A Magnetic Personality
This is about a man who had a magnetic personality. People gravitated towards him and his positive energy. He was ahead of his times and lead an amazing life from which there is a lot to learn. This is about a man who I will continue to try and emulate for the rest of my life. This is about my Dad.
My Dad has had the biggest influence on me. He and I were very close and I was lucky to have spent a lot of time talking to him, observing and learning from him. He gave me a lot of great advice but the biggest influence on me was watching the life that he lead. He truly lead by example. Here are the main learnings which I am going to apply to my life.
One of things that my Dad turned me on to early in my life was spirituality. He taught me that life is not about all about the pursuit of material things. There is more to life than what what we experience through our 5 senses...there is a spirit in each of us that is connected to “God” or the “Creator” or whatever you want to call him/her. He also taught me that all religions are different paths but lead to the same destination. We had a prayer room in our house when I was growing up and it had representation from multiple religions. Don’t let your ego (Edge God Out) run your life he often said. He taught me to be thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life. Thanks to him, I will connect with him every morning when I meditate.
Do the right thing
He said that it is not that hard to figure out what the right thing to do is. Listen to your heart and your gut and it will tell you very quickly. It gets complex when your mind over thinks it. When you know what the right to do is…DO IT despite what opposition you might face. My Dad did that throughout his life even when it meant a lot of hardship for him. He went against the grain when he knew he had to and it never not stopped him from doing the right thing. He supported my decisions even when they were unorthodox after he confirmed that it was what I really wanted to do. I am lucky to have had such a progressive Dad.
My Dad always said put people above money. He went out of his way to help people. I remember when I was growing up, he used to host and teach classes at his house for more than a dozen people. It was only later that I found out that he was teaching the very folks that he was competing against to get a promotion at work. He was quick to help relatives and friends and never expected anything back. When he moved to the US, he became a community ambassador to help senior citizens in our community. Anytime anyone needed a ride somewhere or anything else, he was there. He would sometimes ask me to help some of the folks from his network and I will admit I was reluctant sometimes but I still did it because I respected my Dad. I will seek opportunities to help more people to honor his legacy.
Always be learning and be open to new ideas
My Dad had a great life in India, he had a HUGE network of friends and relatives surrounding him. He left all of that and moved to the US when he was 67. Not because he had to but because we were persistent. He embraced his life here. He was independent, he drove everywhere and soon had a network of friends bigger than mine. He went to the see the San Francisco Philharmonic with his friends, took BART everywhere and taught me things about our community.
Be childlike not childish
He often said this. Be childlike and enjoy discovering new things…be excited about life. He role modeled this through the end. He loved to explore new restaurants, new places and new things even when he was slowing down. He loved kids and they loved him back. He was very witty and always quick with a joke. He lived every day with energy and wonderment!
Love your family
He put his family before himself all the time. He gave up promotions and additional money because it required relocation and he did not want to disrupt his family. He got more joy out of his kid’s accomplishments than his own. He loved my Mom and supported her throughout. If I sounded annoyed with her, he would always pull me aside and remind me of everything she did and told me to be patient with her. He always told me to take care of her when she was gone. He had the same love for his cousins and his siblings. He was incredibly close to his father and always talked about indelible memories he had of him. He was close to his mother and frequently talked about how the times were unfair to women in previous generations. I know that it had an impact on him and he was a feminist before it was popular.
My dad was an optimist. He always had a smile on his face. Even when he was in the hospital and when he was in pain, he always had a big smile for everyone. He made friends with the hospital nursing staff and doctors and they frequently said “he is the only person in the ICU who smiles all the time”.
Remember your history
My Dad frequently shared stories of his life growing up and of our forefathers with me and the grandkids. He made me proud of our history and where we came from. I worry that the kids won’t hear this anymore. I plan to write down all the stories that he shared with me so I can pass it on.
I wanted to say a lot more at his memorial but could not finish my speech and it was important for me to write and share this. My Dad made the world a better place in the time that he was here. He touched a lot of people positively and created a legacy that I hope to maintain and pass on. It is easy to take your parents for granted but when I step back and think about how my Dad lived his life, it is truly incredible. He was special and I am lucky to be able to call him my Dad.