosen 8 to fit in. Most of the candidates were looking for packages before passion, perks before skills and learning, safety before self assessment. Some shone bright as stars and well qualified for the task, which we gladly took in, and hoping to shape our company of 180 and the next India out of these talents. Here, we have no shortage of talent. We have shortage of risk takers, shortage of leaders.

YOUNG BHARATH, please wake up and shape India, shape the world. This is your time. Time you lifted our spirits! Jai Hind!!

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A tryst with promise…chapter 2 – The pinky promise.

Knock, knock…
I: “Who’s there??”
Voice : “Hello… I am Promise. I came by to say THANK YOU!”
I: “Well, come on in, and why the Thank you, pray tell!”

Promise: “I come visiting, when someone keeps a promise. Sometimes I knock and don’t get an answer, but I am persistent. I keep coming to remind humans… The best part for me is when I come  to say thank you when someone actually makes a promise they made, come true …..because that is the secret to happiness, mine and theirs…”

I: “well sounds all good, I am just trying to recollect the ones I kept. I am just back from a long day at work…”

Promise: “You really wished that your friend TIME you met last time, came back again and knocked on your door, didn’t you?”

I: “ Maybe I did…but, you are equally welcome. I am curious, though, what made you show up. So tell me.”
Promise: “Do you know of all the promises made, which one is the most sacred?!”
I: “No idea, and I wont pretend to even venture a guess. I promise a lot of things to a lot of lots…including myself. I don’t even know if manage to keep many of them but I work hard at it.” “So which is the most sacred one??”

Promise: “The pinky promise…” 

I: “AH …I get it now. Completely! No wonder you have come! Bless your heart and THANK YOU. You made my day…I will continue keeping up my pinky promises as often as I can

__________________________
 …my thoughts wandered back to the wonderful evening of Feb 28th 2015, just a few hours before my flight for a business trip…a pinky promise was kept, indeed…
____________________________

“Dad, Daaad, Daaaaad, You remember that today is Sunday, right?”, my young 7 year son, Ankush, prods me on, as I am busy preparing for my business trip in a few hours.
“Yes, it is Sunday, but I am busy working on a few things to get ready and then fly to work to meet some clients.”
“Oh…so are you leaving soon?”
“In a few hours, why?”
“Because you promised to take me to sponge bob movie this week, and you should always keep your pinky promises.”
“I did make you a promise, huh?!”
“Yes, Dad, you did. Will you keep it?” the tiny eyes were focused on me.

NO Dad can ever win over that look…..I checked my phone. Flight in 3 hours. Movie in 10 minutes. Close, but doable….

“You are my first client, Ankush, and I fully intend to keep my promise. Let us not wait a minute. Let us DO IT”
“YEAH!!!, YEAH!!! Will you get me a blue Icy too, and some nachos and cheese?”
“When we do something, we do it RIGHT, whatever you want!! Lets GOGOGO!!”

…and there we were at AMC theaters in 10 minutes…. popcorn, nachos, a big icy blue in hand, and a theater full of younglings with their parents/uncles/aunts/brothers/sisters/friends who had all come to keep their pinky promises indeed!

….Well, how was the movie, you ask ? Who cares what was up on the screen?!
What matters is who you went with, and the memories that you create along the way….Don’t be sucked into the professional movie critic mode. Don’t assess, don’t analyze, don’t judge, don’t criticize, just relax and have a good time! There’s enough drama that goes outside a movie, to bring it into a theater…And while you are at it, have a GO at the awesome foodies goodies!

SpongeBob was the same who he was, his world was the same as it is on the Cartoon networks or Netflix or wherever…. what I discovered watching it with my 7 year old son is that by keeping a single pinky promise, I brought in a flood of happiness into his and my life in a flash. It created a memory that will last forever, and I intend to create more of them, every chance I get!
_________

Promise: “I guess it is time to say goodbye, for now. Don’t let the big stuff get in the way of small stuff…In the end, a lifetime memory is almost always a result of the small things..….as small as your pinky, for example!”
I: “I think my friend TIME will come back soon, I know that was the TIME well spent! Bye… and see you soon”
Promise: “Bye, you build a great memory and I will see you soon”
I: “Pinky promise?!”

