I don't believe in God, you do

Dear Raunak,

I don't believe in any religion. God for me is my moral code and sense of right and wrong. I don't hope for anything after my death. All I want is to take right decisions as long as my mind is the right state to evaluate. I am not scared of being imperfect and let my inner compass guide my decisions. Sometimes I am nice to people and sometimes I am selfish. There are times when I hurt people's feelings but at the end of the day, I am carefully weighing my options, desired outcome and doing what is best without looking at any rule book.

But you are not like me. You are a Christian. You believe in your savior, you believe you will go to heaven and on a daily basis believe that whatever is happening happens for a reason and there is higher power that controls everything. The good thing is, we get along real well and neither of us has an issue with our beliefs and I hope we keep it that way.

We have loads of common interests but the strongest is our love for science. I always think about best way of teaching science is without messing with your religious beliefs but suddenly I understood something deep the other day. I was trying to teach you acoustic levitation and was showing you some videos that demonstrate this in a mind blowing amazing way. Somewhere in the middle of the video, I thought if you had to articulate the wonder you were experiencing, what would you say. I would've said that with logic and reasoning, we can discover, detect and prove phenomenon that we cant even see and that thought blows my mind! But then I realized you probably would say 'what an amazing world the God has created'. My first instinct would be to argue against your thought but then, how does it matter? Both of us now know what acoustic levitation is and how it is useful in our daily lives.  It does not matter much how we connect it with our definition of our world. We are unique individuals and our comprehension of the our environment and beyond is different. We may stay this way for the rest of our lives or we may change.

Another post we should read a few years from now to see where our beliefs stand.

Love
Mom


Recipe for success

Dear Raunak,

I am going to start updating this post on what traits I typically see in someone who is successful at workplace. May be useful for me to introduce you to a few of these when you are of appropriate age. May be this post is for me and not really for you. Whatever it is, here is what I want you to know about things I learnt from my career.

Remember that not everyone will have all traits and when things go wrong, nothing can save you. You just wait for the phase to pass, be optimistic and truly believe a new chapter and a new beginning is round the corner. You can't see it but it will be there and it will be fine.

Be genuinely nice to people, help them grow, mentor them, always wish for the best things to happen to them but keep a professional distance. You will have to take hard decisions sometimes and it will be impossible to execute if you look at everyone as friends. You have to make it easy on yourself to look at things objectively sometimes. If you are running a business or working for a company, profitability and the values you have for your customers are paramount. Some people fit the role they need to play, some people unfortunately don't and you will realize that after hiring them.

Be humble. Really really humble. Titles, recognition, fame, nothing matters. You will be the happiest if you are oblivious to the halo the world puts around your head sometimes. Always look at your position as just one of the wheels that is needed to keep the machine working and you are as important as any other part in the system. Resist the urge to show off your title. When people accept you for who you are and not for what role you play in a particular company, you will really make friends.

Be creative and bold while building a vision but be organized and controlled while executing it. If you focus on details while building a vision, you are not being ambitious enough. If you are creative and have a free flow style of execution, you are a making a mess.

Project management and knowing details is the most valuable skill you will need as you grow in your career. It is also the hardest to manage a project because managing people is easy, managing a process is easy but managing people who influence various processes and driving all of it towards one goal is tough as hell.

Know your numbers. It does not matter which industry you end up working in, no matter which profession you pick up, you will have to be data savvy. If you don't have this skill, you will never reach your full potential. Period.

Be articulate. In your first 5 years of your career, let all the articulation be about curiosity, learning and showing results. This is also when you will slog day and night but don't shy away from it. You need a strong foundation for your career and this is when you build it. Next 5 years, articulate your goals, and execution plans. This is when you will be building your leadership skills and if you can't articulate goals and execution plans, you should consider not aspiring to be a leader. The 3rd 5 years is when you will get real leadership opportunities. Articulating to influence and inspire is what you will need at this stage. Also don't forget about all of the other things I mentioned above. Every single one of them will not only apply at this stage but will be essential for you to survive.

Network deliberately, enjoy meeting people genuinely. Being known as a good person with a clear mind of what you want to achieve is a lot better than being known as successful. Success and failure is cyclical. If you have a healthy mind, you will learn to cope with this.

Prioritize family. If work does not allow you to give due quality time to your loved ones, you are in the wrong job.

I can't wait to see what you end up becoming when you grow up. It will also be fun to see if this post remains relevant 10 years from now when the world would be an altogether different place.

Love
Mummy



Facepalm

He knows he is not a kid anymore but he doesn't know what he is now.


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'


"It's raining"

Raunak's sarcasm -- sometimes I laugh it out and draw a cartoon, sometimes he gets a whack. Today, am in a good mood.



The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'

New Milestone?

Raunak and I seemed to have switched places today. Looks like he hit a new cognitive milestone. He is going from memorizing interesting facts to being able to think about them logically. Feeling like a fool never felt this good.



The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'

SciencePorn

I wanted to teach Raunak some Science but I did not imagine this is what will end up happening. Here is the video I was showing him and it's really cool (and innocent). Don't know why I am feeling so guilty.

The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'

The Titanic

I am quickly reaching a stage where am not sure if I want to know what Raunak is learning these days



The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'

Accidentally Coordinated Cartoons

This isn't necessarily the funniest of the cartoons but it is a very special one. Raunak and I were learning about GIS and GPS, we took a break and I started working on this cartoon based on what he said when I was explaining triangulation. I came back into the room to notice that he was drawing a cartoon too! We must practice this more. May be we can start a series where I can make a cartoon of an anecdote from my perspective and he from his perspective.

My cartoon:



Raunak's drawing just after we learnt about various GIS data models (specifically the tiger model):






The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.


