‘From the Land of Spice to the Land of Oil- my review of Dr. Jay Raman’s book

            Dr. Jay K. Raman’s autobiography, ‘From the Land of Spice to the Land of Oil’ is an outstanding creation that merits accolades in several genres.  Personal narratives are seldom received well by the mainstream unless they are from established names or the coverage justifies engaging themes and unique rendering.  ‘Spice and Oil’, fulfills the role beyond those objectives and offers the patrons a sumptuous treat, lavishly presenting them with descriptions that are inspiring and educational.  It is seldom that we come across a biographical treatise that has kaleidoscopically recounted an array of topics of such empirical relevance that the consumers can intimately align with. 
            The author has cleverly inserted his life stories within the framework of their geographic and historic placements, weaving them through their regional, socio-cultural, political, and religious perspectives, and extensively quoting from appropriate references.  The narrative is offered with measures of his philosophy and subtle sense of humor added as its intrinsic icing.
            His coverage of Kerala, from its evolution from Parasurama to Pinarayi, its transitions through the kingdoms of Chera, Chola, and Pandya, the various skirmishes between its people, its political reorientations and social adaptations, are bound to capture the interest of the readers for the pure academic information loaded through its pages.  His chronicling of the state from the times of Chinese commerce, the effect of Buddhism on its culture, as in ‘Saranam Ayyappa’, Adi Sankara’s unification of Hindus through Advaidic Vedanta philosophy, the communal adaptations from Namboodiris to the untouchables, the uniqueness of Nair community and its Matrilineal customs, and several such are preciously endearing accounts that are phenomenally scholastic and animating.  Kerala’s celebrated martial arts, ‘Kalari Payattu’ from its origin to the present exhibition status, is presented with all its splendor that I have never found anywhere else.
            The book enumerates historical accounts around the globe from the colonial domination of the British dynasty, decimating India’s millennia-old ethnic heritage and plundering its treasures, the tragic details of our partition with Pakistan, to an eye-witness narrative about the Arabs and particulars of the region, to Chinese revolutions, the battles of Alamo in Texas to the present-day politics and several such titbits with authority and deference that they deserve.  
            ‘From The Land of Spice to The Land of Oil’, is an illuminative chronicle of an Indian physician’s life, narrated in an inimitably honest style, and presented with the historic, cultural, and social settings as relevant to his work.  It is an engrossing story stretching from his upbringing in Kerala, India, his parents struggling to raise virtuous children through the economic lean times of the era, his time as a medical student and a devoted doctor, serving the army, his interesting transit through the Middle East, and eventually arriving in the USA where he settles down as a successful surgeon.  The last few sections have been deftly devoted to his parents, children, professional life, healthcare, his extensive travelogues, charitable ventures, and concluding with his commanding and provoking opinions on a variety of universal issues. 
            The author’s language is simple, expressions lucid, style easy-flowing, details appealing, and the contents delivered with alacrity, humility, and humor.  He doesn’t mince words or shies away from saying what he believes in, yet he presents them with honesty and no trace of vanity that the readers would enjoy the book for its integrity and convictions.  One could draw a parallel of the writer’s mettle as an adept story-teller, like the proverbial Sanjaya of Mahabharata delineating the incidents of Kurukshetra war to the blind king Dhritharashtra.
            As he repeatedly admits his success as the blessings of God, his story is an obvious example of hard work, ambition, dedication, commitment, diligence, sincerity, and in his case an exceptionally brilliant ‘breed’.  Dr. Raman’s life has been a dutiful model in every role; as a son, student, husband, father, surgeon, friend, and community leader, serving as an ideal for others to emulate.
            The book emphatically declares a reality, pertinent for the present times and place we live in.  America may be a land of opportunity, but it is the kind of intelligent and diligent immigrants like Jay Raman who substantially and continually contribute to enriching this country with the knowledge they bring in, and the commitment they devote to their adopted land.  Irrespective of where they come from or the color of their skin or the accent they speak, their contribution must be acknowledged, appreciated, and encouraged.
            Having written my own memoirs, reading many others, and critiquing a few, I am delighted to endorse this book for the abundance of its contents and eloquence of its conveyance.  The publication merits being on the best-seller list.