A tryst with time – Chapter 1

Question 1 – Do wounds heal as time goes by?                                      

         

—-   Day 1 – Feb 24th 2015 —–

  • Time: “Hello Shailu, you asked for me and here I am…so tell me, What is it that you want to know so badly?”
  • Shailu: “Glad you are here. I have a lot of questions. But first – why did you show up when I asked for you today, even though I have been asking for years?! Can anyone ask for you and will you show up, in time (no pun intended)?”
  • Time: “No. I show up and answer to those who truly respect me. It takes ages to earn that kind of respect, and you have earned it. So here I am.”
  • Shailu: “Well, lets not waste a moment, then. Here is my Question 1 – I heard that you heal wounds as you pass through the ages. True?!”
  • Time: “Huh!! I heal wounds (emotional and physical) as I pass ….says who?! I never said it, did u humans just make that up?”
  • Shailu: “I have personally seen you 40 cycles (years) pass through my life so far, and I think this concept or notion existed before me. Is it true or not? Based on your response… it doesn’t sound like it.”
  • Time: “Well, not sure if you realize it, but it is NOT TRUE. I will explain. There are 2 wounds – emotional and physical. We will start with the simpler one. A physical wound, an injury. It gets better with time. Right? What do you think really is happening?”
  • Shailu: “Well, for one, when we humans are wounded, a real small injury, we leave it alone or make do, with a band aid. A bigger one, we get it mended with professional help. In time, the wound heals.”
  • Time: “Ha! So there was something YOU did – I didn’t. I just passed through watching you do something about it!”
  • Shailu: “Hmm….what about when we humans do nothing and the physical wound gets better?”
  • Time: “There is no such thing… your body generates tons of chemicals to heal a wound. It works a lot to heal the wound, what you call in human language, 24X7!!”
  • Shailu: “So you are saying doing nothing, will not work – emotional or physical healing. In essence, even emotional wounds or losses wont heal as u pass by then, it needs effort and initiative?”
  • Time: “Yep…nothing happens as I pass, it needs work. Pretending that a wound or loss does not exist is no way to heal it. In fact, someone smart may have said, ‘with effort, wounds heal, and it takes time’. Someone conveniently took a portion of that statement…not that I am complaining, I get a lot of credit for nothing!”
  • Shailu : “I get it now, well, sort of. Looks like I have a LOT of effort and initiative to catch up on. The emotional wound that I left alone, hoping you will heal, started in 1996, and is still there, fresh as ever. I better get to work healing it myself then. Doing nothing has done nothing. You certainly didn’t help.”
  • Time :”I am here, aren’t I, to nudge?! Anyways, being who I am, I know the wound, but most reading this blog may not. You better tell them. And those who do know, by the way, are all stuck in the same 1996. It takes you, to start healing the world from what happened, and you will heal yourself in time. Good luck!!”

———- Day 3 Feb 26th 2015 ——

  • Shailu :

I have taken the first step, and it feels good already!

Feb 25th 2015. I posted the first birthday greetings for my brother, Mahendra Tipparaju, after 19 years…he may have passed into ages in 1996 but has left many, many who he touched dearly, still stuck there with a false notion that we will all heal with time. WE WON’T…unless we all take initiative. And fellas, we will all heal together and celebrate his legacy and lessons he left and share with the world! I have to admit, the number of personal messages and responses I got from you all, just with 1 post, have been overwhelming.

Thank you, time, for waking me up! Let the healing begin!

More to come…keep on watching my tryst with time. If I respect it enough, it will come back and answer more of my questions. I will be sure to share…I am a big sharer! Until the next tryst…ciao!

