We live to eat :)

What a foodie weekend this was – let’s start –

Sweet Maple, Palo Alto – millionaire bacon, more of it, a little more, creepy bacon everywhere – but, good 👍 plenty of yumminess to flavor and enjoy. Reservations are a must

Saffron, Burlingame. Formerly known as Rasa. Bomb curries. The mutton, butter chicken and Malabar chicken are all to die for. The best butter chicken outside of Delhi. To top it all, Kapi affogato and delicious Rose and Pista kulfi. A great great restaurant experience overall

Finally, Hiro Nori Ramen, Santa Clara – I went to heaven and back as I enjoyed the shoyu ramen and tasted Agam’s Tonkatsu ramen. Hole in the wall feels. Wish I had beer along. But overall – best ramen in Bay Area 🙂

Delightful foodie weekend for the trio.

Happy Father’s Day, Papa 🎈

It’s a tough day. It is every year. But I am certain the star he was in real life, he is now enjoying his presence amongst the real stars. Sprinkling his star dust on those who day in and out fill the gap he has left in my life.

Happy Father’s Day, Papa. While I know you would have been proud of me. You would have been very proud of the wonderful Dad Agam is to Tara. Those two are quite a pair. You would have enjoyed them.

We saw Top Gun Maverick with Tara. And I recalled how I watch the original Top Gun with you. I was little then. Just like us, these two watch a lot of movies together, and they too, have their 1:1 chats about them.

You know, I often wondered who I would have been had you been still around. But I’ve been telling myself to stop thinking about it like that. I am choosing to assume abundance than loss.

While no one can love me like you did. I can love a lot many more in this lifetime, since I am still here, taking the love you gave me and spreading it all around. And in that I find my resolution.

Summer state of mind

On the first day of summer vacations we played cards in the backyard until 11am, enjoyed a fresh cooked lunch like Nani makes, took some naps, and wrote letters to our best friends.

On the second and third day we continued the backyard escapades, and now we have morning coffee, evening tea and dinner outdoors.

We have played cards, made crafts, done painting, cooked together and enjoyed some refreshing cocktails and mocks tails on hot days.

I am embracing summer this year. I’ve put myself in summer vacay mode that only turns off between 8:30am – 3:00pm. It has helped me managed a stressful phase at work, a very demanding child who wants her parents to engage and put away their gadgets as soon as she is home, and it has brought a sense of calm to my days.

While there are so many pros to this switch. There are some cons, I am far too rested. Not enough drive to even hit the treadmill in fact. And that has been a challenge. But with great calm comes great clarity. So I will use it to find my way.

To Delhi, with love

And I thought I had fallen out of love with this city. I am sorry, Delhi. It’s hard to let go off you. My first love. I am made of your dust. I owe you my thirst for life. Let’s call it even. You win. I give up..I still love you!

Home

That first morning after you land. Sleep evades you. So much to process and settle on. All your life’s unanswered questions come back to you. Just cannot keep your eyelids shut. Need to soak in. Smell the air of my country. Especially the morning hustle before the hustle of the traffic starts.

I am an untangled set of open nerves and mixed emotions. Wound up in my thoughts of home, belonging, connection.

This Assam tea does some justice. Or does it?

I am going home

I flew back from Delhi to SF, after a family+work trip on Jan 18, 2020. Little did I know that my next trip to India will be after 28 months.

So many mixed emotions. And a haiku lingering somewhere too ..

Spring is here, Alas! /
a day of travel ahead /
I am going home

Cheers to summer

So so happy to kick start our farmers market runs starting this weekend. It was so much fun and so many people 😅.

While my jasmines have not arrived. And the Thai produce stand was missing, which means I didn’t find basil 🙁.

But the smell of fresh produce was so inspiring. I seek inspiration from the buyers. The amount of greens that people buy, and my innocent questions to them – what do you do with this?! All of that put together is my favorite way to start a Sunday.

To more markets and more recipes and a delightful summer 🙂

Mint, rosemary, and roses from our garden. Strawberries and Cucumber from the market! Voila – Gin & Tonic

Eclectic Cabos

We have fallen in love with Cabo. The Westin property, it’s proximity to downtown San Jose del Cabo and the food, have completely transformed our opinions about Mexico. Sigh! Good to have minded another vacation designation.

When can I come here next 😝

Chalte chalte

It has always been hard for me to follow someone’s footsteps. But I definitely can seek inspiration from them, on how far to go..