Dr. Venugopal Menon



On Chitra Divakaruni’s ‘The Forest of Enchantments’

     ‘The Forest of Enchantments’ is the story of Ramayana, as narrated by Sita and presented to us by the one and only Chitra Divakaruni as the long awaited, masterpiece publication is finally out of the press, and available for the readers to enjoy.
     Ramayana, the time-tested mythological classic has remained a legendary saga of Indian traditions, and its values of righteousness. The incarnation and celebrated tale of Sri Rama during Thretha Yuga has been the ultimate example of a perfect human arriving on earth, annihilating the wrong and reclaiming the good that every Hindu household revered and admired. The celebrated story has been depicted by sage Valmiki and through millennia by several illustrious authors, wherein the personality of Sita has been portrayed as that of a perpetually wronged and suffering female, from an abandoned newborn to sheltered princess, a dutifully obedient wife and a single mother discarded by her husband.
     That is, until now. Until Divakaruni scrupulously ventured delving into the life of Sita through her own personal perspective as a distinctly intelligent and independent woman, having her own version to tell, thus presenting to us a chronicle with all its refreshing ethos and daunting insinuations. This should have been rightly titled ‘Sitayan’ as Sita proclaims to Valmiki as she eventually ‘succeeds in convincing’ Chitra to present to the modern world a version as her very own biography ‘in her own words’.
     The character of Sita in the ‘Forest’ aligns very much with that of Draupadi (Panchali), another mythical heroine of the epic Mahabharata, in Chitra’s ‘Palace of Illusions’, the story that would happen in the ensuing Dwapara Yuga. Through the poignant accounts of the two contrastingly enduring personalities, the author has succinctly depicted an ageless and sad reality of females, of daughters, wives, and mothers.
     ‘Forest of Enchantments’ is a delightful treat embellished with the author’s narrative style, its imaginative descriptions and the appealing constituents in the story. The household chronicle that every Indian child has been repeatedly told 287 with its familiar characters and their customary personalities suddenly assume different dimensions through Chitra Divakaruni’s portrayal of Sita, told in her inimitable fashion. The author presents the mythical characters as regular humans, who exist, chat, eat, love, argue, fight and live like all of us, experiencing and e xpressing pleasures and frustrations like common people.
     To all those who are ‘very familiar’ with Ramayana, this book is assured to be an astounding revelation, and an ecstatic experience. To those who are not familiar with Sita or Ramayana, indulge in for quite a treat that you may have never felt through a story.

The Anarchy: William Dalrymple introduced by Sanjoy K. Roy

     The story of the East India Company is not a fable about business, nor a fiction of adventure. It is one of abject looting, a scheme of wretched plundering, of a huge country like India by a mere private corporation from Britain. In its five hundred-year history, it is the account of how a trading corporation ruthlessly trained a security force of 200,000 men and subdued an entire subcontinent, robbing them of all their assets. The Anarchy is William Dalrymple’s most ambitious and riveting book on the East India Company, a portrayal ‘as it has never been told before’. In the concluding JLF Houston session, the author gave an elaborate and illustrative analysis of his creation to a captive audience.
     The story begins from how the company defeated the Mogul emperor in 1765 and forced him to set up a new administration run by English merchants and collect tax through ruthless means and then changing from a company trading silk and spices to a colonial power camouflaged as a multinational business. The book explains the disintegration of an empire that gets replaced by an unregulated private company. That was when India stumbled from the clutches of Islamic 164 dominance to two hundred years of British anarchy, that stole our treasures, divided and ruled our people using an army of Indians, imposed their habits and style of education, ravished our culture, wiped us of our national pride and created generations of Indians who loathed India and behaved like trashy British appendages.
     More treacherous than any crime thriller, and heinous than most espionage themes, the methodical launching and further scheming of a business establishment deliberating the takeover of nations, enslaving their populace and pillaging their resources for centuries may seem ludicrous, beyond even fictional imagination. But it was the reality of history as explicitly portrayed by the Anarchy. And further, the author postulates that the establishment of the East India Company paved the way to the genesis of modern corporations and their established ‘legal practice’ of greed, lobbying and influencing the leaders at the expense of the naïve participants and helpless outsiders.
     From the Indian perspective, it is prudent to take stock of how much we have progressed as an independent nation since we got liberated from London boardroom dictations over seven decades ago. Stories of religious disharmony, infighting, corruption, stagnant progress, lack of infrastructure, electricity, water and sanitary facilities, and a compelling absence of leadership are common topics of conversation. There are good and bad reports heard about the Modi government, though he seems to be a leader with international clout, understanding of our needs and a clean government without corruption. Hope there are sensible Indians allowing him an opportunity to give India a chance rather than try to bring him down through false and mean claims. Let us trust that the experience under the British had taught us a lesson to act with pride and pitch in for an India worth its potential. (September 18, 2019)