Shailu

PS : Yes, my pen/keyboard is back with a bang!

A self-assessment tool for career growth plans…

I had some recent exchanges on career changes with quite a few folks who have closely followed my mentoring over the years, and they wanted something they could use for next steps after the session…

The notes below are a series of self assessment questions to help you put together a notes as you plan your next leap…set a good solid focused time to fill in answers below. It could be worth your next career change!! All the best.

___________________________________________________________________

– What are my skills ? i.e, what are my personal and professional skills that the world and people around me constantly recognize me for ?

– What are the specific skills that I think come naturally to me?

– what are my interests ? What am I drawn towards with innate curiosity ?

– What’s the overall fit between my current position where I work and my interests and  skills?

– What is my overall level of satisfaction with your current position? Are you beginning to sense it’s time for a change?

– Do you anticipate that any of the following changes will occur in the foreseeable future? (Check all that apply.)

  • Change in supervisor
  • Change in job
  • Relocation: another part of country or international
  • Change in workspace
  • Corporate downsizing or merger
  • Change in employer
  • Change in the type of work you do
  • Promotion
  • Transfer to another division or part of the company
  • Job redefined or enlarged
  • Change to supervisory role
  • What are the implications of any anticipated changes?
  • Will I need to learn new skills?
  • Will a change result in a more or less favorable position for you in terms of job fit and opportunity?

Skills: Strengths and Gaps

What are your top five skills (i.e., those where you have the most proficiency and/or those you enjoy using the most)?

What are the top two or three skills you need to learn in order to grow in your job, advance to the next level, or seek a new job?

What are your key transferable skills—those skills that are not just job-specific but that can be applied to work in many positions? Example: basic computer skills, negotiation skills, financial analysis.

What do you think others would say are your strengths?

  • The Next Step and Opportunity

As a next step towards your long-term career goals, where do you see yourself six to twelve months from now?

What are some developmental opportunities you can take advantage of?

What parts of your work would you like to continue doing, or do with more skill?

What new work activities or positions would you like to try?

What are your short-term career-development goals?

What support do you need to achieve them? (Training, people, time, money, etc.)

What do you think others would say about your work and your career aspirations and plans?

Return of the pen (ok,keyboard)…

“You gotta write more, we would love to read what you have to say…”

“I come by every few weeks to see if you added something….and its has been a boring routine not to find anything new”

“So you gave up writing, huh?!”

“The last one you wrote was probably so good you are unable to get over it”

______

I think I have heard enough…and it is time to bring back my blog to life and some life to my blog…I have a few good ones in draft, and will get these out in February 2015. There is a lot to share…if you made it this far, thanks for not giving up on my blog!

Kudirithe Cup Coffee…

Never did I find so much satisfaction in buying a cup of coffee for a girl at the airport, and adding a pack of lies and sugar to go with it…Aren’t these the little sweet memories, life and travels are all about? Before you let your imaginations run wild, read on !

Nature of my business and work keep me on the road quite a bit. Airport terminals are just another work space for me….I rarely let it get in the way of managing my mood…the plane delays, the airport food. Matter of fact, I use it to as a means to do what I do best – interact with complete strangers, learn and share from them….but I digress – let us get back to the short and sweet story of my travel experience.

“How long is the wait time for the flight?”… she was asking her husband (in Telugu). He was busy checking the boarding card and comparing it to the time posted at the check in counter, probably for the 15th time.

“I think another 2 hours. Its an international flight, so to start will take some time…” he was explaining to her patiently.
“Do they serve coffee in the aeroplane?”
“Yes, and also I think they serve snacks every few hours, and multiple meals, I heard.”
“Why don’t they serve coffee at this waiting place too ?”

(BTW, I think that idea makes total sense – will keep passengers super happy).

“There is a nice shop there, is that the airline shop ? Why don’t they serve some as they keep us waiting…” she persisted.

