Day 8: India Welcomes

141700097.oOD4fVrD.PunjabOct11977After being here for a few days, one thing has become clear. Not much about India bothers me the way it used to. Before I would complain about how dirty, polluted and unsanitary it is, but the same could be said about my state of mind. The love that has greeted me so far, and the energy of Delhi invigorates me. The first question I get asked now is what do I think of India after 16 years, and my reply is the simple truth: I love it.

I love the 12 people in motorscooter, the 7 cars in lanes, the thinking of traffic lights as suggestions, and of course the cows meandering by. It’s an India that is all-encompassing, and while it could be improved, for what it is, it is mesmerizing to me. The traffic taught me that I get to plan better because even though the distances are small, getting them often takes far longer than anticipated. Also of course, I got the regular welcome of sitting most of the day in the bathroom yesterday, but its ok, I ended the night with great company and love and at the end that’s all that matters.

India is me.

Journal, Myself

Days 1 to 7

downloadIn the whirlwind of first time travels to Dubai and coming back to India after 16 years, I learned a lot about myself, and still continue to do so. Each day as I look around, I see so much possibility in humanity. People’s willingness to do whatever it takes is what struck me in Dubai. It was news to me how many indian lived there to make a living. Several taxi drivers told me Dubai did not refuse Visas to anyone.  All were welcome. Judging from the massive buildings and the amount of people, it made sense to have a big service economy. I am no expert, but what also struck me is how desperate Dubai is to be seen as a tourist destination. Alcohol is a privilege and while other religions exist, pictures of the Sheikh rulers and Islam are quite prominent. It was just different, but I also felt pride at the lengths my people go to take care of their own. Overall, the place felt cold but open.

Then came to India, and I embraced it. The diarrhea, the traffic, the noise pollution, the fearless pedestrians, seeing my relatives and my grandfather’s house. all of it enveloped me and it felt right.  Each day, new things come up and it amazes me our the ingenuity people show. Delhi is a traffic beast, yet one can either embrace it or uselessly shout at it. India teaches me presence, and the idea that once you let it go as to how it is supposed to be and how it is, you cannot help but enjoy it!


Tips For If You Get Stopped For A DUI: Legal Reasons #5

fst-slider1I struggled with this post because in no way do I want to seem I am condoning drinking and driving. Yet the reality is that as adults we all attend events where alcohol is involved. If you know, you will be drinking more than 1-2 drinks, use a ride sharing service. Trust me, it will be always be cheaper in terms of cost and peace of mind than when you see the dreaded red lights and you have had a drink or two.

That said, the following tips do not guarantee that you will not get a DUI but will allow your lawyer to perhaps defeat probable cause, save your licence from being suspended, and avoid high insurance rates.

  1. Be Polite. IF the officer asks for your license and registration, hand it over but move slowly. Acknowledge the officer but do NOT offer to the officer that you only had  a few drinks. He is not your friend, and your admission leads right to probable cause. Memorize the following statement: ““I invoke my constitutional right to remain silent, officer.”
  2. Now for the hard and scary part: refuse the field sobriety and breathalyzer if you have had more than 1-2 drinks (based on body size). The officer may arrest but with no tests and your quietness, they do not much or any probable cause which will allow your attorney to fight your matter with plenty of ammunition,
  3. Your goal through the entire time is to reduce probable cause. There is not much you can say to the officer that will reduce probable cause so keep it simple and short.
  4. What if you don’t do any of this?  Still hire an attorney because represented parties often will get better terms for you than when you are unrepresented.
  5. Also, never forget besides criminal, you need to ensure you are represented for your DMV hearing which automatically suspends your license if you do not report 10 calendar days from your arrest.

P.S: this post assumes you are not on probation. If you are unsure what your probation terms, consult with an attorney.