The Healing: Manisha Koirala in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy

     ‘Health is Wealth’ assumes vaster dimensions when heard from a supreme star who has lived through the sentimental quote. And when such a story is candidly narrated with assurance and humility, the audience can get drawn into an intimate sense of reality that can be both intimidating and encouraging.
     ‘Healing’ is the poignant life story of Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala, as she shares the highs and lows of her life, her career and her battle with ovarian cancer. The compelling presentation was perhaps one of the most personal and reflective sessions of JLF Houston, as the famous actress portrayed her celebrated life and shared it with the listeners, in an unpretentious manner. Born into an illustrious family of leaders and politicians, raised in luxury, sheltered as a princess without the struggles and vicissitudes of the commoners, she reached the pinnacle of fame as one of the most sought-after and highest award-winning Bollywood actresses. Unlike most who have to strive and hustle to enter a field like movies, and in spite of some apprehensions of a Koirala girl getting into a field of some questionable repute, Manisha was invited and accepted by Shekhar Kapur, one of the prominent directors in the industry. And with her stunning looks and inherent theatrical spark, she shot up to the acme of acting through role after role.
     But malady struck her in a flurry, crudely and mercilessly. It was a sudden deviation, a swift, shifting of gears from superstardom to struggle for survival. The trip from gleaming movie scenes to the Sloan Kettering operating room, eleven hours of an elaborate surgery, the agonizing ordeals of chemotherapy and its cruel aftermath, and eventual recuperation reclaiming her life, were aspects enumerated by Manisha in her naturally outspoken manner. As she endured through shock and disbelief, switching from hope to hopelessness, her eternal optimism, a sheer defiance against being a victim, and an attitude of accepting defeat with dignity were perhaps her eventual saviors, in addition to abundant, endearing family support. She mentioned a particular incident where a cyclist on the road recognized her and encouraged her to beat her nemesis and get back to life, as she was treading Mumbai streets with hesitation, hiding her baldness and her depleted beauty. That moment was a revelation for her.
     Her forthright answers during the interview by Sanjoy Roy revealed the frailty of humanity, and a reality that through her optimistic approach and perseverance, Manisha Koirala overcame the ultimate challenge in her life. Whether ‘The Emperor of all Maladies’ helped her to discover the indomitable resilience in her or if her inherent, robust temperament got her over the dreadful illness is for up to the readers to surmise. (September 18, 2019)

God Save Texas: Lawrence Wright interviewed by Chandrahas Choudhury

     If I owned Heaven and Houston, I would rent out Heaven and live in Houston. Having lived in the city for almost fifty years, I can substantiate that claim with my personal, valid reasoning. And with almost two hundred thousand ‘Indians’ making it home, let the ‘cowboys’ take it as a challenge if they so choose.
     The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and native Texan, Lawrence Wright, in his interview with Chandrahas Choudhury, laments about the metamorphosis of his once-upon-a-time, distinctly fabled state of extensive landscapes and charming foibles into a virtuously unpleasant region, from others blaming us for the assassination of Kennedy to the Texan drawl and all in between. Our politics has not elected a Democrat since the seventies, and we are being. threatened by the brutality of several disturbing changes.
     Being addressed as a Texan used to be synonymous with its automatically assumed charm, be it for the cowboy culture, fast-drawing guns, oil fields, 160 hospitality or sheer vastness and its massive dimensions. In recent years, it has overtaken California in technology, has almost an equally large economy as Australia, its Texas Medical Center being the largest in the world, and owning its distinction as the energy capital of the world. Living up to be a Texan, is a burden for almost anyone to justify, a shadow, too big to fill up. Its economic model of low taxation and minimal regulation has been producing extraordinary growth, attracting steady relocation of people from all over. The place is also one of conflicting statistics; politically the Democrats controlling the cities while the Republicans holding the majority control of the state for decades, where the minorities form a majority, including the largest adherents of Muslims anywhere in the United States.
    As he narrates the several unsettling attempts from the Trumpian leadership, Mr. Wright remains optimistic of the impending progressive changes, the inclination of the state gradually turning purple, with the working-class voters realizing the doom and reacting with their votes. He envisions such a possibility of the tides turning, if the Democrats were to pick a moderate candidate, a leader who would pay attention to the declining educational standards, improving the dilapidated infrastructure, accepts the scientific advice regarding the ubiquitously disastrous climate changes, bring on reasonable gun laws and engages in the many needed social reforms.
    To those who have chosen Texas as their home, the discussion turned out to be quite educational of its history, its evolution, its opportunities and its political fluctuations as he concluded it offering hope for a possible change of fortunes, and for a potentially prosperous future. The session turned out to be an interesting, intimate, inside perspective from an erudite Texan, whose political opinions may not be agreed by some, but nevertheless worth everyone’s introspection. ( 18 September, 2019)