“No, the shop is not the airline company’s. We need to pay for coffee here, and I heard it’s VERY expensive….more than 20 rupees. We can wait and drink coffee once we board the plane”…he was getting impatient with the non stop volley of questions.

I was hearing everything and putting my book aside, I took a dive into their conversation.

“I think they do serve coffee. Let me go check and see if the airlines did open this option for passengers. Infact, I need one too, so let me get two” my lies began.

I went ahead and walked over to the coffee place, ordered a cappuccino and gave a 100 rupee note. He gave back 10. (Oh yes, coffee at airports don’t come cheap). I walked back to her.
“Here ya go” I got the coffee for her. He was a bit startled but just nodded thankfully.

“Arere, no, no. She’s ok. Thats totally fine. You should not have taken the trouble.”

“No worries, totally fine. After all, these are the things that make travel fun”.
” Thank you” She beamed a big smile. As she was busy mixing sugar in her coffee, I went to look for a cell phone charging area. He followed right along.
“Where’s your coffee?”
“Oh, I just got some water. I am fine”
“You are such a wonderful person”, he said. “I know that coffee is not free, please tell me if it was 10 or 20 rupees.
” Oh yeah, it’s 10 rupees” another lie. He handed me 10 rupees.
“Thank you so much”

We were both walking back to the waiting area. I could see her sipping away the coffee happily, relaxed and content.

The airline announcement just came in time…”boarding to start now, children and elder passengers can now board…”
“I think you guys can board now. You both will be allowed to board now. I just need to do one thing” . I walked by her and touched her feet. “Nanamma (grandma), you will have a great time in the flight. Don’t forget to see all the movies. Its a lot of fun. BTW, you look very beautiful in this green saree. Tata”
“Bless you nanna. I have a grandson who is 15 years old. I hope he grows up to be a excellent person like you…” she was beaming.
I had earned my blessings. As I was getting up, I managed to gently slip the 10 rupees he gave me, back into her handbag.
“Ok thathayya (grandpa), you take care. And enjoy the flight. Its a long one. I will be boarding last, so please go ahead”.

“Thank you nanna, nee lanti kodukunu kannnanduku, mer parents chaala garva padali. Those will respect the old, know what true culture and true love is…tata”
As he was walking to board, I couldn’t miss seeing that he had a tear in his eye…I waved them a good bye and got back to reading, I couldn’t help notice that I was slightly smiling, but the pages was blurry, I think I had a tear or two myself….

Ah, the magic of travels never cease to leave their little sweet impressions. I think we can never spread honey without sticking some of it to our own fingers. And I highly recommend that the next time when you want to grab a coffee with someone special, look around…real well. There’s many people just there to share love….and leave a lasting memory ! Never miss a chance to make someone smile….even better, touch their heart…its not a lot of effort, Its just a lot of initiative.

24Hrs, an empty jar and 2 Cups of Coffee…

This is not my writing, but pretty insightful reading I got from a forwarded email….
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle and when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the story of the empty jar and 2 cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some  items in  front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students, If the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.
He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open Areas between the golf balls. He then asked  The students again If the jar was full..
They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with an unanimous ‘yes.’ The professor then produced  Two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents  Into the jar, effectively Filling the Empty space between the sand. The students laughed. ‘Now,’ said the professor,   As the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that  This jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, Your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter Like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else — The small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’  He continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So…
Pay attention to the things  That are critical to your happiness. Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time To clean the house and fix the disposal. ‘Take care of the golf balls first — The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. ‘I’m glad you asked’. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life  may seem, there’s always room for a cup of coffee with a friend.’

A child’s wish…

“So… Do you know what Dhanush wished for at Disneyland ?!” my wife, Sireesha asked me, as were driving back home last night. We get both kids snuggled up on the car on a late night with their favorite comforters, and drive around our neighborhood, talking. After a hard day’s work, it’s a tremendous way to bust the stress and put kids to bed. You should try it too…  They snooze so fast when we get into the late night drive, it works every time! My sons, Dhanush and Ankush were already asleep in the car…

After a wonderful, fun vacation trip that included a days trip to Disney’s magic kingdom last week, I was so caught up on post vacation todos I had forgotten about the wish.

