And that is how I came to introduce President Obama

And that is how I came to introduce President Obama

December 13, 2013

I always wanted to tell a story that would open with such a dramatic sentence with all the flourish and pomp due its great writer. One could build up on this statement, a plot that connected all the dots and a grand plan for the protagonist. Tolstoy was absolutely masterful at this. If you ever read Ana Karenina, you would understand what I mean. In reality our stories and lives are never logical nor do they course through a neat, linear path. Like Steve Jobs once said, “you can only connect the dots looking back” and that certainly is very true with my life. Born on a small farm in India into a family of limited means, I could have never guessed what lay in my future. I can tell you one thing though, even if there is not a logical path connecting all the dots, there is almost always a key theme that guides a person to their destiny and one simply has to trust the intermediate steps and encounters that come about in the journey.
There is a wonderful myth in our culture, that there lives a lady on the moon, sitting under a shady tree, she spins out threads from her weave. I like to imagine that she spins out eternal threads so the world will keep running and that human beings arrive into this world holding their own thread from her spin. It is made of a beautiful shimmering light beam and we follow it throughout life. As we cross paths with others and the threads entwine, we weave a beautiful motif. The motif is filled with stories, dreams and possibilities and everything else that is human. In the end, are not we just that? Wonderful storytellers who exist only because our stories exist and connect to each other? I strongly believe that this interconnection and how we respond to it makes us who we are in essence.
I like to think of myself as a dreamer and a protagonist. I spent endless summer afternoons and moonlit nights contemplating the heavens and was fascinated by the complexity of it all and refused to accept the perceived limits. My unconditionally loving family is instrumental in shaping my confidence and ambitions. Turns out my family is full of such restless souls and I will have to tell you about my crazy family another time.  And books.. books opened up an entirely different realm to me. When I read Somerset Maugham’s Moon and Sixpence and came across the paragraph that started with the following words: “I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not”, I knew in my heart I needed to set out on a journey in search of this home I have not yet known. When I arrived in Silicon Valley, I felt I arrived home or something akin to that feeling. Here is where misfits like me from all over the world fit so perfectly like pieces in a big jigsaw puzzle. The valley of dreams certainly encourages you to pursue and realize your own dreams and along the way you meet some wonderful human beings who want to help you. When you meet the right mentors, consider yourself extremely lucky because these are people who foster your growth and delight in your success. Needless to say, I have met a few along the way who shaped my thinking, helped me focus and realize my ambitions. I will end this post by saying a lot of credit goes to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group  and its CEO, Carl Guardino. He has been my mentor and advocate from the beginning and has given me a chance to highlight my story on many occasions.. And, that is how I came to introduce President Obama!