Migrant Words: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni,ama Makdisi

     International Organization of Migration (IOM agency of the United Nations), since its inception in 2000, has published its ninth report in 2018 with the purpose of contributing to an increased understanding of migration throughout the world. In a fast-evolving, global, socio-political arena where facts and expertise have been pushed aside by opinionated agendas and self-centered leadership, the role of IOM is crucial. Never in the history of humanity than the present have we required a better and more realistic understanding of migrants and what compels them to migrate. The topic on ‘Migrant Words’ during the JLF Houston session was thus a most timely and essential subject for understanding, analysis and assimilation.
     The organizers could not have chosen a better panel of discussants than Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Mira Jacob and Ussama Makdisi- celebrated authors and themselves migrants who have generously contributed to their adopted countries and who could profusely relate to personal experiences encountered as migrants. In a country like the United States of America, where everyone except the sparse and isolated native is a migrant, the present, alarming dialogs and looming developments about migration is a threateningly dangerous trend.
     As a country of immigrants, America is a nation built by them and continues to benefit from their ongoing efforts in essentially maintaining this place. If the Nobel laureates, corporate executives, scientists, teachers, doctors and technologists are enriching this country with their scholarly contributions, the less educated labor migrants keep our farms yielding, roads built, and buildings cleaned. The migrants also bring in a wealth of their cultural treasures, adding on to the kaleidoscopic collage of this magnificent nation. Yet, there are disturbing instances that we all face, of discrimination and racial profiling. The three panelists enumerated sad references and anecdotes of discrimination that they have observed and what their children endured from bias and intimidation, the parents not even knowing how to console them or compromise on dignity.
     As much as the writers and their writings focus on educating the younger generation of our culture and our ethnic customs with a hope to pass on their legacy, it serves to update those we left behind on our plight here, as well as to educate the curious locals and help them become comfortable with and appreciative of alien habits and the migrant’s plight. Through fictional characters created by the writers and through our social and cultural interactions with the locals, our generation of migrants desires to generate a sense of compassion and sensitivity in the policymakers in dealing with newcomers.
     The future of immigrants in America is hard to predict. The prevailing trend, the tribe mentality of America as evident from the many sections of the present government colluding to make it hard for immigrants, is disturbing, even scary. The leadership hopefully would change and resort to understanding and accommodating all, without discrimination and with equanimity. Writers do play a significant role in achieving the status. (18 September 2019)

Looming Shadows

There comes a time to count and take account of
What we earned in life and what passed us by
A time to ponder over the sweet glory of gains
And the sore sadness of misses lingered by

Time to recall the things we made to change
And many of those which we tried, but in vain
Of occasions that brought us happiness and glee
And of the failures which soaked us in a gloom
It is that time when our physical limitations

Tend to blend and merge with mental acceptance
When maturity lets us face facts with ease and repose
As we receive reality with reluctance, yet with resolve

When we pause to reminisce and glance over the past

Which vanished faster than a gleaming flash of light
And as the future looms before us, imminent and near
Posing and staring as a huge unknown, impending haze

Savor the delights of wisdom and that of dignity

That we gracefully gained through the sheer event of living
As we unravel the fragile filaments of our memory
And gauge it to evaluate life, as to what it means after all

Be ourselves, remain strong, genial and confident

Be concerned, yet with candor that carried us all along
Stay stoic, tranquil and unruffled as times move along
Accepting the changes as they approach and demand

Be proud of the deeds we did and the feats fulfilled

Be hopeful that our progeny will praise us with pride
Be content with the tiny triumphs of our little life
That most humans may not venture, even to dream

Be at peace, rejoice, share with the world around you

Be the kind, caring and concerned human that you can be
Be grateful to the mercy of God for his blessings and boon
For all the good in life that He has kindly bestowed on you

As our shadows stretch in the golden twilight

Singing stories of past, that of rapture and ruins
Let the cargo we compile, loaded with love and grief
Be not a burden to choke, but to offer solace we need

Get set and ready to relish the days that are yet to come

And as they arise, pray for peace, poise and a little ease
When the world moves along, striding by our side with noise
Let us laud in silence, our destiny, to have had this life to live.