” Oh, Dhanush’s wish he had made at the disney river ride when he dropped the coin I gave him. What was it about ?” I asked

“He made a wish you will be proud of”, Sireesha said. She was about to tell me what it was when my mind wandered off to Disney world…2 days ago….

________________**************———————********************——————————————————-

“Dad, Dad, Dad, do you have a coin ?!! I want to drop it in the water while we are on this ride”….Dhanush was all excited…. there is something about the excitement in a child at Disney world…nothing comes close to it…. my 6 year old son’s excitement was no less.

” Let me look, Dhanush…sorry no coins”…”Wait, I have one…here, use it to make a good wish”

It was, as it turns out,  a 1 Rupee coin that had been with me for a long time. I stuck with me for a long time, so I was debating whether to part with it…but if my son needs it to make a wish, it will serve it’s purpose.

“Dhanush, you know the rules of making a wish right, always make it for someone, and dont share it with the one who gave you the coin”

“Ok, Dad, the ride’s almost ending, now, my coin…pllllleeeaassse!”

I gave him the coin and before I asked “what do u say??” expecting a thaaaank you but by then he had closed his eyes and made a wish and dropped it in.

“Can I tell you Nanna” ?

” I can make a guess, so don’t tell me, when you share wishes, they dont come true”

“Ok, Ok I want it to come true. I wont tell you then..”

I was smug enough to think I already know what he wanted ? A buzz light year toy ? A nerf gun ? A new chess board ? Kids can be very predictable….so I thought….

________________**************———————********************——————————————————-

“You listening to me ??!” Sireesha brought me back to the present.

“Oh, sorry, I was reliving the Disney moment. So he did share his wish with you, does he know if he shares he cant make it true…” I ask.

“Dear, he’s 6 years old. He trusts Mickey more than you and I. At Disneyland, Mickey tells him all dreams and wishes come true…no rules.”

“Ok, ma’am. Now do tell me what he wants, a toy..a new game, a new bag ??”

“He’s your son. So take a guess.” She taunts.

“He must have followed my first rule then. Make the wish, not about you”

“He did”, Sireesha says proudly. I can tell shes already proud of his wish. ” He made a wish for his grandma (nani)”

“That is something. What did he wish for her”, I interrupt.

“He says Nani is so alone and I dont see Thatha (his grandpa, my dad) anymore. I wish that Mickey sends back Thatha from heaven…”

She was saying something else but I was unable to hear the rest of it ” That was some wish”…I said, not knowing how to react to it.
——————–***************——————–*************—————————————————————–

I think we all know that Dhanush’s wish will not come true. Its not because be broke the rules and shared it. It’s not because the wish is not sincere….I dont think a 6 year old even knows what insincere means. He still believes in his dreams, wishes, disneyland and Mickey….So if GOD’s reading this blog, here’s something for you from earth….

“GOD, I can live with the fact that I lost my Dad July 2009, and no matter what, I am not getting him back. He’s yours now. All I know is that Iam  is trying to be the same father for my son, and teach him how to live for others….Can you do something to not make Mickey look a liar when he promised that ALL wishes made at Disneyland come true…..at least tell my Dad… your grandson did something so big, that  he has the biggest heart in our Tipparaju family”.

For now, I will let my son show me the way how to live for others, clearly he’s the leader on this one., and keep making many many wishes for others. Dhanush Tipparaju, my dearest, Iam proud to be your father.

Shailu Tipparaju

Return of the DOG Seed…

First of all, a BIG thank you to friends, family, and work associates. Your comments, input drove many more wonderful conversations with my son, Dhanush. I kept waiting as eagerly as you to get the results of him asking his teacher. As expected, the results were far more interesting. This little fella’s creativity bowled me over. Without further ado, your favorite DOG SEED returns….