Happy 10th Birthday!


Dear Raunak,

Happy 10th birthday, young man! What a fine boy you are turning out to be and am loving every second of watching you grow.

You are sharp, sensitive, responsible, super high energy and very creative. You are also not organized, don't yet get the fact that scoring well in exams in important and love the TV and computer a little too much. Last year you were into hundreds of Pokemon characters and this year, it is birds and animals. You spend hours on your computer trying every single query combination to find an animal you did not know about before.

Outside of home, you are beginning to navigate the complex social scene. Your friends are getting into cliques. If you are a part of one, you can't be a part of another one and you struggle so hard with this because your natural instinct is to make friends with everyone you meet. Many of our evenings end up with you crying for being booted out of one group or not being accepted into another.

While you will continue to learn to blend and stand out, I will continue the tradition of dishing out free advice to you on your birthday. I have 3 things to say this year.

1. Peer pressure is good, use it smartly and more importantly, don't be afraid of it. The word is used with a bad connotation but what it really does is it challenges you to move out of your comfort zone and take risk. While the effect of peer pressure is going to be the highest in the next few years, it really stays with you throughout your life. If you deal with it well initially, it will become your friend. There is only one thumb rule to remember when handling this: Don't do anything you will not be proud of later in life. Do everything else.

2. Don't ever let go of creative expression. Life will be busy, it will squeeze all the juices out of you, it will make you work hard, will make you obsess over silly things but don't ever let it take out the creative expression out of you. Keep your hobbies alive, don't ever stop learning a new skill every now and then. When all else fails, this will keep you sane.

3. There is nothing called luck. Don't ever depend on it, don't give it too much credit. The real things are an open mind, right attitude, curiosity, commitment and optimism. And then there is probability and chance which is really a branch of math and not the mystical names people give it.

I promise to make the year as fun as I possibly can. We will have loads of outdoor time, cook, travel, we will continue to attempt to get you to show interest in reading books. And of course we will watch a lot of TV and find excuses to skip doing homework once a while.

Hope you will have a great time today and I can't wait for the year to unfold! Love you loads.

-Mummy

Too young. Too old.

Am not taking Raunak along for shopping anymore.


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son Raunak's life. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as he grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.

Healthy Habits



Just when I was thinking Raunak doesn't need my help to do his homework anymore...


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.


Chemistry???


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.

Yes, Blame it on Parents!

Sometimes Raunak's innocence can be mistaken to be pure wit. I bet he will grow up, read this and will say "Of course I was messing with you, mom!"


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.



Raunak Can Read My Mind

I was trying to get Raunak to complete his homework and he was doing everything possible to wriggle out of it. Incidentally, I can pre-empt every move of his. But then he proved that he can see through everything I think. Here is the incident that just happend.


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.


Happy 9th birthday, little one!

Dear Raunak,

I skipped writing one last year because I had a writer's block. Just could not get myself to pen anything down. This year I don't have one and so here is your post!

I can't believe you are a tweenager now! Watching you grow up is the most magical thing in my life. Every new phase brings new excitement, new challenges and discovery of emotions in me that I did not know existed.

To prepare you for what's to come in future, I have a few things lined up for you this year that will be fun for you but nerve wrecking for me. All kids and parents go through this and it's our turn now.

You will start getting a small weekly allowance from today. And here is the elaborate plan around it.
We will divide the allowance in 3 parts. You can spend the 1st part however you want as long as you keep the bills and update a spreadsheet with the details. We will go over them every month. The 2nd part will be savings. Papa will give you a few options on how to save and you can decide how to use that money at the end of the year. The 3rd part will be spent on charity. It's time you start looking for a cause you feel strongly about and get involved regularly. Grandma will help you finding the right one that you can start volunteering with.

You can start earning extra allowance by doing these tasks for the house if you want to: Wash the car during weekends, help grandma with springcleaning of the house during special occasions (birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc.), help in cooking when we have house parties. You will get 50% more allowance for the week when you do one of these.

If history is any indication of how future would be, my dad did a lot of things like these when I was a kid. Nothing worked. Let's read this post a few years later and see how disciplined you turn out to be. I have a feeling you will be much better than me.

Finally, you will get an empty shoebox. You can keep anything you want in it and I promise no one will ever look into it. It will be your personal space. I had a shoebox for you last year but later decided to wait for one more year before I give it to you. You are ready now.

Lets talk about the finer details of all of this after the birthday party. I hope you are as excited as I am! Happy birthday, sweetie pie.

Oh and I really hope you will grow out of this birthday cake cutting with noisy kids and lots of mess next year. I am not particularly good at hosting/attending kid's parties. Honest confession.

Love,
-Mummy

Rest of the birthday posts are here

He is Serious!

Well, no birthday gift for Raunak this year and I will delete this post when he turns 16 so he won't remember this conversation. 





The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.

Boomerang

Never tell a guy what your age is, even as a hint. Even if the guy is your son. I made the mistake and had to draw this cartoon.


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.

Retail Therapy

I took Raunak along for shopping yesterday. We reached the bags section and he reacted...like a guy.


The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.

Math Exam


Raunak's exams are starting tomorrow and the prankster is busy with his pranks. I clicked a picture of this answer to upload but then decided to make it into a cartoon instead.

The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.


Valentine's day

Mother-in-law talks to her son and her grandson answers.

The inspiration for making these cartoons are real life instances in my son's life. We don't communicate in 4 boxes with the 4th one exactly ending in being 'stumped' but it is more or less an accurate representation of an anecdote that happened at home. This is my way of capturing little magical moments and developmental milestones as Raunak grows.

The rest of my cartoons are under the label 'Cartoons I Draw'.