(July 2002)

Again and Again…

Again and Again

Again and again, I hear the soft footsteps, that of
Someone arriving through the portal of my dream
Again I hear the gentle drone of a golden flute
That of someone playing in the garden moonlight.

Perhaps it is the rustle of dewdrops dripping off
The tender limbs of shrubs in the morning glow
Or the lazily wandering breeze may be stroking
The strings of my heart with its soft, dainty fingers.

Could it be the rapture, trapped in my dreamy eyes?
Letting the wings of its doves to flutter so gently
May be the mirage of my life has turned so vivid
As it lets the adit opens wide, yielding a clear vision.

The glowing dusk may be donning a dash of vermilion

On the beaming forehead of the rising young moon
Or the singing crickets flying around the garden
Might have murmured a naughty tune in my ears.

As the thunder shatters the cushion of dark clouds

And the lightning splatters the gently showers
The call I hear may be of fear, of the rage of Nature
Or of delight, rejoicing the glorious ritual, celestial.

Was it a cold breeze that braced the rivulet near by

Or a warm embrace from the shower of soft petals
Which aroused me from my sweet, deep slumber
That I felt no remorse, just love and a desire for all.

The lilting tune that revived melodies of childhood

Tender love that nurtured my body and my soul
Waiting for nothing in return, not even memories
Love akin to that a mother and no one else can give

The bewitching mind, may have flickered in delight

Like radiant flames, glowing from a shimmering lamp
Or someone may have whispered a secret so sweet
That the enchanting one is arriving to the envy of all.

Again and again, I hear the soft footsteps…

(Courtesy to Malayalam poem)

Why Write Memoirs?

     Human life is perhaps the highest divine endowment within our comprehension. Even the gods seem to have taken their time through the process of evolution in arriving at our genus Homo sapiens, conferring it on to the chosen ones with a purpose, intent and an expectation.
     Having received such an honor, having lived it and having reached the endpoint of the allotted span of existence here, one ought to introspect and contemplate on what and how their bequest was expended. It is essential for every individual to leave a receipt for being here, for using the space and resources on this planet that we called our home during our lifetime. Such a commitment is not merely a courtesy but a mandatory requirement that many of us are not accustomed to or indoctrinated to oblige.