MITT, Myself

Silence Within

dwell-in-possibilityLast night, I came back from a weekend workshop with men where I found out for myself that silence is not necessarily bad if it’s filled with energy that moves other people into passion or positive action.  For me, too often, I used silence to avoid, shutdown when all that was needed was acceptance and being open to listening and open possibilities.

Why around men? Because too often, I spent too much time wanting to prove my manhood or that I can hang when rather than be vulnerable and be open. So this weekend with 28 brothers, I learned that it is okay to be myself no matter how it looks like.  In a group, I learned about myself and possibilities.

A journey of self-discovery in the midst of men who supported me to discover areas in my life that I can sculpt to be better and be more significant. A powerful weekend that taught me  I am never alone, and there is always possibility.

So the Silence Within Dwells with possibility and for that I am grateful!


New Business Owners: Legal Reasons #4

Starting-a-New-BusinessLook I get it. Most people do not think they need lawyers until they really need one, and that is the wrong attitude to have especially in the realm of business. It amazes me to see how many begin new businesses, hire employees, and then ask an attorney about varying issues. California is particularly unforgiving on labor and employee issues.

It is much cheaper to consult with an attorney when you are ready to begin rather than in the middle because time and money are wasted when documents and consents need to redone or be compliant. Moreover, you do not need to have everything seen by an attorney, but there are some fundamentals such as Insurance, Documents and Payroll that every business should be aware of.

Legal consultation needs to be part of the budget and it needn’t be expensive.  Good entrepreneurs know that time and vision are necessary to be successful, yet new ones do not realize the risks they can reduce or absolve if they just speak to an attorney.

At the end of the day, it will always be cheaper to spend money now than defending against a claim. That is not a cost you want to have to bear.


Dealing with Employee Misconduct (Legal Reasons #3)

As an employer, I have seen varying ranges of things employees do, but the most frustrating is employee theft. I understand how dispiriting it is to discover someone put in a position of trust violates that trust. Yet it is important to follow certain standards before accusing and firing them. I also realize there is an instinct to garnish wages, involve the authorities or threaten to, but it is important to have protocols in place.  Moreover, there are limited things you can do as an employer, but if done right can let other employees know this type of behavior is taken very seriously.

There are fundamental things that need to be kept in mind

  1. Gather documents. It’s important to preserve all possible evidence when conducting an investigation. If an employee is suspected of stealing, IT should be engaged to copy the employee’s work center, whether it’s a register or a computer, and download and preserve e-mails. Copies should be made of all documents related to an employee’s job, including time cards, punch records, data access records of when employees come and go, and video surveillance of the premises.
  2. Contact legal counsel. Before taking any action regarding disciplinary action, suspension or termination, consult legal counsel. There are certain considerations regarding recovery of the goods or monies that were stolen, which may be jeopardized if the employee is terminated. In addition, even if the facts support termination, the overly-broad communication of those facts or the manner in which the termination is conducted can create the risk of liability for discrimination, invasion of privacy, defamation, or intentional torts.
  3. Relax and be careful about what is said. Once an employer has received confirmation that an employee is guilty of theft and the employer is ready to confront the employee with that information, the employer should be careful of how or what is said during this meeting. The employer should not approach the suspected employee while still angry or emotional, which could create a volatile or explosive situation at the work place. The suspected employee should be approached calmly to discuss his or her employer’s concerns. Employers should be careful not to refer to the employee as a “thief.” This type of reference can lead to a defamation lawsuit.
  4. Do not deduct amounts from the employee’s paycheck. California law imposes very strict limits on the circumstances under which an employer is permitted to deduct amounts from an employee’s paycheck. Even if an employer suspects an employee of stealing, seek legal advice before deducting the value of stolen items or cash from the employee’s paycheck.
  5. Recovering stolen property

    The most common legal question presented by workplace theft is “Can the money or items be recovered?” Many times the answer is yes, if the employer acts properly to investigate, document evidence and involve legal counsel early, and the loss is significant. If counsel is engaged early on in the investigation, they can seek court orders to freeze an employee’s assets and have property returned.