Sea of Cortez is a special blue. I was here to celebrate my last promotion as well. It’s party time 🥳 and my cheer leaders, motivators and raison de etre are with me 🙂

Cheers 🥂 to a lot of hard work, long days and nights, uncertainty, beliefs, and mentors/sponsors/coaches and last but not the least – me! The younger Shivam is proud today. And from now onwards, just that’s enough.

A strange day

You will never know for real how you show up for others. The words they associate with you. The way they perceive you and your “almost” madness and chaos that surrounds you.

A colleague referenced me as “Aditi” today. I didn’t understand the reference. So I asked her. She told me that Aditi is associated with the power of being limitless. It was the first time I had heard of myself in that context. I don’t know what it means. But I know she meant it in a good way. I do feel an expanded energy around me these days, beyond comprehension.

Another colleague said that a younger Shivam would have been proud of me today. She has no idea how proud I was of her today. I know she will realize some day! May she be blessed with peace and purpose and passion forever.

It was a strange kind of day where nothing was obvious. But everything was just. When I barely saw the world since my left eye lens dried up at 9am and I lived with it until 4pm when it flew off my eye and I drove back home with one contact lens in the right eye. Almost scared and slowly navigating the back streets.

It was a strange day!

Joy is

Ah the joy of warm hugs, handshakes, fist bumps and real smiles. We welcome teams back to work today. Mine is in a summit. We are together for three days this week. I’m a sucker for our time together. I need it more than they do – or that’s how I feel sometimes.

It was tiring too. But then I get my energy from the people. It was so so nice to see familiar faces. The hallway hellos. Ah so refreshing.

Tomorrow I complete 7 years at Google. I kid you not. It feels like yesterday. What a terrific journey and what amazing set of comrades.

Joy is being back in the office with my team. #thankful

My morning

Empty streets , chairs turned upside down, closed signs on all shop windows, crisp spring air, music in my ears, sunshine peeking in through the narrow roads and lighting up establishments in a sequence – one by one, they turn bright. Windows reflecting beams of sunlight, glow appears. I think I hear footsteps, other than mine. A young runner paces ahead of me.

I, rudderless, again. Two concrete choices I made. (1) I don’t want to be working for a for-profit organization once Tara is in college. I owe back, and I will pay back on my own terms. (2) I want a new goal. A new direction, one that I choose. I need a filler for the next 11 years. It will be what completes me – makes me a well-rounded leader.

Sunshine warms my face as I sit down outside 1oz, and sip my Gibraltar. I close my eyes, he appears. Tears roll down. Was I seeking his permission or blessing or neither? Can’t tell. He smiled, I did too. It was good to see him clearly after 12 years. White hoodie, red and brown striped shirt, black lacquer glasses, and a wide forehead, shining.

And then, a voice in the background, “ You can do this. One step at a time.”

I open my eyes, a little baby, learning to walk, finding her way around the coffee tables. Her Dad right behind her, guiding her way.

My morning .

JLT

Today I realized that I was born a week after India won its first World Cup, and on the day the team returned from London, and did their victory tour in Delhi – July 4th.

So both Agam and my Moms were pregnant with us when they watched the World Cup, if they did that is, since we are born 9 days apart.

Not that this explains anything but I got a kick out of it. 😂

Dichotomy

I was called – a charismatic leader, natural leader, born to lead, and an inclusive team lead. I cannot share this with anyone or anywhere but here. I want to write it down – because I identify with these phrases quite naturally. Not in relation to me. But to my father, who was all these things. And I saw him be this “charismatic leader who brings people together” and I never harbored a dream to be like him. Mostly because he did so much for others and no one did enough for him. And I didn’t want to be that person that just gives.

When I heard those phrases from my leadership cohort today, I humbly thanked them. And switched to my next meeting, and then next.

Then I sat down, made myself a cup of tea, looked at my father picture frame, and asked him – was I born to lead? And hence I was born to you. So I could learn from an early age?

Or I had to learn to lead, since you wouldn’t have it any other way, and you set expectations so high that while I felt like i failed you every single time, you were sharpening my axe and preparing me for a day like today.

Meanwhile today is going to be hard. Because there is a 50/50 chance that a black box group of people who don’t know me, have never met me, and know nothing about what I do, will decide, if I am capable enough to lead.

While they can decide one way or the other, it cannot diminish what I heard today from my peers. And the dichotomy of this day appalled me enough to sit and write and get this noise out of my system.