     As one having reached the ninth decade of being here and realizing that my final destination is closer than ever, I feel very content that I have endured through and accomplished such an undertaking. I have just released the memoirs that took me about five years of my time and several visits through a variety of experiences, a medley of exhilarating, contemplative, repentant and rewarding essentials of my historical existence. As I slowly recalled the remnants of my past, I became overwhelmed. I felt elated at times; sad, depressed, gratified and triumphant at others. I smiled and laughed, and more often sobbed and cried out of control but essentially the sensations offered me much inexpressible contentment.
     I was born in India, the pre-independent, colonial, British India, growing up through the struggling and lean times of global depression and Second World War, and witnessing the proud moment of India gaining its independence from our rulers. I was born into a traditional, middle-class Kerala Hindu Nair family as the first child to my parents, and was raised observing and witnessing the rich and colorful customs, rituals and festivals. My grandfather was my teacher, best friend, and hero, who taught me the elements of life, of discipline, punctuality, obedience, as well as mathematics and grammar. He poured out his unconditional love on me as well as ruthlessly disciplined me, creating the person who I became. The abundance of love I received from all my dear ones easily overshadowed the materialistic and economic constraints of the times.
     My initial intent of writing my life story was to create a record for my descendants to refer back on, to explore and discover where their grandparents came from, to trace and identify their roots and lineage as well as be proud of the rich heritage they belong to. As we chose to accept America as our new home, our domicile where our following generations would continue to breed and raise their progeny, it is crucial that they are able to proudly claim a legendary legacy that their predecessors left behind. As I continued, I felt convinced that every one of us immigrants owes such a narrative to our posterity, and compelled to motivate and persuade all to make an earnest attempt to create one. This note is my request.
     We feel blessed to belong to a tradition of Sanatan Dharma, Eternal Righteousness, the essential philosophy of Hindu faith that is based on tenets of a Supreme Reality, the universality of Divinity, the immortality of the soul, unity of existence and harmony of religions. My wife maintained and adhered to performing and celebrating all our traditional observance, explaining the significance of such to our children that they understood and felt comfortable with. We rejoice that our efforts have amply paid off, observing them keen and happy to celebrate such traditions, setting examples for the following generations.
     Beyond the call of our individual needs, the demands of the family and loyalty to the profession, there is a distinct obligatory assignment for each of us towards the society we live in and the needs of common interests. Every country prospers with such input of selfless contribution from socially conscious citizens. As an immigrant opts to accept a new place as his home, he has to pitch in to improve the interests of his new home and the community he lives in. He must also make an effort to enrich the place with the cultural riches from the place he came from, some of his old traditions that can enhance the society in his new land. Music, arts, dance forms, languages, culinary varieties, and many such global contributions have made us refined, augmenting our civility.
     Each immigrant has a distinct and unique story to tell. Leaving generations of habits and an established comfort zone, the tribulations of leaving the past, the trials of transfer and the travails of a new formation are interesting readings to everyone with an inclination and penchant to know. Apart from the physical hardship, demand on endurance and tenacity, the psychological adjustments can do havoc on many. The feeling of guilt of forsaking precious traditions what the ancestors preserved and nurtured for ages, the sense of culpability in many cases of walking away from one’s personal obligations to parents and others, and often an obligatory allegiance to the motherland that fostered one can perturb forever the conscience of the expatriate.
     America is a land of plenty, of riches, challenges, and chances where the melting pot offers the opportunity to all who are willing to work hard and where the motivated ones on the lowest rung can find a way to reach the top. It is the place built by the migrants whose contributions are legendary stories that attract and invite others to follow. There are not many places on earth where a child who got his first pair of shoes in his sixth grade and studied under the light of a kerosene lamp in a remote land can come and succeed as a thriving doctor and the president of a nationally reputable organization. That is precisely my story. Such sagas need to be told; such stories merit an audience; such tales motivate.
     Writing one’s memoirs is sharing. It is an expression of camaraderie, of offering, of compassionate conversation. As much as it is comforting to tell, it could be consoling to listen. By telling, the writer reveals; and by hearing the reader comprehends, appreciates and empathizes. We observe misery all around us, in everyday life; despair often out of not knowing. We witness agitation, animosity, anger and aggression against each other; enmity because of misgivings. Even the global violence that has become habitual and endemic can be attributed to just one correctible blemish – ignorance. Sharing our story can make others understand. Be kind and write your own.

“My Mother Called Me UNNI – A Doctor’s Tale of Migration”

About my memoirs

     I have created my memoirs narrating my sentimental journey of life spanning almost eight decades rowing up in India, leaving my beloved homeland to pursue my dreams of a better future in the West, and living an affluent life bridging two cultures.
     I have made an attempt to personalize the intricate customs, culture and values of the bygone era of my ancestors along with its rich traditions, the struggles that my parents had endured to raise us, my educational pursuits in becoming a doctor, the moral dilemma of my migration, and the adjustments required for life in my adopted home.
     It goes on to elaborate how I succeeded in adapting to the new life in the US, in getting qualified as a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and rising to become the president of a nationally reputed clinic, of being invited and inducted to the prestigious Royal Society of Medicine, London as a Fellow.
     The book narrates my attempt to discard all my success in the US and returning to India to offer my help to the needy but having to come back due to circumstances beyond my control. I have recounted my efforts of how I maintained strong ties to my motherland, serving my obligations to my extensive family in India, even after choosing America as my final domicile. The manuscript includes my passionate involvement in several social and philanthropic causes in America, my chosen land and how it had set the trend for my three children, who are following my example.

     There were a few genuine reasons that prompted me to start this project and enabled me to complete the attempt……But the most interesting reason that I discovered, which motivated me to continue the attempt was that I began to actually enjoy revisiting the life that I had left behind. This was a revelation. I began to feel that I was drawn back to the precious years of my childhood, to the people whom I loved and adored, and had since lost, along with all the memories that had been stored and rusted with only an occasional glancing back. As I slowly recalled those remnants of my past, I became overwhelmed. I felt elated and excited at times — sad, depressed, gratified, fortunate and triumphant at others. Some of those experiences embraced me as if they were reoccurring at the moment. I smiled and laughed and more often sobbed and cried out of control as they came flooding back to me and choked me. All such beloved sensations gave me a certain inexpressible contentment; something I never imagined possible when I started writing. For that one reason and perhaps for none other, I realized it was worth my time and dedication to create such a narrative.
     “My Mother Called me UNNI, a Doctor’s Tale of Migration” is my story, like that of many immigrants like me that I would proudly want to share with others.
https://www.amazon.com/My-Mother-Called-Unni- Migration/dp/1478761717