Chicago, Jan 30th 5.25 PM, returning from School Shailu & Dhanush…Read on (I recommend you read the DOG seed original post to get a hang of this topic)

“So, Dhanush, did you ask the teacher ?”
“About what, Nanna ?”
“About the Dog Seed ?”
“Oh, that…naaah, I figured it out myself.”
“Hmmm..and what did you figure out”
“That we need a watermelon”
” A What “??
“A watermelon dad, my favorite fruit, the big green juicy fruit…”
“I know what a watermelon is, Dhanush. I was asking what you figured out and why you need a watermelon”
“Dog’s don’t have seeds dad, fruits do. I know that we have a loooot of seeds in a watermelon. So lets go feed our neighbor’s dog a watermelon, and  Im sure it will poop somewhere in the grass, and by spring…we got our DOG…YEAH !”
“OK, son. Its a great idea but I dont know if Dogs love watermelons, if they did, who would know what to expect” ?!!
Epilogue:
By the time I kept imagining what to tell him, he was busy onto his next creative thought. I couldn’t wait to get online and enter it before life gets in the way and this delightful conversation misses out getting on to my blog. Something also just hit me…. that we, as adults, ever smart and know it alls…have become smug enough to not let conversations with kids run wild with creativity. While driving, we throw them an iPhone, an iTouch, an iPAD and are busy with our own thoughts, problems, dreams, discussions and want them to just get to where we need to get to, with no kid noise. Iam as guilt as any parent, yelling at kids to be quiet when they have questions,  and hush their creativity. I promise to do better this year.

Let them open up, they will amaze you in ways that will wipe the cobwebs of our tired minds….I certainly don’t know if we can grow Dogs as conveniently as Dhanush imagined it, but if we can grow tomatoes the size of watermelons through science, anything is possible.

Keep the comments coming…I will be sure to share them with Dhanush….though he wont understand what all this fuss is about. All he wants is his dog by summer…seed or no seed.

The Dog Seed…

“A dog seed”? “Yep” “What in the world is a Dog seed” ?? Here’s the story behind the Dog seed that shows how creatively kids can  think, an art we adults posing as the  know it alls, lost in the speed of growing up…

My 6 year old son, Dhanush and I were in a “what should we do interesting in 2012” discussion, as we were driving from school back home.

Here goes the conversation and the secret behind the Dog Seed…
“Dad, we should get a dog”.
“A dog ?? Thats a lot of work…are you ready for it, Dhanush”?
“Yes, Dad, I think I have grown big enough to be responsible”
“Ah, I see. And whats responsibility” ?
“It is doing your homework in time, and listening to your parents”
“Impressive, Dhanush. Then here’s my answer to your dog request…We need to get a dog in summer, but you need to decide what you want now, we will see your responsible behavior for a few months and then decide on it”
“Sounds like a lot of work, dad. I’d rather get a dog seed”
“A dog seed” ???
“Yes, dad. We can buy a dog seed and plant it in our backyard.By summer, the dog would have grown and ready to play with me”
“Ok,Dhanush, that is an excellent plan.Make sure you ask your teacher where to buy a dog seed.You got your dog seed, you win.”!
“Yay. Thanks Dad. So it’s a YES”?
“Yes Sir. Lets see what your teacher says first…”

And Dhanush, thanks for getting me off the writers block withyour Dog seed…not sure if we can grow a Dog that way, but the seed of creative thinking you gave me, just got me started on my blogs again. Thank you, son. Now I do know why Child is the father of the man. Someday when you grow to read this, I hope you will find it fun reading, and post it on your facebook  update (or whatever is the trend then).

Love, Dad.

PS: I’m waiting for the discussion update between Dhanush and his teacher. Will keep you posted! Until then, cheers!